Archive of ‘spinning’ category

Oodles of fun

Two fellow spinners from The Linden Singers, Judy and Tegan, came over this afternoon for a wonderful adventure in spinning! I have never had the opportunity to spin with other spinners, or fellows to gush over fibre with, and wow was I missing out. This craft is individual, but meant for sharing and giving and exploring. It’s the most enriching part of the experience! I learned so much in an afternoon, and got to try spinning on Tegans’ teensy ‘Ladybug’ wheel, which official makes the Cowichan Spinner  the ‘elephant’ wheel (voluptuous and graceful!). Judy gave me a bunch of fantastic local fibers to play with

a tussah silk mustachio (a belated tribute to Movember perhaps!)

I haven’t felt inclined to write much lately. The words usually pour from my fingers, they hit the keys running. My mind disengages and I turn on my heart to find what I want to say. But I suppose I am just a little bit tired of being optimistic, tired of hoping, and marking the minute changes in my health on a weekly basis, sick of still being sick.

I try to remind myself that a silk worm hatches into a moth. Forming a chrysalis is hard work, and very important if a silkworm is ever going to grow up. They spin tiny threads around themselves into a safe haven, and once they are sealed up in this sleeping bag of their own design, they wait. Patiently. Quietly. Knowing that something important will happen after. Their whole being undergoes a great transformation, and only when they are ready do they break free of their cocoon, and dry their wet wings in the sun. Then they are free to fly and explore and do all the complicated moth-things that we are only beginning to understand.

When all of ‘this’ is all finished, my life will ‘move on’ to some place. I supposed it will take awhile for me to understand what ‘this’ was all about, and how it will affect my life (although I am beginning to see how). In the meantime, I need to be patient for wings take a lot of energy to grow.

pupa |ˈpyoōpə|
noun ( pl. -pae |-ˌpē; -ˌpī|)
an insect in its inactive immature form between larva and adult, e.g., a chrysalis.

Full Day

For not sleeping very well and having low energy, I think I put a serious amount of energy into this wonderful day!

The library has just got in a whole whack of really awesome knitting and spinning books, which I have eagerly been reading this week. I am particularly enthralled with the “Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook”, which describes in depth over 200 different animals which produce fiber! Pretty pictures. My only regret is that this isn’t a touch and feel book, like “Pat the Bunny”! Alas.

Michelle and I did an exhausting yoga practice today, although it was well worth the fatigue to be able to relax so fully afterwards. My whole body feels like it was untied from a bunch of stressed knots. Lovely. Michelle works me hard, but that is because she has such faith in me…knowing that I will try my best, while listening to my body. I cannot thank my amazing teachers enough for their belief in me, in my healing. Such positivity is infectious, and is multiplied exponentially in the heart. <3

I have been feeling so low lately. Weak inside, starving, but eating just fine now. It is frustrating, because in I feel as though my body is crying out for nutrients, although my blood work looks the best it has in years.

Wednesday is choir practice with the Linden singers, 2 hours which leaves me breathless, literally, and also because I am so enthralled with the whole experience. I recently learned that 2 other members  The repertoire is challenging and interesting, and our upcoming holiday concert, with the theme “Christmas American Style” should be great fun for everyone, regardless of religious belief or age. “From the spontaneity and infectiousness of the tunes of Irving Berlin to the grandeur of a contemporary American Magnificat.” There is definitely something for everyone, even if you are an atheist, like me. In case you are in town, and interested in hearing some sweet holiday music, the concert takes place on Saturday 3 December 2011 at 7:30 PM at First Metropolitan United Church at Quadra & Balmoral. Tickets are available through me or another Linden singer, of course, or at Ivy’s Bookstore, Munro’s Bookstore or Long and McQuade Music, and at the door. Just something to bear in mind :).

I was feeling really down today, and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was the weather, but I was feeling very listless and couldn’t settle to anything all day. Distracted, but not thinking about anything else. Could be from lack of sleep…some days are just like that, I guess. I spun for a wee while before my shower and that really perked me up. I hadn’t spun in a little while, because my legs have been rather exhausted, and I’d prefer to practice yoga than spin when I have to choose. Hopefully tomorrow, with a good restful nights sleep, I’ll feel more like myself.

Up to Batt!

My family doctor (who deals with my non-Lyme illnesses, if I ever get such a thing) suggested that because I have never had a psychological evaluation, and have been sick for so long with many neurological symptoms, that I should see a psychologist. He was very clear that he didn’t think I was crazy, just because I had Lyme disease, but anyone, especially a young person, who suffers a chronic illness probably suffers because there life has been changed so much. So bright and early this morning we went to see a psychologist downtown. The verdict: I’m officially not crazy. Yay! I suppose that just means I have a whole whack of serious neurological problems, which is not so much fun.

We went window shopping around the lower Johnson St. area, where a large portion of eco-friendly and locally owned businesses. It’s kind of uncomfortable doing yoga in lingerie with under-wire and lace (it’s fun to be girly!), so I was looking for an alternative to that. And just browsing.

