Thursday, June 26, 2008

carnival time

I can't remember which movie I was watching when I was spinning this. Nor do I remember the exact bottle of wine that I was consuming. But, once again, I have proved to myself that spinning (plying to be exact, and Navajo plying to be precise) and drinking do not mix in my house.

This is probably going to be used in a mixed warp shawl or scarf. Either that or I'll give it to my friend Amber who seems to like "eccentric" yarns. Her birthday was last week and seeing as I think that she is a wonderful person, it would be drunken yarn well spent.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Curb Appeal?

This past week we have been experiencing an "infrastructure renewal project" in the form of new curbs. Last week we had our old curbs torn up. Earlier this week, the workmen came back and set up posts to guide the curb maker. I had never seen this thing in action and was interested in how it worked.
The cement truck slowly goes ahead of the curb makes and supplies the cement needed.

The curb maker extrudes the curb as it goes along
Then a couple of workers come by and put up boards at the fronts of the driveways and scoop out all of the excess concert.

and then the curb is smoothed out with trowels.

Then the boards are removed
And there is our new curb. Later they will come back and put the dirt back so people can access their driveways. And some time next week we will hopefully get the asphalt put back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


My own dyed super wash merino, 146 yards, Strawberries and Cream? Strawberry Shortcake? Strawberry something? Or maybe Cherry Vanilla?

What is it with all the food names? It must be almost time for lunch.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Lynda.

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?:

10 years ago, I was being mother to Mira, who was 3, and Simon and Liam, who were both about 10 months old. So that meant that I was stepping over toys on the floor, scrubbing two hundred cloth diapers a day, cooking and feeding my 3 little hungry rug rats, dealing with the garden, attempting to keep the house clean enough so that we wouldn't be shut down by the board of health, making the washing machine work overtime, as well as running on about 4 hours of broken sleep a night.
The only "crafty" thing that I was doing was to attempt to take a bath ALL ALONE!
I'm glad that it is not 10 years ago.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?:

More cleaning to look for moth hiding places
Skein off my latest yarn
Spin or Weave- Maybe both!

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Cheese- especially those soft, creamy blue cheese ones....mmmmm
Chips- affectionately called "grease shingles" in this house
Chocolate in all its lovely forms. The darker the better
Chili bamboo shoots (the kind in the bag, not the jar)
Fresh veggies- especially from the garden- especially peas

4) Things I would do if I was a billionaire

Buy (or build) a big house on a lot of land.
Open a weaving school
Hire someone to do my cleaning
Get my stomach muscles fixed
Visit the Mediterranean

5) Places I have lived

I'm afraid that I am not much of a traveler

-Saunders Street
-York Street
-Greensfeild Drive
-Grey Street

6) Jobs I have had

McDonalds- My first regular job
Coffee Shop Gal
Clothing Store Gal
Gallery Attendant
Technician at the Craft College

As for the tagging thing, If you want, consider yourself tagged

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Post Cards from the Selv-edge

The latest postcard. It is interesting to see the progression of these small fiber works and try and guess who has done what to them. Some of the people who are involved, I know quite well and can guess at what they have added, and others I have never met.

As the cards go from hand to hand, we all try and put our stamp on them. So far, I have been very cautious. There are 14 people who are going to be altering these and I haven't wanted to do too much and make the next persons job to difficult. I heard a few people mutter complaints about this one as being too busy and having a hard time deciding what to do.

After a little chat with one of the others in the group, I am going to try and be a little less cautious and a little more experimental. We will see how I manage.

I still haven't received my next card. The woman that passes them on to me hasn't had it yet either. I hope that it is not lost in the mail......

I is for Iris

Beautiful flowers that (in this part of the world) herald in summer in all its warmth and fineness. I have always loved irises. They are m y favorite flower.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A View of Things to Come?

I went out the other day and when I came home I found that the living room had been turned into a surgery.

Mira had won a bear as a prize for picking paper out of the garbage and putting it into recycling bin. We take recycling seriously in this house and she though that it was ridiculous for students to throw paper in the garbage when a recycling bin was close at hand.
In any case, the bear had "an object in his chest". You can see the "x-ray" below.
Liam helped by being the official photographer. Here Mira is "opening" the patient.

Here is the offending object. This bear must have been sitting around for a long time because the batteries were somewhat low and his singing was terribly slow.

She is now "closing". The surgery was successful.
And the patient is recovering well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And now for something completely different

Sunday, my sister, Nicole, arrived from Scotland. We all biked out to my parent's house to say hello.
Except for my brother Von and his partner, Audrey. They arrived a little more stylishly.

Introducing Rusty and Rowdy. Audrey is on Rowdy (who is apparently quite the wild guy) and Von, in the back, is on Rusty. They are brothers and are also a team that used to pull wagons and sleighs. Rowdy is the lead horse. Audrey has had much more experience with horses and so is taking on the wild guy.

