Monday, April 28, 2014

That which was lost and is found

I have been nursing a cold for the last few days and have been sitting around not doing a great deal except some desultory spinning of plait 3 of my Rosewood tops.

But I was presented with an interesting puzzle:  Who was the second daughter of the black sheep of the family, my wicked great great Uncle Charles.  It transpired that she was a step daughter, a child of Uncle Charles' wife.  All I had was a surname but google came up with enough information to give me her husbands given name.  Google also gave me the information that the couple had paid a visit or two to England so I suspected that the husband might have been English and searched for a marriage there when I could find nothing in any of the Australian States.

A funeral notice with a presumed date of birth allowed me to use Digger to put in her given names and those of her mother.  The first year, 1880, gave me nothing but 1881 gave me the birth registration with only the father's family name and the mother's first name and the initial of her second name.  She was born about five years before Charles and his wife married.

I haven't had so much fun since a distant cousin and I searched out the much-married Davies family.  Finding a particular Davies in Wales took a lot of searching and emails back and forth.  I still haven't met him in person  -  he lives in Victoria and I am here in Western Australia.

Now I can get back to my knitting  -  still the beastly black corriedale  - and spinning.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Computer Chaos reigns supreme

Oh Dear!  The computers at COTA now give three options, XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 as of yesterday; and no-one is quite sure how to work them and they keep on screaming for the Administrator (who will be away next week  -  what fun).

I guess that we will muddle through somehow but both the clients I had today use Windows 7 so I haven't had a chance to inspect the COTA version of Windows 8 yet but I am pretty sure that we will not have touch screens.

And just as a side note  -  optical mice work better and the batteries work for longer if they are switched off after use.  There is a little switch underneath.  :) 

I have skeined the first two plaits of Rosewood and am very happy with the result.  I didn't manage to match up the colours despite trying very hard to match the two bobbins but the barbers' poling is very attractive as the pink and brown look nice together.  When the skeins are dry I will post a photo here.  I have another twelve plaits to spin but intend to digress and finish spinning the pigtails.  I have had two half filled bobbins waiting for more to arrive from USA and the completion of the first Rosewood skein.  Pigtails are fun but goodness knows what I'll do with the spun yarn; maybe the pull-through scarf?  Watch this space ...

Here is the picture, as promised.  Click on it to enlarge it: 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Biting the bullet

I have finally bitten the bullet and ordered a set of postal scales.  It is something which I have been meaning to do for ages.  When I left my ex’s office I took with me the postal scales from there, assuming that he would never use them, but he noticed that they were gone and asked for them back.

I need to be able to weigh fibre to a fraction of an ounce and my kitchen scales are inadequate to do that.  I could have got a set from the local OfficeWorks but could only buy them from their online store -  not from the store itself  -  and couriers can never find my apartment, so going online, overseas and having them posted was oddly  enough a safer option.

I have finished spinning the first two plaits of Rosewood and will ply the two filled bobbins this evening.  It was this which prompted me to order the scales; I spun half of each plait onto each bobbin to try to keep the colours from mixing up too much but was unsure with the second plait which half should go on which bobbin because one looked to have more on it than the other and I couldn’t tell with the second stripped plait which half was the biggest so I sort of had to second-guess and there looks to still be more on one bobbin than the other.

An old school friend phoned me this morning to say that she was off to Iran and places north and she knew that I like wearing Muslim clothes and wondered if I had any which she could borrow.  As I now dress รก la Claremont Quarter most of my Islamic clothing was waiting to be posted into a charity bin so she has taken most of it and any which she doesn’t use she will dispose of, which is a win for both of us.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bowing out ...

Last night, during my yoga practice I finally managed to do the Camel pose so my big toe joint is stretching out.  Along with the Bow position my hip flexors are well and truly stretched out and recovered from the spider bites.  My hips are not too keen on the cross-legged triangular stretch (double pigeon) but we are getting back there slowly.

Himself and I each had only one client today.  Mine wanted to log in to Weight Watchers to claim a discount but had been unable to manage it so we did that, closed multiple pages of Skype and ascertained that Westnet had not properly sorted her email out.  I found when we closed Windows Live Messenger that we had somehow logged into Google Chrome so that may have been the problem with her email.  I think that her husband has been playing around with her computer. Himself  and his client are struggling with Windows 8 which is not properly set up and since he knows nothing about Windows 8 he is struggling a bit.

I have started spinning my Rosewood and will post a picture when I take a better one than I did yesterday.  The colours are beautiful  -  pink, mushroom and brown.  I should get seven 220gm skeins -  enough to knit almost anything.  The first three braids of Twilight arrived yesterday along with a box of eight pigtails so that I can finish off spinning those, and Greenwoodfiberworks says that she has a few plaits of Cupcake left if I would like a couple and that it will become a standard colourway soon.

This is the Rosewood.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

In a spin - Mk2

Yesterday Herself and I did out second school spinning demonstration.  This time I knew that we had limited time so I left Roberta at home and only took Emma.  As everything was working well and she was doing her 30+ revs I didn’t feed her with oil and she went back to her habit of trying to spin the wrong way.  But we managed.

I took along the rolags which we didn’t use last time and let the kids have them and I took along a handful of natural uncombed fleece which they spread around and the lady in charge of the school library took the ball of plied wool to cut up and distribute.

The thing which made my day was one of the mothers coming up to us afterwards to tell us that her little boy had said that it had been the best day of his life seeing how wool was turned into plied yarn.  Maybe he will become a spinner when he is older.

I have been waiting on some more pigtails to finish filling the bobbins which I started with the first eight … and waiting … and waiting… and waiting; and finally the tracking is working and my parcel was received by the overseas carrier on 29th March and finally, yesterday (7th April) it was dispatched so I should get it in a week or so, along with some ‘Twilight’ colourway with more to come, giving me enough for a vest.

I am also waiting on four more bobbins from Victoria which were posted off on 31st March and which haven’t arrived.  I am not sure what the postal service is doing  -  perhaps rapidly trying to print off some 70c stamps which have been introduced with no forward notice.

The babies are well and Parsifal is turning into a lapcat.  I have worked out how to set him smurgling when he starts to act needy and he has developed a passion for emu sticks which the pet food shop tells me are dog food.  But he loves them and sits by the cupboard where they are kept every morning to get his fix which is a quarter of an emu stick.

The chronometer kitten still wakes me up at 7.15 on the dot and this morning I obviously didn’t respond properly (stroke her and give her a cuddle) so she shouted at me to wake up. She has always been a lapcat and we now have a bit of a conflict when she wants to come up onto my lap and Parsifal got there first.