In the past seven years I've been involved with Confluence so my holiday season usually centered around the Christmas concert with a mad dash for the remainder of time before Christmas. This year felt like a luxury of time was given to me to pursue my fiber hobbies so I've been spending the weekends in indolence when not involved in some sort of fiber event. This weekend it dawned on me that Christmas was a month away and I had not made any plans whatsoever on how I was going to manage it. Gifts would be handmade, but what? When do I fit in the holiday letter? What holiday events do I want to attend and can I fit them in the budget? I tend to do things by the seat of my pants more and more though I know better. You'd think I'd have learned by now.
This last weekend was devoted to the Portland Spinnerati one year anniversary meeting and a road trip to Woodland Woolworks with Mary, a fellow fiberholic I met at my Saturday breakfast hangout, the Hollywood Burger Bar. Mary is a re-enactor for Fort Vancouver, participating in all sorts of activities from the trading period of the early to mid-nineteenth century, so it's difficult to fit in other fiber activities. So when I found out she was a WW virgin, I of course had to lead her unto temptation and propose a road trip. She's an absolute delight and the two of us gabbed nonstop all the way there and all the way back. Inside WW she found the materials she could use for her re-enactments and put a healthy dent on her credit card. My purchases were much more modest -- a couple of skeins of Jaggerspun Zephyr, some sock yarn from the clearance room, and a WPI tool -- but it was fun going through to see what I could find.
At the Portland Spinnerati meeting, the celebration was modest. I taught a workshop based on the class I took at SOAR on how to make the most out of your wheel. It was an abbreviated version of the class and I could have done better in providing information on the whys and how-tos, but my students enjoyed the workshop and appreciated getting the info. I spent the rest of the session working on plying up the mohair single with the Zephyr for making up the yarn for Karen. It came out very pretty and should make for a lovely scarf or wrap.
Ever notice . . .
I have Netflix and am able to stream the instant play on my computer, so over the weekend when there was nothing on the idiot box I played a couple of movies. One was "Helvetica", a documentary on the font Helvetica and its influence on modern typography. It brings up one of those things that is ubiquitous to our environment but never notice because of its ubiquitousness. Since watching the movie, I now notice where Helvetica is used as the font. It's everywhere.... Then check out Frank Habit's posting of his London alphabet.
Universe expansionThe past couple of weeks have seen the arrival of my SpinOff and Knits magazine and a few books. Schoolhouse Press brought back into print Susanna Lewis' book Knitting Lace which according to my more experienced knitting friends is a must have if you're serious about lace. As I went through it I can see why. Lewis has in this book everything for the beginning to advanced knitter on the wheres, whys, and how-tos of lace knitting. Another book (actually series of books bound into one) Schoolhouse Press brought back is Maria Erlbacher's Uberlieferte Strickmuster, now titled Twisted-Stitch Knitting. This has many stitch patterns and the technique of Austrian twisted stitch knitting, including how to read the charts, which are different from your standard charts you see in magazines and books. Lastly, my copy of Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont arrived. Few books go through with such detail the history and purpose of the different kinds of handspindles along with techniques the handspindler can use for making all kinds of yarn. When the holiday brouhaha finally settles down, I'll have some lovely books to peruse and use. Sweater anyone?