Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Have I accidentally fractalised?

When I first bought E.Roberta I purchased a kilo of tops made up of three colours, white, grey and brown.  Having not done any spinning for about 20 years and having never used an electronic spinner and having never spun tops before I wasn't sure how to go about  spinning them.   Eventually I decided to split the roving into its approximate colour groups.  I broke off about 2 metres at a time and then split them more or less into their separate colours. 

The first 200gms was a disaster but I got better as I went along and eventually produced a reasonable, if rather thick, yarn.  I used this to knit a scarf for myself.  Here it is: (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Notice how, quite unintentionally, the colour progresses from light to dark.  If I had tried to get this effect I doubt if I could have done it so well, if at all, considering that it was randomly spun and plied.  This scarf used the whole skein; there are no joins in it.

Yesterday I de-skeined one of the earlier efforts (so quick and easy with the swift and jumbo winder) and started to knit what will eventually be a beanie and was quite bemused to see this growing before my eyes: (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Once again, there are no joins and I am knitting it just as it was plied.  This time I am getting stripes!

The scarf had opened up the possibility of manipulating colours but that was before I had ever heard of fractal spinning.  I am now anxious to finish spinning the black corriedale tops which, as I am spinning much finer now, is taking ages and I am still only about halfway through my third bobbin.  The bobbins each hold about 100gms so I have a way to go yet.  I have a couple of stashes of hand-painted rovings but suspect that I will never do as well when I actually try for an effect.

Friday, December 6, 2013

An aye for an eye.

Poppy has had a weepy eye for about a week and had been going around with it shut most of the time.   Assuming that she might have something in it I irrigated it with normal saline a couple of times.  This improved it temporarily and then it would start to weep again.  On Wednesday I made an appointment to take her to see Dr Sophie and miraculously the eye cleared up; so I cancelled the appointment. 

On Thursday is was weepy and watery again so I did the irrigation thing again and for a time it looked good.  Then yesterday it all started up again so I made another appointment with the vet and again it miraculously cleared up but I was starting to see a pattern and determined to take her anyway.

She was not happy with Dr Phil and I had to hold her very firmly while he examined her.  He said that the tissue behind the eyelid was very inflamed but there was no damage to the cornea so he has given me some ointment which is part anti-inflammatory and part antibiotic and the change has been remarkable.  The eye is now clear, she was curled up on the bed this morning when I woke up, something she has not done for about a week, and not only is she happier and very bright-eyed again but she allowed me to put the ointment in this morning so twice daily for a week will hopefully not be a struggle.  Hopefully that will be the end of it.

But they are both very anti-vet and both have bitten Dr Sophie.  It is not a problem which I have encountered with any of my other cats although visits to the vet were not enjoyable at least they didn't bite.  I am wondering if all my previous outdoor cats had more experience of different places and were therefore not freaked out by being taken out of their familiar environment.  It is a bit of a worry  ...

Today is D2's birthday.  I tried to phone her but she was not answering on either her mobile or her landline but I will be seeing her tonight anyway.  I have made the requested chocolate mousse and bought some clotted cream which only wife-in-law and I will be able to eat as the rest of the family is milk intolerant and D3 has decided to avoid gluten as well.  Thank goodness for the internet  -  there are recipes!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This is ridiculous!

It is supposed o be summer here and I have just climbed back into my thermal underwear and turned on the heating in the apartment.  There is a freezing gale-force wind blowing straight in through any window or door I open and we have a cloudless sky.  Go figure!

I have almost finished the vest I am knitting from the 'Storm' spinnings.  I have had to go on to some of the extra fibre I bought and it looks a bit different but with the general roughness of the spinning due to bad blending of the fibre in the first lot I bought, the better blending and therefore better spinning of the last 200 gms isn't really going to show all that much.  Not that it will make a difference as there is nothing I can do about it short of undoing the lot and knitting something else.  That is something I don't intend to do since I am only  about 10cm from the end.

I am already planning my next knitting project and will use some of the yarn from the first efforts on E.Roberta.  I should be able to get on with that as soon as the weather warms up and my fingers thaw out.

Poppy has a mucky eye and we are off to the vet this afternoon.  I irrigated it with normal saline last night and it does look better than it did yesterday but it is still not looking too good  -  although she is opening it normally today.

It is D2's birthday on Saturday and we are having dinner at her place but she doesn't want to cook so I have volunteered to do the dessert.  D3 has decided to go both dairy and gluten free so she is not easy to cater for but D2 has requested chocolate mousse which fits the criteria ; I will be the only one who gets to eat cream with it since all my kids and grandbabies are lactose intolerant  -  thanks to their father who is lactose intolerant  -  something he only found out a few years ago.

Luckily there seems to be a whole industry devoted to food intolerances and I have been able to source enough ingredients to organise Christmas food  -  although I will not be actually doing Christmas dinner this year.  We will probably have a barbecue on boxing day but D3 won't be able to eat the sausages  -  they contain bread.