Well, the kids could not resist asking for a ride. Liam was the first to ask and the first to be granted his wish. Check out the smile!
Rusty and Rowdy are Belgian draft horses. They are really quite large as you can see.
After a short ride around the area, Liam came back and Mira wanted to try. She was funny to watch. She was very hesitant at first but by the time she got back to the house, she was looking very comfortable. Actually, looking at this picture, with her hair flowing down her back, she looks like she could be a princess. Except that she would stop occasionally to be entranced by roadside berries or road kill. My girl is lovely, but strange.

And after Mira's turn, it was time for Simon. Simon's technique left a little to be desired, but Rusty went along and gave him a ride, following along in Rowdy's wake. By this time, Von had taken over on Rowdy because Audrey needed, um, well, a pit stop.

And my reaction to all of this activity was to experience a deep sense of longing and a huge allergic reaction. I am REALLY REALLY allergic to horses. I escaped to the bathroom and found some antihistamines. But I would have liked to have gone for a ride too.

I would have been totally useless 200 years ago. Either that or totally dead by now. I had pneumonia twice when I was really young and without modern medicine, I would have been a statistic. I really hate allergies.

And beyond all of that.... Welcome home Nicole!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

They got into my qiviut. It was hanging by the door in the back shed. It was about a half a pound. It was gross.

I am amazed by the damage that can be done in such a short time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A bit about Moths

I will hardly call myself an expert on clothes moths, but I do know more about them now than I did a year ago.
Unlike other types of moths, clothes moths like the dark. They will actually flee from the lights and try and hide under something.
So no bug zappers.
It is also the larval stage that does the damage. The adults don't have mouths that are able to chew.
As for mothballs, I hate the smell of them. It stays with the fabric forever and anytime it gets damp, you smell that lovely mothball smell once again. The container into which the mothballs are put need to be air tight also otherwise the the vapours slowly dissipates and may slow the larva down, but not kill it. Death of all stages is what we are aiming for.

There are two types of moths that do damage to fibers. The web making moth and the case making moth. At the school I had the web making moths. Here, I have the case making moths.
Both kind lay eggs which hatch in under two weeks. The larval stage can last as little as 40 days or as long as 2 years. And it is here that the insect does the damage. Both kinds of moths like the dark and quite and so are mostly found in things that are being stored as opposed to things that are being used regularly. The case making moth will spin a case for itself as soon as it emerges from the egg and it builds upon this as it eats. The colour of the fiber that it eats will be spun into its cocoon and so acts as camouflage. The larva have most of its body in the cocoon and have their head and few front feet out of the cocoon and so can move around. Apparently you can sometimes find them crawling up the closet wall. A pleasure that I have thankfully not had.

For more information, you can look here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I hate moths

I have killed no fewer than a dozen of the little bastards in the past week. So much for having them on the run. Thankfully, most of my fiber is inaccessible to their best egg laying efforts. And those things that are accessible (which are the things that I am working on) are going to be steamed and dried out side and then carefully bagged far away from any potential moth activity.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Key Lime Pie

8 oz of superwash handspun goodness. I think that it is going to be a scarf.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

General up date

Thanks for all of your good luck wished in beating back the flying nasties that I have found myself with. I think that we have them on the run. I forgot to mention that at the same time, I had found that food moths had also come into my life. So Monday, I cleaned the kitchen cupboards. I never did find the source, but everything that was in a box or bag is now in a thick plastic container or glass jar. If there are any left over larva, they will be found and dealt with. And by that I mean the glass jar and container goes into the garbage.
Tuesday I cleaned out my closet and checked all of my yarn bins. I also went and picked up some of the Vapona Strips at the local hardware store, bagged up anything that was suspect, plopped a pesticide strip in and sealed the bag. I have a couple of more bags full of potentially egg laden fibers and whatnot that are waiting in the queue. I also did laundry.
Wednesday was the closet in the boys room and yet more laundry. It was actually a very good exercise because I was able to sort through a bunch of stuff that had been stored in there from the days of long ago when their room was my studio. A lot of it is now gone.
Thursday was the front room and yet more laundry. We also moved some of the plants outside. We have a largish bay tree, rosemary bush, and pot of lemongrass that spend the winters inside, but get treated to fresh air and sunshine in the great back yard. We also moved out the citrus tree that is in the living room. It is now touching the ceiling and in bad need of a trim.
Friday was my birthday and I was suppose to watch a friend's young fellow. Noah was in Nicole's play school class and she has been missing playing with him. Unfortunately, or fortunately in my case, Noah's sister wasn't feeling well and so had to stay home from school and Nicole was invited up there for a play date. Which meant that I was able to spend my morning running errands unaccompanied. And my afternoon cooking a Indian curry supper. It was so yummy.

Below see small girl watching the cake. Waiting. To pounce.
I forgot to take pictures, but if anyone wants a menu list I will be glad to let you know what you missed.

