How I spent the holidays

Posted by on Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Apart from the whole car accident and its attendant drama, this is what we’ve been up to round here.

First, Scott gave me an amazing present:

If I remember correctly, he gave it to me on the Solstice.  But I could be eliding dates, because my brain is still a bit scrambled.  That, my lovelies, is an entirely handmade, gorgeous, historically accurate lunikeit.  Which is a type of necklace that was popular with the ladies throughout most of Scandinavia and in Rus settlements beginning in the 7th or 8th century.  The moons are called luniks or lunitzas, depending on where you’re from, and are symbols of a particularly beloved Norse Lunar Goddess.  The beads are a mix of handmade granulated silver bears, handmade glass lampworked beads, and mother-of-pearl beads.  Even the clasp was handmade by my favorite new Man Who Pours Molten Metal.   So this is the mysterious hunk of lovely I mentioned back in December.  Scott and the Man Who Pours Molten Metal designed it to be just the right length and very wearable.  I’ve worn it almost every day since Scott gave it to me, and if it didn’t weigh a metric f-ton, I might even sleep in it.  I heart it. 

As I mentioned, my entire family chipped in to get me a Lendrum double treadle spinning wheel for Christmas.  I was floored.  I was also a tad worried to start spinning, because most of my wheel spinning last winter happened in the run up to and in the weeks following my friend Michelle’s death of metastatic breast cancer.  So what with my cat in makeshift hospice here and the anniversary of my Grandpap’s death approaching, I was a bit worried that I would start associating wheel-spinning with grief and death, and I didn’t want that, no matter how fitting it may be. 

Anyway, the wheel arrived at my folk’s house a couple of days after Christmas, and Scott and I rushed down to pick it up.  I spun a little the night we got it.  And a little more the next day.  And a little more the next, which is when a cop called me, and I went to the hospital.  Our friend  found the wheel abandoned mid-draft when he came to our house to get our dog Kayo and check on our cat.  Sean’s a funny guy, so when he called my cell to let me know all was well with the pets, he left a message explaining that Kayo was spinning amazingly well, all things considered.  Anyway, now that things are getting back to normal, I’m spinning more.  That’s some muddy Coopworth.  I think I’m making a sport-weight sock yarn.   I don’t know who will get the socks yet.

Here are the supposed-to-be-Scott’s-socks:

Which are my size, because, well, because I was freaking out.  This picture really makes me want sock blockers.  These poor socks look absolutely tortured, but I promise you they are sock-shaped.  They’re fresh off the line.  I love the yarn even more now that the Trekking has bloomed further.  But I do owe them a better pic: things are a bit slap-dash around Mean-Skuta Manse at the moment. 

And these are thick-as-all-git-out Peace Fleece socks, take two:

I made my first pair of socks out of this yarn, and I decided to revisit it.  These beauties are amazingly warm.  I hope they last for years, because knitting them up was murder on my hands.  Because the fabric was so stiff and thick.  They can stand up on their own, even when clean. 

Next, I started again on socks for Scott, which has been more of a challenge than I expected because he’s a slender guy with wide feet and heels that never seemed disproportionate until I tried to make him socks.  So these are loose in the ankle:

It’s ok–he’s not complaining.  I’m using Knit Picks Essential, which is a nice vanilla yarn.  Not the softest, not the prettiest, but available in his favorite color: dark.  These also want sock blockers–that heel does not have a tumor or huge bulge.  So strange. 

In addition to the knitting, there’s been a lot of quilt talk hereabouts.  I wanted to make some broken squares, both for the obvious metaphor and to see if I could overcome some of my, er, let’s call if perfectionism, and think of Gee’s Bend and necessity and frugality.  The first one is too ugly for words.  I’m seriously thinking of burning it.  The second one:

only hurts my brain a little bit.  Potholder, see.  Scrap cotton denim and scrap cotton batting inside, machine quilted because I  didn’t want to bleed all over it, since I’m not down with thimbles lately.  Who knows where it will live.  I won’t be making a quilt full of broken squares anytime soon. 

Making those squares forced me to confront the scrap pile.  Now, I know some of you sew, and I’m sure some of you have scraps.  But I’m pretty sure I’ve out-scrapped most folks who don’t work in sweatshops.  I make really a lot of clothes for my friends in my living history group.  And I’ve been sewing for the masses since I was 15, so that’s 17 years worth of scraps from really a lot of clothes.  I’ve probably made hundreds of garments.  And I’ve made a few quilts and a bunch of baby slings (for carrying babies lovingly, not flinging them at enemies, sickos) and some curtains and slip covers and such.  And I don’t throw away scraps as I work.  I save ’em all.  And my friends occasionally give me their scraps.  And I do a fair amount of patchwork, but I still can never beat down the pile, but am very interested in maintaining orderly, beautiful surroundings.  Which was becoming an issue: my last organization method was:
1. Place random scaps in bottom of basket
2. Stomp on scraps until maximum flatness is achieved
3. Repeat until basket is full and/or broken
4. Drape beautiful finished something over basket of shame
So last weekend, I got serious.  I planned to make another square or two, and instead I purged and trimmed and pressed and folded.  I’ve gotten rid of two trash bags full of stuff I didn’t love or that was too small to use, and the scraps I kept are all lovingly sorted by color and material.  Quite proud, me. 

Oh, and I’m still working away on my first cabled sweater. 

Which is already hard to photograph inside in winter, but is even harder to photograph with my particular assistant:

Scath says hi, and he wants you to know that he fricking hates cancer, but that he loves catnip and steroids and canned food and going outside.  Now pet his head.  "PET MY HEAD, WOMAN!  Stop touching that stupid sheep hair!" 
I have to get another refill on his meds next week, which has me and my vet flabbergasted.   

Filed in blather,knitting,sewing,spinning | 6 responses so far

6 Responses to “How I spent the holidays”

  1. Nannyfodderon 19 Jan 2006 at 12:19 pm 1

    I have missed your blog posts. I am glad that things are getting back to normal. I love love love the things that you got for solstice and that you are back to knitting, and working and to your usual mg craziness. I petted scath’s head on my computer screen. I hope he liked it. I have a toy for him on Sunday. Nanny hugs to you all.

  2. Nannyfodderon 19 Jan 2006 at 12:21 pm 2

    Oh – I really really like the not perfect potholder. I think it’s cool! Random is not a bad thing, even in quilting. Call it Picasso quilting.

  3. KnittnLissaon 19 Jan 2006 at 1:09 pm 3

    That vet should learn never to underestimate the power of loooove. Glad he’s still with you. Can’t wait to meet your wheel. Love you bunches.

  4. Lee Annon 20 Jan 2006 at 12:28 am 4

    Scath, your knitting, and your lunikeit are all gorgeous. Especially Scath. 🙂

  5. lellaon 20 Jan 2006 at 4:59 am 5

    Welcome back Lanea. I am all smiles. It’s so good to hear you telling little jokes and arranging stories and words in those unique and delightful ways that are yours alone.

    Thanks for posting pics of the trekkerXXL socks and the darling Scath whom I am always wondering about. Glad that he’s still with you and holding his own as best as is possible.

  6. Teyanion 22 Jan 2006 at 12:16 am 6

    Scath!!! You’ve been missed -and glad you’re back Lanea!!! 🙂 Woot-woot ! Don’t listen to any of the doctors about dear Scath, my kitty lived a full year and a half after her ‘sentence’ – He may well surprise you!

    The socks are great – and yes, a sock blocker helps with presentation, but guess what… they look all rumpled again as soon as one washes them! Ha ha.. just found this out myself… hmm… yours sure are pretty tho’!

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