Thursday, August 28, 2008


Summer seems to be over with out here on the Pacific Coast - I wasn't quite ready for that. I'm hoping we get a short hit of nice weather on the 13th of September as that's the day of my birthday party - celebrating a pretty big number this year - and we wanted to have it mostly outdoors. It was very difficult to decide on how to celebrate this year. I hate leaving anyone out but I don't feel up to a truly huge party. So compromise has ruled the day and it's just family and closest friends. Of course there will be the usual Virgo gathering of the theatre related crowd at a local watering hole on the 5th of September and I'm promised a celebratory breakfast on my actual birthday (the 8th) morning. And I'm excited about my present from my guy this year - I'm hoping for that new folding spinning wheel I'm jonesing for but I suspect it will be some spectacular piece of new technology...more shopping fun for him.

And speaking of spinning, I finished two skeins of alpaca lace weight, all washed and ready to go, but I don't think it will be enough for the lace shawl I have in mind. I'm going to do two more skeins so that I don't have to stop in the middle of knitting and spin more...typically that would spell the stallout of the project since I would have to learn the pattern all over again and wouldn't be able to figure out where the heck I am after taking a couple of weeks out for spinning. From my reading, a rather open lace seems to be a good choice for alpaca as it is too warm when knitted solidly. Proof of that? I made a nice little sweater for my two year old granddaughter and after she's been wearing it for awhile, she grabs the front and yanks on it to indicate "Get this hot thing off me!"

The alpaca fleece from Bluestone is really lovely...hardly any guard hairs and not much in the way of vegie bits, the dark colour yarn lustrous and soft in the finished state. I realize now that the commercial alpaca yarns are a somewhat lower quality as they have a lot of long guard hairs sticking out of the thread. These can feel very tickly on the skin and perhaps that's why Eva hauls on her sweater fronts. I'm considering buying a whole fleece from them when they shear in the spring from an all black male called Marco. That should keep me out of mischief for a very long time.

This is week two of the Fringe Festival in Victoria and we've seen a couple of shows so far, one excellent, one so-so. I try to see everything done by my friends in the theatre world and follow that up with the shows that are getting the most buzz. This can be difficult during the last week as the really good shows sell out quickly and the venues are small. It never ceases to amaze me how resourceful these small productions are and how well some quite wacky venues work for theatre. There is something to be gained from not sitting in a conventional space, seats in rows, stiffly upright. Besides having a more relaxed audience, the best pieces make an advantage out of distractions like missed sound cues, street noise and other unforeseen occurrences. One good thing about the crappy weather...attendance is up. No one wants to go indoors when it's sunny out.

Finished projects...lots of travelling in the past couple of weeks and that's golden time for knitting, if not spinning. Knitting in the car while someone else drives is one of my great pleasures in life. I have the utmost sympathy for those who get carsick if they do anything other than look at the horizon. I finished a knitted tank top that is in the blocking stage and I'm praying it will fit. It looks right but no knowing for sure until I try it on if it will both fit AND be flattering. I also knit a slew of little baby hats from superwash merino for some babies of my acquaintance. They (the hats, not the babies) have a rolled brim and a knotted top and look so cute that I could just keep knitting them in bunches. So quickly did they fly out the door that I didn't get photos taken...guess I'll have to make some more. And I'm making good progress on the Central Park Hoodie for myself - I'm past the armhole decreases on the back and that purple tweed colorway is gorgeous in those cables.

Decision time - either I pick the plums and figs this afternoon or head out the door to watch some theatre...nice choices to have.

Daisy update: the x-ray report came back and the news isn't great. She has a cyst and possibly a mass in her chest cavity and surgery isn't recommended. So I guess her days are numbered although she's pretty much her old self energy and attitude-wise. For the time being, we're going to keep her comfortable and see what happens but it's pretty sad and I get misty writing or talking about it and am a complete emotional mess over other people's aging/dying dog stories. This seems natural to me, if not my favourite thing to go through. It was almost harder to not know if she was going to still be on the earth after the first episode and now that the cards are pretty much on the table, we try to appreciate her to the fullest, every day.

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