Yesterday we finished planting the garden. Well, almost finished. I had forgotten the "map" when we went out and couldn't remember which of the last two unmarked rows had been planted and so could not finish planting the last few seeds. As it turns out, nether had been planted! This may seem kind of strange to some of you, but this year I used child labour. Bill and I did the heavy work and I handed a pack of seeds to each child and said "Plant these in that row X cm deep and X cm apart." I then marked it off on my "map". Things went so much quicker this year.
I have 2. Possibly 3 rows that haven't been planted. Oh, yeah. If anyone around here (greater Fredericton area) wants basil, put your order in now. I planted 12 plants for our selves and a few of our closest friends. Mom couldn't let her extra basil plants die and so transplanted them into their own little pots. And I couldn't let more basil plants die ( I had mercilessly culled mine down to 12) so I planted them in the end bit of my garden where I was told that I couldn't plant my cucumbers this year. Mom and I traded a bit of space and I have my cucumbers in her newly refurbished garden and she can have her beans in mine. In fact we combined our cucumbers and it will be first come first serve. But with 5 tractor buckets of manure that were dumped on the garden area, I don't think that we will be lacking in cucumbers. Environment Canada is calling for a hot summer and almost all of the plants love the heat. Those that don't "love" it, at least tolerate it.
And I did bring my camera to take pictures, but alas, forgot to get the fool thing out to do so. Maybe sometimes this week.

This has turned out to be a rather long post and for any of you that have gotten to the end, I salute you. I will try and update more often. Even if it is to say that I have just cleaned out a closet and have found no moths.

Monday, June 02, 2008

They're back!!!!!!!

Those of you who are my long following friends may recall the hell that I went through a few months ago when I was battling fiber moths at the Craft College. NOT good times. Well, any way, just as I was recovering from floods, flies, and weeds, I discovered moths in my own house.

Oh yeah. Moths. And you all know how I feel about that whole set of circumstances. I have lived this particular nightmare at work and I did not think that I would have to deal with these little destructive beasties in my personal life in the near future. I was very careful to keep home and work very separate as far as fiber was concerned. But alas, it has happened.

Do you remember a number of months ago when we went on a expedition to a fiber farm? I bought some locally produced mohair fiber as well as a "sampler" bag of some of the fibers that her farm had. There was Jacob, Mohair, Angora rabbit, and a couple of other fibers that I really can't remember. In any case, I bought the sampler bag and a bundle of mohair that had been processed into roving and went on my happy way home. And knowing that I would not get into processing anything in the fiber front right away, I just dropped the wee zip lock bags into my "stash" and proceeded on with my life.

Oh, yeah. I hear the collective gasp from those of you who are in the know. Any thing that comes from a new source needs to be isolated and scoured for infestation. Frozen at the very least if the source is unknown. Oh yeah. I can hear the collective gasp right now. And for those of you that do not know why I am spreading this cautionary tail, PAY ATTENTION!!!!

In my bid to support "the little guy" I purchased a sample bag of 6 different fibers from a local fiber farm. This farm has been acting as a "rescue" farm and really didn't know how to deal with raw fiber. There were bags of raw fiber lying around ( as in bags of fiber straight off the sheep/alpaca/goat) that had not been washed and not been processed into roving. And when I say "raw" I mean that the critter had been shorne and the fleece has been stuffed into a pillowcase or green garbage bag. There were at least 20 fleeces that were in the raw stages that were laying around in bags. There were a lot of other fibers that had been processed into roving from a local mini mill. I purchased some of the sampler pack that she had made up for us and also some of the mohair that she had had processed from her wee little mohair goat. She had a bit of dandruff but she was a good little goat. In any case, fast forward 7 months and cue the scary music.

Moths in my front room where a lot of my fiber is stored. Moths in my bedroom where the bulk of my fiber is stored. I freaked out and started to go through what was in my front room. Within the "sampler pack" was some Angora rabbit that has the tell tail sign of " coloured sand like particles" in the bottom of the zip lock bag as well as having bits of the bag eaten away. Not to mention the larva (ick) that I found in the angora fleece itself. How fast did THAT bunch of fiber get tossed? Everything stored in my back unheated shed is fine,(freezing kills moths and larva) but all of the fiber stored back there is my "bulk yarn". The "not- special" stuff. It was all frozen throughout the winter months. I do live in Canada , people.

All of my high end fiber is stored in my bedroom. Not frozen. Under my bed. Next to where some of the moths have been feasting (unbeknownst to me) for the past 6 months. How many times have I been into those bins and not noticed any moth activities.

I am afraid.

I am very afraid.

But I have a plan.

I can get some of the Vapona Strips for my local Canadian Tire and I am off to said store within the next few days and I am going to pick some up and fumigate all of my woolen goods. Including my hand woven blankets. And all of my high end yarns. And all of my hand spun yarn.

Anything that is not going to be fumigated will be steamed and we will see if those little bastards (there goes my "G" rating) will survive the heat.

I am so pissed off.

And I have learned a good lesson.

Anything that comes from a place that is in any way suspect shall be frozen and considered suspect.

Fiber shall be processed quickly. And by processed, I mean steamed and cooked and dyed and rinsed and processed to .... shall we say ... DEATH?????

Or maybe I just won't buy stuff from someone who has their dirty fiber stored in bags in their house.

So much for supporting the "little guy". I've had enough grief, thank you very much.