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Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Poem

This week seems to have become poetry week. I wrote this about two years ago for a friend. And yes, I know it's a poem about knitting but the title is "Woven" and weaving and knitting aren't the same thing. Poetic licensee.


Woven

My needles catch the yarn.
around, back, slip.
Stitch by stitch the work before me grows.
around, back, slip.
Each completed row falls on my lap.
around, back, slip.

As soon as my hands know the pattern by heart,
around, back, slip.
I stop and look at what is done.
around, back, slip.
Then cast on and start again.
around, back, slip.

Each inch is one more finished,
around, back, slip.
And another inch to go.
around, back, slip.
The yarn runs out and I stop.
around, back, slip.

A new skein stands ready.
around, back, slip.
I weave in the ends and continue.
around, back, slip.
I know where I am going.
around, back, slip.

Wait and you will see it.
around, back, slip.
One day, before you know it.
around, back, slip.
It’s almost there.
around, back, slip.

My needles catch the yarn.
around, back, slip.
This pattern will not wait.
around, back, slip. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Confession:

A Poem


I wrote this a few years for an activity the Christian organizations at my college did once called Love/Hate. As part of it, several members on the organizations were asked to write apologies or confessions to the student body.


To Whom It May Concern:
I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for every time I judged you,
acted on that judgment,
or condemned you in my mind.

I’m sorry for every harsh word I’ve spoken in anger,
in jealousy,
in hate.
And for all those that remained unspoken thoughts.

I’m sorry for talking when you needed me to listen,
and for staying silent
when you needed me to speak.

I’m sorry for thinking of myself when you needed a friend,
and for not being there when I said I would.

I’m sorry for every time I turned my back
when you needed me to stay.
And for every lie I’ve told,
and truth I’ve stretched.

I’m sorry for acting like all of this is about me,
as if you didn’t matter.

And most of all,

I’m sorry I waited so long to tell you this.



Friday, October 23, 2009

A Not-so-Secret Project

As some of you know, I've been collecting dyer lint with the intent of spinning it into yarn. I know this might sound kinda of odd, or maybe even gross, but if you think about, dryer lint is about as clean as a fibre as you can get - its fresh out of the wash. And it is a fibre, at least a fibre blend. Some sort of mix of cotton, acrylic, and whatever else you wash.

Anyways, while I'm still collecting dyer lint, I'm now starting to give some serious though as to the mechanics of spinning it. Lint has very short fibres, and since its a blend, they won't be very willing to stick together. It does work - I twisted a bit with my hands the other day - its just going to be challenging.

To that end, I have been doing some secret research on Ravelry's discussion boards. I'm not quite willing to own up on Ravelry that I'm going to attempt to spin dryer lint, so I've been very discreetly inquiring about spinning "a very fine cotton blend with very short fibres". From my inquiries, I have determined that I need:

1) hand-carders with a high ppsi (pins per a square inch), which I need to look around for (basically, I need to visit a bunch of Web sites* and find whose hand-carder has the highest ppsi). Hand-carders are used to brush the fibre so it all goes in the same direction.

2) A supported spindle. I love my drop spindle, but with the short and fragile fibres of the dryer lint, I'm going to need something that doesn't pull on the yarn until its fully spun. Today I did a little online searching on supported spindles, with no intent of purchasing one, when I came across this: http://www.knittinganyway.com./products/spindolyn.htm
(if you can't access the link, it's for a spindle that sits in a supported base that allows it to spin freely).

I can claim no responsibility for what happened after I watched this video of the spindle in action.



My hand clicked "buy now" of its own accord. And now it looks like I'll have a new toy come Monday.


*I generally don't condone online shopping. I'd much rather visit a LYS like The Black Sheep, but there are no yarn store locally that carry spinning products. That being said, the online shops I'm looking at are all small business, so I feel a bit better about that.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: http://cmp.ly/0

Monday, October 19, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

In Which I Write About Reading and Announce a Contest

Writing About Reading


I like to read, and I like to write, so I figure it's high time I write about reading (I have actually read about writing before, but that's just making things confusing). Anyways, I'm going to write about my favourite book series.

Whatever you think my favourite series is, you're most likely wrong, for the simple fact that this series is often overlooked and not read or discussed nearly as much as it should be. In fact, I believe I've only met two people who've read it independently of myself. Everyone else I know who's read it did so because I told them to.

