Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Spinning Allison February 10, 2012

A few weeks ago I went to the care facility in Allison, Iowa to do a spinning demonstration.  My mom usually goes to this particular care center and gives little talks about the places she has gone to and brings pictures and stuff like that, so I had been here before and kind-of knew the drill already.  Usually it’s between 10 and 15 people who show up and it usually lasts around 30 minutes or so.  So when asked if I would do a demo with my wheel, I figured it would be about that many people and last about that long.

You know what they say about assuming things don’t you??

I had closer to 30 people show up for my demonstration.  I wished desperately that I had done a little more prep for it so I would have known how long spinning wheels had been around and how fast the fastest hand spinner is.  But all in all, I think it went quite well.  As is normal, the guys that attended (and I had more than one!) were most interested in the mechanics of the wheel and the physics behind how wool is turned into yarn.  They asked a lot of really quite good questions about why my wheel doesn’t look like the wheels that they have seen in the past and about where it came from and who made it and how old it was.  The ladies of the group were generally more interested in the fibers that I could spin as I had taken a bunch of samples of different spinning fibers to pass around. The most fascinating one for the group at large was the puff of recycled pop bottles that I passed around.  One of the ladies had brought some lovely colorwork sweaters that an aunt of hers from Norway had knit which were absolutely beautiful and over 50 years old at this point!  Anyway, by the end of it, I had spoken for nearly an hour and I stayed after a little bit to answer some more detailed questions, so I was there for at least an hour and a half by the end of it just talking about spinning and sheep.

One of the people who works at the center was kind enough to take some pictures of me.  Remember, I’m giving a talk and spinning at the same time (I don’t usually talk and spin that much as I’m normally alone when I’m doing it) so there was definitely no posing for these pictures!

I spun a single first to give them an idea of what that looked like at the beginning of the talk.  Towards the end I plied the single that I had spun with  one I had spun previously so that they could get an idea of what plying looks like as well.  When I was done, I left the sample of yarn there so that the residents could have a chance to look at it more closely when they had time.

This was the first spinning demonstration that I had given to a non-spinning audience and I think it went pretty well.  I had a lot of fun and I kind of impressed myself a few times with just how much I knew about my wheel and it’s construction.  I hope to do more of these in the future to wider audiences around this area.  There are a great many historical sites and societies around so perhaps I need to learn how to spin in a corset?  That could be interesting… Ye Olde Spinning Sarah!

 

Unit November 1, 2011

Last Thursday my container arrived in Central Iowa.  I had found out the day before that it had been sitting in Cedar Rapids for several days as no one seemed to have contact information for me.  Also, it had been inspected by customs and I had a nearly $500 charge that I needed to pay before I could get at my stuff.

I didn’t take a picture of the container though I wish that I had.  It said in very big letters something like Mexicanana International on it.  I have to admit, had I been a customs person just seeing it I would have wanted to inspect it myself.  Anyway, the truck came with 4 guys to unload it into the storage unit.  Now, I have half a storage unit, the other half looks like it has grandma and grandpa’s detritus that none of the kids or grandkids wanted and is waiting to be sold off at auction or garage sale.  It’s very tidily arranged on tables or planks put across saw horses and labeled with things like, “Grandma’s telephone and sewing supplies”, or “Grandpa’s BBQ equipment”.  The tables and saw horses are precisely lined-up along the line in the concrete floor which denotes the middle of the storage space.

This is what it looked like at about 9am on Thursday morning as you entered the door.

And this is from the back of the space.

To give you perspective it’s about 30′ long by about 10′ wide and around 8′ tall where the roof meets the walls.  This was what it looked like after the guys left on Thursday from the door.

And from the back (as far back as I could get!).

