Friday, May 30, 2008

Madder and Indigo Plants!

Madder, 5-30-08
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I promised these pictures, and here they are! Interestingly enough, the madder seems to be growing best when it's out of the sun. See the part to the right? It's actually creeping onto the patio table. I just cropped that part out so you couldn't see all the clutter. The plants in front are much shorter, but seem to be just as happy. I ought to search and see if these plants mind being trimmed back. The leaves and stems are quite obnoxious, all sticker-y, like nettles withouth the sting.

Indigo, 5/30/08
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
The indigo is in a smaller pot. I may start another pot, because I've been looking at this page and this page on dyeing with fresh Japanese indigo leaves.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I found a thrill...

I found a thrill...
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
I have my own Blueberry Hill. Well, really, it's just a planter with 4 bushes, but we've been picking blueberries for almost three months! It's a bumper crop this year, but as soon as they get ripe, they get eaten!

I still haven't managed to get pictures of the madder or indigo yet. Nag me to do that... you'd be surprised to see how much those plants have grown.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

You know, I'm a political science librarian, and I have absolute respect for veterans. My nephew is a veteran, and so was my dad. Do I think we should be at war right now?

I'm not sure my opinion really matters. I have a vote, and veterans have fought hard for me to have that right. But there are so many different voices, and so many opinions.

I have the best resources available to anyone without a security clearance. By that, I mean scholarly resources. Journal articles, plus government documents. I could find you the population for any city in any decennial census since 1780. My library subscribes to a database that looks at foreign news and speeches, translates them into English and puts them online in 24 hours. I can look up what they're saying in China about US reporting on the Olympics.

My library also subscribes to a public opinion poll archive, and I recommended it because of a student who wanted raw data from it. She was studying how different ethnicities in Orange County (California) voted on Hispanic issues, like Proposition 187 and 227. By using this raw data, she could see if the rich of any particular ethnicity were more or less likely to favor English as the official language in schools. By precinct. (I still brag on this student, five years after she's graduated.)

But I can't tell you how to vote, and I shouldn't.

Not that I know how I'm going to vote. With all the resources available to me, I can't decide. Is it any wonder that people vote on shallow reasoning?

Yeah, I wish politics were as easy as knitting. But that's another essay, for another day.

Switching focus to fiber (was that as clever a segue as I hope?), today was a kickback day. I dabbled a bit more with the backstrap loom, putting it aside when I got frustrated. Suffice it to say that "good enough" just isn't, when it comes to heddles and ties.

So I went back to ginning and carding cotton, doing at least 30 more punis.

What I should have done, complete with lame excuses:

  • Take pictures of the madder and indigo plants. It was pretty cloudy all day, and I was lazy.
  • Get the brown cotton seeds started. Where the heck did the bag go??? I swear I put it on the refrigerator.
  • Card and spin up some of the Stardust. If I pick up the handcards for the wool, it will completely mess them up for the cotton. (memo to self: think hard about priorities here.)

I feel another bout of self-doubt and list-making coming on... I even dreamed about being dissed by a former supervisor in another library, and feeling bad about myself. Then going back to my own office and realizing I do more and better work than she did. Imagine that.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled blog

I'm back now. I was gone, details withheld. But now I'm back.

I did have some fiber progress, and will take pictures soon. That, I can give details on!

I got a lot of knitting done, especially on the RocketGanseyDottir. In fact, I even got a bit too much done on it! The armholes are a bit too deep, so I'll rip a few rows before I sew the shoulder seam. No, wait! I want to do another saddle shoulder, so I'll rip even a few more. No big deal-- I was knitting to keep busy, and if I need to tweak for fit, I will.

The Pagewood Farm Socks (sorry, it's a Ravelry link and you'll need to be logged in) are back up to the heel, on both socks. I started those with the Jaywalker Socks pattern, and it looked great, but I misjudged the size. And the pattern is a bit too fiddly for fast knitting... so I went back to my standard 3x2 mistake rib pattern. Too bad it doesn't do the yarn justice! but I'm not going to rip out again.

Lastly, there's lots of progress on the cotton. I've rigged up a small backstrap loom for sampling, but haven't started weaving yet. (cue musical Annie) Tomorrow! Tomorrow! (cue needle ripping across vinyl record) Sorry! (giggle) Suffice it to say I'm goofy-tired.