If you're one of those people, then you know the series I'm talking about is C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy (I almost didn't link this because I feel the article gives too much away, but if you're one of those people who have to know what a book's about before you read it, it is pretty helpful). C.S. Lewis is probably best known for his non-fiction book, Mere Christianity, and his children's fiction series, Narnia (and a lot of other really good books). The Space Trilogy, however, combines the philosophy and theology of his non-fiction with the wonder and discover of his fantasy.

I was given the Space Trilogy by my aunt my senior year in High School, and have read it at least once a year since then. The first time I read it, I confess, it was a little (okay, more than a little) over my head, but the second time through, I was captivated by the story and it's message.  The greatest praise I can give the series is that every time I've read it, I've seen something new, both within the books, and within myself. If you are looking for a reading recommendation, then this is by far at the top of my list.

Announcing a Contest


In honour of Halloween, I have decided to have a pumpkin carving contest. And yes, there is a prize (I don;t know what it is yet, but it will be a good, albeit not very expensive, one).  But just to make things more interesting, the contest will have a theme: Philosophical Pumpkins.

Here are the rules:
1. The theme is deliberately open-ended. Feel free to interpret "philosophical" however you want (but be prepared to defend your interpretation- this is philosophy).
2. You cannot use any third-party designs. By all means look at pumpkin patterns online for inspiration, but do not use them.
3. You can incorporate other objects into your design (yarn, wood, other vegetables, etc.), but at least one part of your design must involve a pumpkin.
4. At least part of your pumpkin must be actually carved, carved being defined as an cut that goes all the way through the pumpkin.
5. You must actually display your design outside.
6. All entries must be received by midnight, Nov. 1

To enter, e-mail a picture of your display to WillWork4Yarn@gmail.com, and include a brief description  of your design. I'll post all the entries on my blog and announce the winner on Nov. 2. If you have a blog, include it in your e-mail and I'll link your entry to it.

Happy carving!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fibre Friday

Because You Asked
(Okay, maybe not you specifically, but at least a few of you generally)


It seems my blog readership has become divided into three distinct groups. The first, and original, is the general readership group. It is mainly comprised of my close friends and family, and many of you have been following my blog since I started it back when I went to Oxford. You are the group that, for reason's unfathomable to me, find my life interesting enough to take time out of your own lives to read about it.

The second group is made up of my knitting friends. You all (I assume) are reading in hopes of me having a knitting disaster for you to laugh at. Or you just find yarn, fibre, pointy sticks, and drop spindles as fascinating as I do. This post, and hereafter, this day, is for you. Friday will now be dedicated to fibre.

The third, and newest group, consists of my fellow running bloggers. At the moment, I will not be dedicating a day of the week to you (I already dedicate three days a week to running- that leaves little time to actually write about it). But look for running updates on my regular Monday posts.

One more bit of business: I've added a background to my blog. Yea, or nay? Let me know. Whether or not it stays is up to you.

And now, your henceforth regularly scheduled Friday post:

Remember the fibre I recently got? I've started to spin it. It's my first time spinning with colour (and only my second time spinning. I tend to jump the gun in that area. My second time knitting I made a sweater. Or at least, that's what it was supposed to be), so it should be interesting.

It came as a sliver (long, narrow piece) which I divided into 4 pieces lengthwise, following the dye patter. My plan is to spin two ply yarn with the colours roughly lining up. Thus far, I have spun one of my pieces:



Not bad, huh? The tension is almost even all the way through. This might actually work.

The fibre, as you may recall, is called Easter Bunny. I didn't understand why at first, but now I think I do. The main colour is a grassy green, which is broken up by random bursts of blues, purples, and oranges. Like stumbling across an Easter egg in the yard. It also makes for exciting spinning, as I wait to discover the next egg.

Unfortunately, this post must also contain a confession. I'm working on a secret project (time to start Christmas knitting :) ) that required me to pick up a large number of stitches. I admit, I broke down and used a crochet hook to pick them up.  But that is not the worse of my crime.

I innocently left my crochet hook and knitting out by my computer, and while watching a show online, unknowingly picked up the hook and the tail of my project, and I swear my hands were acting on my own, and I didn't know what they were doing, but I...I...(weak stomachs should look away here)...I single-chain crocheted the tail of my project.


*sobs*

Monday, October 12, 2009

How it Went

It's the .2 that'll kill you


This past Sunday, I ran my first 10k. For those of you not born outside the US, that's 6.2 miles. I ran the Disney Race for the Taste 10k in 1:20:40, which isn't, in my opinion, to shabby for one's first 10k. The course was alternatively fun and beautiful, weaving through Hollywood Studios and Epcot, and following one of the many lakes on Disney property in between.