And from a slightly different perspective…

I’m thankful for the movers on this end for taking the bubble wrap off of all the large plastic crates for me.  However, I had to open dozens of large boxes to get all the Deli-Cat and cat litter buckets out.  They packed them anywhere from 2 to 4 to a box as well as all the bags of wool and yarn.  Their labeling of the boxes was more than a little esoteric and creative.  More than one box labeled with “clothing” was found to contain yarn or even books.  Some of the boxes were labeled only with what was on the very top of the box, even if it comprised only a very small percentage of what the box contained. This has made finding the half a dozen things that I really wanted to get out sort of like a very bizarre Christmas where I’m battling open boxes taped very securely (I will say this for them, they didn’t skimp on tape or bubble wrap!) to find my own belongings in extremely odd groupings.  My bathroom stuff sharing a box with a tambourine and other musical instruments or a whole passel of shoes from the bedroom with kitchen equipment (that last one was labeled “dishes”).

While naked, I look as though I was trying to be a leopard for Halloween as I have that many bruises randomly marring my legs and arms.  My hands are completely unladylike as nearly every knuckle has been scraped raw.  Speaking of unladylike, the popping of my knees and creaking of my ankles as I stand or sit would make a proper lady check that the floorboards weren’t about to break.  Moving heavy boxes and furniture from 8′ in the air has really left its mark on me these past days.

While we were unloading, the guys were on the lookout for any boxes labeled “conservatory” or “pots” as all the pots were not put into the storage space as well as my shed parts and spinning wheel.  Oh and the sofa, can’t forget that!  I had driven Dad’s cargo van over and it was full when I left with a few things blocking the walking space in the storage unit for me to pick-up the next day.

The shed was a bit of an adventure as I had all the parts for it except the special plastic bolts that hold the whole thing together.  They were all carefully labeled and put into a 2.5 gallon zipper bag which ended-up getting put into a plastic crate that I thought had yarn in it.  I only found them today and had been going over plans to somehow lash the shed together without them at this point.  However, I was looking for yarn (stop laughing! It was specific yarn for a Christmas project!) and I opened this not-yarn container and voila! there they were.  I also found the yarn (I think it’s the same color as Lighting McQueen.  I’m not all that up on Disney characters.  It’s red at least!) so today was a total win in the “adventures-in-finding-stuff-in-a-solidly-packed-30′-storage-unit”.

I also built a shed today.

Rawr!

 

 

Wassup!?! January 3, 2010

One of the managers where I am currently working will quite often greet us worker bees with this odd-for-an-Englishman greeting.  Every time he says it it makes me laugh as it sounds so….. odd, coming from his mouth.  Just think about it for a little bit….

Not a lot has been going on in my life of recent to tell you the truth.  I can’t say that I’m really knitting anything right now other than a sock I have been half-heartedly working on for several weeks (and haven’t gotten past the ribbing). Most of the reason is heartbreak.  One day, after having had Malcolm for only a very little while, I ran over to the neighbor’s house for something.  I wasn’t gone for very long but when I came back, the little project bag that I had been keeping the lace stole in was on the floor, yarn like cobwebbing everywhere and both needles on the circulars were broken.  Mal, who lived up to his name in Latin, had removed the project bag from another bag, opened the closed drawstring top, and proceeded to try to eat my lace stole.  Long story short, I think that it is salvageable, but I’m just yet up to opening that bag and working on it yet (and I need to get a new pair of needles!).

This is the last picture taken with the stole before the unfortunate event. It was taken a couple of months ago when the hubby and I went into London to meet-up with some friends. At least the stole has been very well traveled!

I finished a scrapghan right before Christmas for the neighbors and I have another crocheted blanket in the works, but nothing that I can write about as it is for a gift.

