My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, so far it's been a wonderful Mother's Day around here because I chose to make it a wonderful Mother's Day. A very wise mother of 6 at my church made a comment last week that has really stuck with me. She said that it is OUR responsibility as mothers to make our Mother's Day great, not our kids, or our husbands. It is our responsibility to make sure we are not disappointed, overwhelmed, or pitch fits. I must admit that in previous years I expected a big spectacle for Mother's Day. I never got it. DH, although a VERY wonderful man, is not the kind to go all out. He lets me sleep in, and gives me a card with the kids names on it, but not the star treatment that I somehow expected. Why is it that as moms we expect the world to be perfect on Mother's Day? It's not like anything is any different than any other day really. Diapers still need to be changed. The kids still scream at each other and whine to you. Dishes need to be done, dinner needs to be cooked, etc. Life goes on even though the calendar says that it's Mother's Day.

So, I took this wonderful woman's advice and adjusted my attitude. I decided that I was going to make my Mother's Day wonderful. I took the kids to the park yesterday after a long morning of them screaming at each other. I came home and DH had printed out a card on the computer for me to go next to the pretty carnations that my visiting teachers brought me. He gave me a cool new attachment to my stand mixer (the slicer/shredder) which I promptly used to shred up potatoes and onions for dinner. Once the baby was fed and Shaya was in bed for her nap, I took the car and had some special ME time. It's amazing how little alone time I really get as a stay at home mom. Most of the time I have someone around, or can hear them screaming in the other room, or knocking on the door that I'm hiding (yes, I sometimes hide in my bedroom or in the bathroom when DH is home to watch them). I took a trip to the LYS in Boulder. This was really the first time I've had time to really explore the store without kids in tow. I took time to pet every yarn in the place.

I REALLY wanted to buy some "Oh My" yarn. I can't seem to find a link for it on the internet, but I have to say it was the most perfectly named yarn ever. As I was wandering around feeling fiber, I touched a ball of this stuff and said "Oh My!" Then picked it up to snuggle it and saw the label. I had to laugh. What a perfect name! It looked similar to this but came in smaller balls and was the most heavenly soft yarn I have ever held. It was $5 a ball and would have cost $20 to make a small car seat sized blanket with it so I resisted, though it was WONDERFUL! I also decided I adore alpaca. Every skein I held that contained Alpaca was luscious. I felt some recycled sari silk and it is very soft and... well... Silky. Not at all what I expected. Another yarn that was not at all what I expected was Euroflax linen yarn. I have no idea how anyone knits with this. It felt like someone had spun up some cardboard. It was stiff and rough. I know what linen feels like, and this didn't feel anything like it. I bet it softens when you wash it, but how do you stand the knitting first?!

I did not go to the LYS to buy yarn, however, I went because I had run out of roving and needed some more to practice with. I asked the nice ladies for some help picking out some roving and the spinning instructor walked back with me. She suggested a rougher wool that had been carded but not combed. IT is fluffier, and easier to draft she said. It came in an assortment of bright colors, which I assume is for people who felt (not knitted fulling, but REAL felting with straight up fiber). I picked a lavender one and that wonderful spinning lady asked me if I would mind showing her how spun. WOULD I?! YES! Give me tips! I need help! She pulled out one of the display wheels and we sat down right there next to the cash register with the "fancy" and expensive thick and thin yarn staring at us. I was very encouraged :D She told me it is important to predraft your fiber. This means that you kind of pull it a little apart stretching it out and loosening up the fibers so they don't wad up. She pulled off a a hunk of roving, got it going, and showed me the motions, then handed it over to me. It's a little intimidating to sit there and spin in front of other people when you're first starting! I got some wonderful tips, like "Let the wheel have it" I was fighting the wheel and clung to the yarn too long. This is why I had so much over twisting. I have to admit that the roving she picked out was MUCH easier to draft than the roving my mom had. Apparently my mom's roving had felted slightly in the dying process, so it wasn't all my fault that I had so much trouble drafting!

Anyway, the fiber I got, although isn't as soft as merino, it drafts wonderfully. I now understand when people say "It practically spins it's self" If I get it all set up correctly, the twist just climbs up the fiber, claims the pieces that it wants and twists them. I just have to keep feeding it to the wheel and the yarn just forms! It's beautiful! Here's the bobbin that I spun today. I'm so proud! (DH is proud that I improved so much too. He thinks there is some hope that I might actually be able to make usable yarn).

On unrelated Mother's Day news, not all my Mothers/Grandmothers received lacy scarves. My Dad's mom isn't exactly a "girly girl". I once watched her tear down a shed with a sledge hammer. She wears a skirt to church on Sunday, but that's the only real sign of femininity in her wardrobe. So, since I didn't think she'd ever wear a lace scarf, I made her something more practical. Some round dish scrubbies, a classic garter stitch dish cloth and a double knit pot holder (Her name is Helen, thus the H). She doesn't have a dish washer, so I hope these will be appreciated. She wasn't home when I dropped off the present, so I'll have to ask her what she thought the next time I see her.


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