After resting for awhile in the early afternoon, we headed on down to Knotty By Nature, the incredible fiber arts store in Victoria. I was looking to create a little hand-spun accessory for my lovely yoga teachers (can’t say what in case they read this!). The amazing and talented artists who own and work at KBN helped me pick about 5.5 oz of fibers that would blend well together: local wool, alpaca, and mohair, hemp, and bamboo fibers. KBN has drum carders people can use to blend the different fibers together into a batt, something easy to spin with. There are also wheel for customer use, and looms to rent or use there. It’s a pretty incredible place. This was my first art batt, and I’m really excited to start working with it. Dreamy softness, warmth, incredible caramel-y brown colors. Mum helped me turn the handle of the drum carder machine in order to blend the different textures together in order to have a more uniform yarn. I am exhausted from all this work and moving and thinking, so I am looking forward to just resting tonight.

Hand-spun Local Mohair/Wool Skein

Indian spinner head adaption w/ niddy noddy in foreground

I feel like I have finally gotten the hang of spinning! I spun up the delicious 150 grams of local mohair and wool that the lovely Arleigh sent me, from up island. To recap, I met Arleigh through a serious of wonderfully serendipitous events. Months ago I posted an ad on Kijiji, asking if anyone had a spinning wheel that I could borrow, rent or have. I thought, who knows, maybe someone has a wheel that’s sitting around in an attic or garage? Incredibly, I connected with Arleigh, a retired spinner/weaver/artist, who very generously gave me me her indian spinner head treadle machine, with the original sewing machine head (it’s an ancient Raymond), and a beautiful niddy noddy (something to wrap the finished yarn on).

The 50/50 mohair/wool single (meaning just one ply) yarn I have created it incredibly beautiful. A friend of her dyed the fiber in variagated teal, bottle green, clay brown, and natural white, each color blending seamlessly into the next. This creates a striped of pooling affect when knitted up. I have to soak the freshly spun yarn in some water to stop it from curling back on itself, but then I will be able to knit with it! I have no idea what I will make, or what the finished yarn will knit up like…fingerless gloves, hat, wristlets? OH the choices are endless. Anyways, I am over the moon about my smooth spinning, and pretty even thickness. There aren’t too many lumps and bumps, like my first few skeins. A thousand thank you’s, dear Arleigh. You lit the spinning spark in me, and I feel that Spinning and I are going to be great friend for the rest of my days. <3

Paused in the process of spinning. The yarn on the spool reminds me of a sandy shore and sea.


Fallen leaves scattered over the pavement is a rare sight in Victoria. Often the winters are so mild that the deciduous leaves are still on the trees in February, and once dropped, are quickly replaced by buds. Most of the leafy trees in the area are bare, because we have had quite a lot of fierce rain and wind, roughly knocking and shaking them off the tree, as if the elements are playing some sort of childish game.

Before my needle change today, we went to school to pick up my yearbook. I’m only a 1/3 of a year late, but no matter. I was very excited to see our grad and baby pictures, read the comments and laugh over the inside jokes and nicknames and memories. I have read many years of grad comments, but without really knowing the people all that well. It means more when you’ve known the people for 7 years. A big change. I said hello to the lovely lovely office staff, and our headmaster briefly. The office is a very busy center, situated between the library, main corridor and the freedom of the outdoors. It is strange that my friends baby brothers and sisters are now seniors, sweating through their full IB work, and are taller than me, or their siblings! I miss them all very much. 🙁

Had my port needle changed, which was jolly good fun *rolls eyes*. Unfortunately, it has to be done every week which is irritating. I scar and bruise very easily, because I am so ‘fair skinned’ and because of the Lyme. There are nice little lumps of scar tissue over the port, which are quite uncomfortable when a fresh needle is poked through them. Doing IV twice a day doesn’t exactly help to alleviate the discomfort. I wouldn’t mind doing it quite as much if it didn’t taste bad and was very caustic going in. But then, if it wasn’t doing much good, there would be no point of doing it. NO one likes doing medication. Obviously. I like the kind of infection that can be cleared up with a few days to a weeks worth of antibiotics. Alas. I am very tired now.


I have been continuing to spin with the drop spindle which is so much fun. I have just finished my first few meters 2 ply wool in a nice heather gray color, which is about as thick as a water-sodden shishkebab stick.

It was very hard work, and I had to take several break while spinning, but listening to the epic Beowulf definitely spurred me on. Its one of my personal favorite, and every time I read it or listen to it, I can scarcely believe that is was written so long ago, and isn’t just a modern poem/short-story. I especially enjoy the epic battle with Grendel, and how he’s all…”well, Grendel doesn’t use weapons, so neither will I! I am just that tough! I have the strength of 30 men in my grip. Rawr!”. Total epic. All the power to you, Mr B-Wulf.

I think that Grendel is a good, solid name for a fat cat, don’t you?

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