However, I may not be knitting right now (and my poor spinning wheel is gathering some serious dust too!) but I certainly will be this summer!  I am now officially registered for classes at both Knit Nation and UK Knit Camp!!!  Here’s a rundown of what all I’m going to be learning about:

Knit Nation

SPINNING FOR LACE with Janel Laidman, ESTONIAN LACE SAMPLER with Nancy Bush (!!!) and

THE WONDERS OF WOOL: UK with Clara Parkes (double !!!).  I got into all of the classes that I wanted and I’m really looking forward to taking my Ashford Traveler on the train and tube that first morning and watching the looks on peoples faces!
Yesterday I did the sign-ups for Knit Camp and, once again, I got into everything that I wanted.
Knit Camp
The Baby Surprise Jacket with Jared Flood, Rare Breed Wools for Spinners with Deb Robson, Intro to the magic loop with Angela Davis, The Aestlight Shawl and Traditional Shetland shawl construction with Gudrun Johnston and I am also signed up for the tour of the New Lanark Mill on Wednesday afternoon.  I decided on the self-catering option for the accommodations as I am usually a pretty light eater for breakfast and lunch and since it is a University town, I figure that there are probably a fair number of cheap eats in the area.  If there isn’t, please don’t correct me, ok?:-)  Part of the reason that I am so looking forward to all of these events is that I have friends coming to my little(ish) part of the world for both of them.  Tini is coming all the way from Germany for Knit Nation and will be staying with us while she is here (since we are well within commuting distance!) and Malin is traveling from Finland for Knit Camp!   If nothing else, I am looking forward to seeing both of them again!!!
In other news… The department store that I have been working for has asked to extend my contract to work for them until the end of January.  I have decided to take it as it will not interfere with my planned trip to CHICAGO on my birthday.  Yes, the hubby gave me a trip to Chicago for Christmas so that I could go for my traditional time with my friends there (he’s so awesome!).  I’m really looking forward to the trip if for not other reason than to buy a few packages of Stovetop Stuffing which I love dearly but isn’t available here except at the costly American Food Store.  So yes, the travel for this woman (and her knitting projects) is not yet over!
 

It’s going to be another busy summer (I think). December 3, 2009

So, the UK has gone from having zero (or seriously close to zero) major knitting get-aways to having two in one year.  Not even in a year, in a summer!  First up is Knit Nation which is being held the 29th, 30th and 31st of July this year in London.  It’s three days of shopping and classes with the likes of: Cookie A, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, Clara ParkesNancy Bush and many more.  The Ravelry team is going to be giving a talk as well in addition to an awesome market place being in the works.  It’s being held at the Imperial College in South Kensington which is right by the Victoria and Albert museum as well as a bunch of other stuff.  I have signed up to take a Spinning for Lace class with Janel Laidman on Thursday, the Estonian Lace Sampler class with Nancy Bush (OMG!!) on Friday and a half-day class with Clara Parkes on Saturday called the Wonders of Wool (UK).  Since it is “just” in the city, I plan on taking the train with my friend Tini who will be staying with us for that weekend as well.  It should be interesting taking my Ashford Traveler on the commuter train into the city that first day:-)

I’m glad that Knit Nation is so close that I don’t have to worry about accommodation as it leaves me more money to spend a few weeks later at the UK Knit Camp 2010 which is being held in beautiful Stirling, Scotland.  This knitty adventure is going to be a bit longer than Knit Nation as it is going on the 6th through the 13th of August.  It’s being held on the campus of the University of Stirling and the accommodation is really reasonable.  To stay in one of the dormitories for 6 nights, it is 150  pounds.  That’s a really good deal for a room anywhere in this country, especially in the summer!  The classes that they are offering are pretty amazing, with instructors like Jared Flood, Annie Modesitt, Lucy Neatby, Norah Gaughan, Franklin Habit, and Ysolda Teague all teaching there.  There are also going to be excursions to local mills and whiskey distilleries as well as much fun and craziness had by all I am sure.  Just imagine, dormitories all filled with fiber freaks!  I have a feeling it’s going to turn into a huge, more-or-less, slumber party at some point!  Sign-up for classes for this yarn porn week open in January, though you can book your space to sleep now.  My friend Malin is planning on coming over for this one and I plan on driving up there so there is sure to be lots and lots of adventures!

