Cough Suppressant

Ever since I was a kid, I've gotten sick with a bad cold or flu during spring break. That really cuts into your fun, let me tell you. This year was no exception. I woke up on the morning after Easter with a dreadful sore throat.  

After three weeks I have residual congestion and a hacking cough. Nothing - not cough drops, cough syrup, inhaler, or Bruce's special hot toddy - will stop the coughing attacks when they strike. The slightest exertion - and sometimes nothing at all - brings them on.  

In frustration, I dusted off my spinning wheel and dug some fiber out of my stash.  Armed with a box of Kleenex, a few cough drops and a cup of tea, I sat down to some gentle spinning.  Sure enough, as I spin the cough reflex fades away and I experience relief for a time.  It's like some blessed Rumpelstiltskin curse, as long as I spin, I don't cough.  I stop spinning, I start coughing.  But sooner or later, I have to sleep - or try to.

The roses, at least, are blooming and healthy.

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Gone Silent

Looms can be noisy beasts.  Depending on which loom I’m using it either clicks and clacks or thumps and bangs.  For the past couple of weeks, I just can’t bear the idea of the noise.

The world is noisy enough these days.  It’s almost impossible to avoid the anger and angst of this election season.  Everyone seems worn down to their last nerve.  

I have retreated to the gentle whir of my spinning wheel.  The wool I am spinning is white and fluffy and soft as down.  I sit at the wheel and treadle - not too fast, not too slow, just right. Treadle one, I draft out a little fiber, open my fingers and the twist turns the fluff into fine thread.  Treadle two, the new thread flows onto the bobbin.  Repeat.  Over and over again.

Eventually, slowly, the bobbin fills with thread.  Eventually the talking heads, the irate Facebook memes are silent.  There is just the soft whir of the wheel.

Day Two: Another Skein and Another Project

For the second day of Art Every Day month, I plied a second skein of the silk/merino/alpaca yarn. 

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November is a month when we will be traveling quite a bit.  If I'm going to do Art Every Day, then I'm going to need something portable.  I could dig out a UFO - heaven knows I have enough of them - but what's the fun in that? 

Every since Ursula Georges conducted a workshop on the Gunnister pouch, and I did my first 2-color knitting, I've been anxious to make another and to kick it up a notch.  In this case it means bigger and smaller - a bigger pouch and smaller stitches. 

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My inspiration are the Sion pouches - a collection of knitted relic bags from the 14th century that are a favorite of historical knitters.  The originals are in the cathedral in Sion Switzerland, and documented in Bishop Rutt's A History of Hand Knitting.  They are knitted in exquisitely small stitches - about 18 to the inch and the smallest bag is 8-1/8" high by 6-1/4" wide.  That works out to about 32,805 tiny little stitches!

Am I ready for this???

First, start a test swatch.  My smallest needles are 000.  I've decided that those are quite small enough, thank you, so unfortunately my gauge will be greater than 18 to the inch.  Second, make an appointment with the eye doctor - I can't see what I'm doing!

Finally, create a design inspired by, but not copied from, one of the relic purses:

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November - Art Every Day Month

I'm participating in Art Every Day Month.  I figured it would be a great kick start to creativity.  There's nothing like making a public commitment to get you going!

So yesterday was the first day.  After working just a little late, then coming home to fix dinner for my family and do a couple of loads of laundry, it was 8:30 and I was really tired.  What to do to fill my art quota for the day?  I have looms to warp and projects to start, but I have to admit I just didn't have the energy to start anything.

So I dusted off the spinning wheel - literally, it had been a while - and dug out my "current" project.  Can you call it "current" when you haven't touched it for months? 

I've spun up a fine singles of tussah and merino blend from Treenway and another of baby alpaca, both purchased at SOAR many years ago.  Some nice quite meditative plying just the thing! 

I had just enough time to ply up one skein before bed time. Here it is - still on the niddy noddy:

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2-ply tussah/merino/baby alpaca

2-ply tussah/merino/baby alpaca