The music on the course was great, and I teased my running partner, Viv, that she must have picked out the soundtrack, because she knew every song. Whenever I was starting to feel tired, and like I couldn't push through, I'd hear the music and feel myself lifted up and carried on it for a few feet. It was a wonderful experience, and best of all I finished strong, and standing on my two two feet. (I ran the Disney 1/2 Marathon a few years ago, which had the same finish line, and didn't not manage that one so well...my Mom had to pretty much drag/carry me out of the finish chute). The medals were also great. They were shaped like plates with a little fork, knife, and spoon dangling from them.

That being said, there are a few things I would have changed about the race (all presented in good fun. As I said, it was a great race, with a beautiful course, and I had a lot of fun).

1. I want a T-shirt. Going along with the food and drink theme, all the runners got glasses with the race logos on them. But be honest- a glass doesn't give you as many bragging rights as a t-shirt.


2. A 5k split. There wasn't a timing mat at the 1/2 way point to mark your time...or even a sign and a clock should you want to check it yourself. I get that we're in America and use miles, not kilometers, but it would be nice to know when you're halfway through the race.

3. More music :) Headphones aren't allowed on the course, and as a rule-abiding runner, I would have loved to have never had a stretch of road without music.

4. Smaller water bottles at the finish. Seriously- they gave us 1 litre bottles of water when we finished. It took two hand to hold them, two sweaty, shaky, tired hands. I could barely hold the water bottle, much less open it and drink from it.

5. The food selection. Every runner had 3 coupons to get free food samples. Options included grilled salmon, beef, and chicken and rice. Really? Grilled salmon at 9:00 a.m. after running 6.2 miles? The only thing I could manage was the strawberry shortcake (which was amazing).

6. The beverage selection. Each runner also had a drink coupon. Since race for the taste corresponds with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, my expectations for the after-race beverage options was, well, to be honest, I hoping for something alcoholic g. No such luck. Drink options were: Coke, Diet Coke, Lemonade, and Sprite :(.

Things I liked (to end on a good note):

1. The course. Beautiful.

2. The set-up. Very organized.

3. The lovely tree right in the middle of a hedge. Very useful, don't ask.

4. The medals. Very cool.


5. The music. Excellent for running to.

6. The racing experience as a whole! Fun, exciting, exhilarating...it was great!


Well, that's it for today's regularly scheduled post. Tune in next week for something fibre-y (maybe even before Monday?)!

And if you want to read more about Race for the Taste, I'm betting  Robin from http://www.runningcirclesaroundtheturtles.com will have something on it up soon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fibre give-a-way!

Deadline is Midnight tomorrow, so check this out if you're interested.
http://www.fiberfarm.com/2009/10/spinners-giveaway

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Return of Hybrid Runner

Plus 2, minus 1


Some of you might remember this post. It was about all the running gear I use, and my experience with the Nike iPod+. Well, my iPod+ is up and working again, but I'm missing one piece of equipment. Since I don't run in one of the Nike shoes equipped with a cubby-hole for the iPod sensor, I'd bought a little case that velcroed it to my shoe. But when I decided to get out my iPod+ again, I could find the shoe sensor and the sensor that plugs into the iPod, but no velcro case.

Innovation was called for.











Yes, that is duct-tape.

As far as new gear goes, well my new additions aren't exactly high-tech: just two lycra-type bands with velcro and a gel pad. But what they do is better than all my equipment put together- they let me run again.


You see, I was having knee problems, and it turned out that my knee caps don't quite line up with the groove they're supposed. I had to go physical therapy for a little while, and they taught me how to move my knee cap into place and tape it there (which feels as nice as it sounds).

The bands I now run with, one on each leg, aren't on my knee, but right above it, on a muscle called the IT band. By putting pressure on the IT band, they keep it from pulling my knee caps in the wrong direction, allowing me run with considerably less pain.


So, thats my post for today. To those of you who read my blog for the fibre-arts stuff, I apologize. I start spinning my new fibre soon, though, so I should have something good next week.

If you want to follow my runs, there's a box in the left sidebar that shows my run-stats from my iPod+. It's a little inaccurate though. My last "6 mile" run was really only 5.

So, I'll see you on the road, and in the yarn stores!