So, it seems that the UK has sort of gone from zero to sixty in the span of a year in terms of knitting camps.  Hopefully this will become a regular thing that all of the British knitters can enjoy!

 

Insanity Wrap-up October 27, 2009

I’m sure that some of you have noticed that I haven’t been on here in a while.  That is because, my dear readers, I have been asleep or catching up on things that needed catching up on here in The Old Chapel.  Mostly sleeping though to tell you the truth.  I turned into sleeping beauty without the spinning wheel (or being a teenager for that matter!!!).  The hubby had to leave for France the morning after I got home which was probably good for him in all reality as I was a very boring person to be around for the first few days back, I don’t even snore (I just always look a bit angry when I sleep for some reason [I think it’s really a look of concentration, I take sleeping very seriously!]).

Anyway, I realize that I haven’t posted about the tail-end of my trip so here it goes:

While in Florida still, I had sort-of a crazy last day getting to see everyone that I hadn’t seen up to that point.  I was booked for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Wednesday.  It was sort of insane but very fun to get to see everyone.

On Thursday I flew out from Orlando to White Plains on AirTran.  Everything went well though I lost my sunglasses somewhere in transit (it was ok, the weather in New York was less than sunglass weather!).  I met my roommate Malin at the White Plains train station after a few navigational delays and we headed North towards Rhinebeck.  Once again I am super happy that I used Ravelry as a way to share room/rides as Malin and I hit it off amazingly well.  Well, I guess that isn’t too big of a surprise since we both traveled thousands of miles to go to a sheep and wool festival (crazy likes crazy).  The drive-up to the Hudson Valley was not as pretty as in years past as we had first rain, then sleet, then (I kid you not) snow.  As I have not driven in falling snow with insane New York drivers passing me like I’m road kill in a while (read: ever) it was a sort of disturbing drive for parts of it.  Also, because of the weather, the beautiful fall colors the area is known for were obscured.  However, we made it to our hotel without incident and went shopping.  Yes, you read that right, we went shopping.  Malin had never been to a T.J. Maxx or Marshalls or any store like that before so we went to the Marshalls nearby and she liked it (a lot).  I got a few things for home as well.  We also went to Target where I checked-off a bunch of things on my very odd list of things to get in the US including 2 extra value sized bottles of Pepto (it’s really expensive here).

On Friday Malin and I both had workshops that went all day.  It was nice to be there before the whole festival opened up as it gave both of us a chance to see just how really big the place is.  We checked-in and went off to our individual workshops.  This year they had fun goodie bags for all of the workshop participants with a pen and a button that featured Leicester Longwools, this year’s breed of sheep on it along with some candy bars and coupons for various booths.  My classes were both with Annie Modesitt who is an awesome instructor.  She’s a really fun teacher that I highly suggest that taking her classes is a must to anyone even if you think you already know everything!!!  Annie battled the noise in the building all day long and mostly kept her temper about it (I would have been about 10 bajillion times more bitchy.  I would have turned into a fire breathing knitting Godzilla of doom!!)  Malin’s class was a little less, uh, good.  The instructor for the class was ill  (a very common thing I found as I traveled, the flu was early this year) so a replacement was found a half an hour prior to the class starting.  Now, trying to set up a class on designing lace patterns on the fly cannot be easy.  I’m hoping that the committee will refund the folks in that class their money like they discussed.  Though, from what I gathered, the lady that stepped-in to teach it did as good of a job as possible on such short notice.  Anyway, at the end of the day I bought two of Annie’s books and had them signed by her.  If you haven’t already checked them out, I would totally suggest it.  They are: Knit with Courage, Live with Hope and Confessions of a Knitting Heretic.  They can both be purchased in the normal channels or via Annie’s Website.  The first class of the day I also got a copy of one of her awesome flip books detailing how to do “Grandma” knit and purl increases.

