My husband had a surprise for me. He knows that I miss our home in Washington (pictured above) when we are in California so he decided to bring Washington to me whenever I wanted. Last week Dan repeatedly went to and from the computer store. When we loaded up the pickup truck, he placed a several, large mysterious boxes in the back seat. Since Dan enjoys ham radio and police scanners as a hobby, I didn't think too much of it. Unbeknownst to me, while I was at The Weaver's School, he was outside our house in the rain mounting cameras and crawling around in the attic stringing cable. On Wednesday night, Dan borrowed my laptop computer. Then, on Thursday morning, while I was in the middle of the ferry crossing between Mukilteo and Clinton, he telephoned me on my cell phone and told me to get onto the Internet. Thoroughly mystified, I dutifully plugged in the air card, connected to the Internet and followed his instructions. And suddenly, this popped onto my computer screen....
It's our yard. Eight color cameras are aimed at various points. I can see our side yard, the front yard, the woods in front of the house, our caretaker's house, the garage, the garden shed and the front door. Dan informed me that several of the cameras have "night vision" so I can see the critters that walk through our yard at night. So now, even when I am in California, I can visit our house any time I like.
Now that I completed The Weaver's School, I decided to paint our fences on Saturday. The forecast was for clear skies and a crisp temperature. Anticipating a dry day, I arose early on Saturday morning to, you guessed it......rain. And not the light drizzly stuff either, this was a full fledged downpour. When it became clear that the rain had absolutely no intention of letting up any time soon, I decided to head over to the Allyn Knit Shop and join their Saturday knitting session. I added 10 more rows to my vest, then headed home.
It was still raining so I decided to set up my spinning wheel by the front window and work on some sock yarn. Saturday is normally the day I try to set aside as my spinning day. Unfortunately, I don't always get to spin as much as I would like because of the demands of my family, my home and my profession.
I have two spinning wheels -- A Schacht Matchless double treadle and a Schacht-Reeves 30" Saxony. Both wheels are wonderfully balanced and a dream to spin on. The Matchless is in Washington and the Saxony is in California so I have access to a spinning wheel where ever I am.
The Matchless is also equipped with a "Woolee Winder" . The WooLee Winder is a custom flyer designed by Robert Lee. It has no hooks on the flyer arm, instead it uses two eyelets. One is stationary and the other moves automatically as the yarn winds onto the bobbin. This moving action winds the yarn onto the bobbin over its entire length evenly in much the same way as a deep sea fishing reel. This allows the spinner to keep spinning without having to stop and move the yarn up or down the hooks. My Woolee Winder was a birthday present to me from my sons two years ago and I enjoy spinning with it.
I had previously knitted my father a pair of boot socks from a Merino-Alpaca blend I had carded on my drum carder, then spun as a fairly thick single. The Alpaca was a variety of grays and blacks with some white mixed in, the merino was white. Although the socks do not match exactly in pattern, the socks are warm and soft. I had my father try on the first one at Christmas and he said that it was warm and cozy.
My new fiber was sent to me by a friend in Washington State. This top is a merino/icelandic blend that she purchased from a local breeder. It is a blend of reds, whites, blacks and greys. I am spinning it fairly thin as I do want ply it x2. I wanted a fairly thick yarn that I could felt into a pair of slippers/booties.
I spent the afternoon sipping hot chocolate, stoking the fireplace and watching the rain. Oh yes, I was able to spin three bobbins full of yarn and plied two of them. I laid a strand of two ply across the remaining bobbin for the picture. As you can see, the resulting yarn is maroon with grey highlights. I think it will make a lovely pair of felted slippers/booties. I can hardly wait to finish the yarn and start knitting.