Friday night we went out to eat with a bunch of the other Rodeway Inn Raveler’s at the restaurant that is right by the hotel.  It was surprisingly nice with several birthday parties and, I think, a wedding reception going on.  The group was super fun and the food was excellent.  I got a calamari pizza that was surprisingly tasty, even cold the next day!  We left the restaurant full and pleased and really ready for bed!

 

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Most of the "Rodeway Gang" on Friday night.

 

Saturday was the opening day of Rhinebeck.  Malin and I got up early and got a great parking spot close to the 4-H gate.  I can definitely say that this year wasn’t as busy as last year was.  There was only really a couple of hours that you had to fight the crowds off whereas last year it was the majority of the day.  I think that the fact that it was not the nicest weather this year had something to do with it all.  It was overcast and cold and constantly feeling as though it was going to to break into a storm at any minute for most of the day.  However, it was still the glorious insanity that is Rhinebeck and lots of goodies were bought and even more were fondled and oohed and ahhed over.   A few really fun things that we both did were knitting on the big sock (they are trying for a Guinness World Record [it’s a FREAKING big sock]) and getting to meet and have her new book “The Knitter’s Book of Wool” signed by Clara Parkes.

 

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Still some lovely fall colors despite the rain

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Goats are always fun!

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One of the parking lots

 

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The Saturday Ravelry Meet-up

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Yes, there were even kangaroos there!!!

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Aflac!!! Aflac!! A couple of the actual Aflac ducks.

By the end of the day, we were both pretty zonked so we stopped at the grocery store that is near the fairgrounds for some provisions and headed-out towards the Ravelry party in nearby Red Hook.  We got mildly lost (didn’t bring the parking instructions) but it was ok as we were really early still.  The parking lot at the nearby school was pretty empty when we got there and we were on the first bus.  The party was great!  With-out the parking hassles, everything went so much smoother this year compared to last.  The food was yummy the goodie bags were, well, goodie and the company was fantastic.  Malin and I were on the first bus in and the last bus out!!!  Woot woot!! Party girls!!!!  Major props to the Ravelry crew for putting together such an awesome event once again!

 

On Sunday we didn’t get up nearly as early nor were we out the door as fast.  Since we were checking out of the hotel, we needed to make sure that we packed everything and had it all loaded in the car for that afternoon.   Even with the later start, we got an even better parking spot on day two!  It was significantly colder than it had been on Saturday.  We kept hearing rumors about bad weather in the city which made us both nervous about getting home in a timely manner.  Plus, we were both pretty exhausted.  We went around to a few of the places that we weren’t able to get to easily on Saturday.  It was so quiet that The Fold (home of Socks that Rock) didn’t have a line.  At all.  It was amazingly quiet.  We got a few more things and watched some of the Sheep to Shawl competition and did some of the food tastings and left around 1pm.
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Some of the ladies in the Sheep to Shawl competition

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Blue Ribboned entries.

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There was a guy there doing these awesome pumpkin carvings!

 

The drive back down to White Plains was pretty uneventful.  It was rainy and blowy but otherwise, no big surprises.  I dropped Malin off at the train station and made my way back to the White Plains airport where I dropped my car off and struggled to get all three of my very large bags into the airport.  I had just gotten into the door after a massive struggle when a very kind lady asked if I needed any help.  She didn’t work there, she must have just seen the look of near desperation on my face.  This kind stranger got me to the United check-in area where something even stranger faced me.  A really nice United gate worker.  He took one look at my face and had me just chill and breathe for a few minutes.  (I must’ve really looked like hell is all that  I can think!)  He then checked me in for my flights and even helped me carry my bags over to security!!!  Going through security was a breeze and I was left to chill in the airport as I was a couple of hours early.
However, as the time approached for my flight to start boarding, there was no notice anywhere.  I went over to the United counter and there was a sign saying that my flight to DC was delayed an hour.  This is seriously not good as I only had about a 50 minute transfer.  Speaking with the girl behind the counter, it pretty quickly became apparent that I was going to be spending the night somewhere that was not in the air London bound.  So, when the puddle jumper finally arrived, I got on it with a sense of resignation knowing that I either A.) would have to run like a bat out of hell for my gate or B.) would have a night in DC.  It was the latter as I missed my flight by about 10 minutes.  So, I walked over to the customer service area and amazingly my luck held as I got another very nice (though harassed) United employee who set me up for the night in a really nice resort hotel on the Potomac.  Luckily, the pub in the hotel was open until midnight so I was able to get some excellent food before going to bed.
My flight left the next morning at 9:30am and since my luggage was still in the bowels of Dulles airport, checking in was a cinch.  Everything left on time and we arrived at Heathrow a little bit early.  Really, the whole thing wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the hubby hadn’t taken the day off to hang-out with me.  I was more upset by that than anything else.  As it ended-up, I got in at around 9pm and it takes a good hour plus to get home from that airport.  The hubby had to leave for a business trip to Paris the next morning at 5am so we didn’t get a whole lot of time to spend together.

 

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My nice room courtesy of United Airlines

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See, really can't complain.

I then proceeded to sleep for the better part of the week while he was gone with at least 3 animals touching me at all times.

 

 

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Milo giving me some love while I sleep

It’s good to be home.

 

 

WIP’s and FO’s July 27, 2009

So, I haven’t shown y’all a lot of what I’ve been doing of late and I think that it’s about time that I rectified that.  

First off, I finished the cabled embrace scarf.  It turned out nicely but I was just sooooo glad for it to be done already!  It wasn’t difficult once you got the knack of the cables.  I finished it one of the nights that Jiji was so sick and I was staying up with her.

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I’m working on another scrapghan while sitting watching Buffy and Angel on DVD.  Yes, it’s another biggin!

Hanging from the 2nd story walkway

Hanging from the 2nd story walkway

The grey sock gets worked on sporadically.  It just feels like a good travel project of late (since everything else has gotten so big by comparison) and I haven’t been doing a whole lot of traveling.

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The Feza scarf is still getting worked on but I feel as though it is at the point that the Cabled Embrace scarf was for some time.  Basically, it seems as though the yarn ball isn’t getting any smaller no matter how much I work on it.  It’s a pity that the black hole of yarn that this “extra” yarn is coming from isn’t in existence all the time!  One ball of yarn for any project.  then of course, yarn store owners would just charge a lot more for that one ball I suppose….

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I quickly crocheted a strap in recycled sari silk to replace the the strap that came with our Nikon camera.  Neither of us were comfortable with the length of it nor really the material.  It’s turned out fine until I went to wash and block it a little bit.  The water turned a bad shade of purple and smelled bad.  So I washed it more properly with Soak and it still smelled bad and there was even more purple in the water.  Now this yarn sort of smelled vaguely like straw when I got it.  That’s ok.  I like the smell of straw.  The smell after it got wet was nasty chemical yuck.  Between the idea of having a purple neck after sweating while having the camera on me and the thought that whatever made that nasty smell isn’t coming out of the yarn I am having to put this project on the backburner.  I’m thinking about trying it again only in some Noro Silk Garden, I’ll let you know how this turns out..

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Last but not least is the Cesar and Pam blanket.  This one is still in sewing-up stage as I can only sew for about a half hour or so before I get a splitting headache.  Time for bi-focals maybe? Anyway, it’s because of this that this blanket is moving so damn slowly.  I’m not sure why I don’t get these headaches when I’m doing the other stuff but I suspect that it is because I don’t have to stare at them quite so much as I do when I am sewing.  As lovely as this blanket is going to be I am going to be SO GLAD when it is done (which needs to be before I go back to Florida).

I used an old photo here as Meara is SO DAMN CUTE!

I used an old photo here as Meara is SO DAMN CUTE!

I have still been spinning the Romney/Rambouillet fleece.  I am getting finer and finer to the point that some of the two-ply is pretty close to laceweight! 

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That’s about it for now. 

(BTW  Listen to episode #84 of Cast On with Brenda Dayne as both the hubby and I are both mentioned on it.  How cool is that?!?!)

 

4th Plinth Knit & Spin July 16, 2009

Monday I went into the city and sat in Trafalgar Square knitting with probably about 20 other people.  

For those of you who do not listen to Brenda Dayne of Cast On or do not live in the UK currently I am going to give you a quick tutorial as to why I did this.  There is an art exhibit currently on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square.  Now, the fourth plinth is empty so that the art on it can change.  During different times of the year there will be statues or other interesting things hanging out on it for a few months before something replaces it.  There are 3 other plinths in the square and each of them have permanent statues on them of the standard statue type.

Currently, on the 4th plinth there is a rather extraordinary art project called One & Other (do click on this link, there is live feed 24 hours a day as to what the folks are doing up there!) going on.  What it does is gives normal everyday Brits the chance for an hour on the plinth to do whatever they damn well want so long as it is within the law.  In addition to spinning and knitting last night, I saw a person dressed in a gorilla suit, a guy grilling food and throwing it down to the people below and a woman trying to raise awareness about the discrepancy between funding for mens’ sports versus womens’.  People are chosen for this honor by the use of a lottery that is supposed to chose by random selection according to your postcode.  What this means is that in theory an equal number of people will be chosen from Guernsey as from London.

Marian Cinnamond taking to the Plinth

Marian Cinnamond taking to the Plinth

There are cameras all around it as well as a net

There are cameras all around it as well as a net

Last night there was a knitter at 6pm up on the plinth and a spinner at 10pm.   The folks at IKnit sent out an e-mail about it as well as Brenda Dayne podcasting about it.  So, with that much armtwisting encouragement there was no way I couldn’t go!  I got there right at 6 and there were a few groups of knitter sitting about but of course no one that I knew.  So, there was an open spot on one of the benches and I asked if it was free and sat down.

Can you tell that I am trying really hard to concentrate on my knitting and not freak out because BRENDA DAYNE is sitting 2 feet away from me?  (In the white top)

Can you tell that I am trying really hard to concentrate on my knitting and not freak out because BRENDA DAYNE is sitting 2 feet away from me? (In the white top)

The knitters that I met were mostly from London, but some were from all over Britain.  Brenda Dayne was there and was in fact one of the knitters on the bench that I sat down on.  Everybody was very fun to talk to and there was even some folks filming for a documentary about rare breeds of sheep and how their wool is used.  For a little while we all went to a nearby pub for a drink (and to get out of the ever increasing chill) and commandeered a corner of it for knitting and crochet.  We then went back at 10 to cheer on Alix as she spun up on the plinth for all to see.

It was a very cool night and it was really an honor to meet Brenda Dayne in the flesh.  

Of course, as usual, I forgot to bring the camera so all photos were taken with the camera phone….

Now, I promised pictures of the yarn that I have spun recently and here they are.

First is the on purpose crazy random chunky yarn that I spun out of some merino tops that I got last year at the Handweavers Studio.  I mixed them together on the drum carder and just had some fun with them.

 

I think I shall name it "Peacock"

I think I shall name it "Peacock"

 

Next is the yarn that I spun from a batt that I got while in Coventry for the UK Ravelry day at the Fyberspates booth.  It turned out a lot more mellow than I expected but quite pretty.

 

You can't really see the sparkles in it at all in the photo

You can't really see the sparkles in it at all in the photo

I’ve also been spinning up one of the fleece from Rhinebeck like crazy as well.  I’m not really pleased with how it is plying in a two ply so I may try a three ply or even Navajo ply it.

DSC_2152

DSC_2151

My WIP’s are coming along.  The sock gets worked on whenever I can’t bear to work on the scarf anymore (it is starting to get to that part where it has gone on forever and it seems that there is still most of a ball of yarn left).  The blanket for Cesar and Pam gets sewn on whenever I can but it gives me a headache if I do it for too long so it is moving slowly as well.