Tuesday, July 31, 2012


...how dates birthdays anniversaries all figure during a full moon.

Monday, July 23, 2012

CA State Fair 2012

Had some big fun at the state fair on Sunday at Cal Expo.

At the UC Davis station, watched a goat get milked. Also saw sows with nursing newborn piglets, and saw pregnant cows ready to drop.

In the livestock area were colorful Jacob sheep fleeces, newborn and old.

Dairy cows were judged for udder size, teat resiliency and capacity for production.
"They're being treated like animals!"
"Oh, they ARE animals!"

A 4-H contestant and his goat wait.

A judge speaks to each 4-H entrant about their goat while others wait their turn.

Janice Kang, Spun Yarn. Fiber dyed by Lisa Souza.
This is well spun with uniform consistency; something to aspire to.

Janice Kang, "Haapsalu Shawl", knitted garment.
Pretty with intense nupps; beautiful lace that would have benefitted from a more open display.

Kurt Thomas, detail from "Donn and LaMoyne", paper mosaic.
Meticulous work.

Victor Chaney with "The Flying Marbellos", kinetic sculpture.
This was especially fascinating and engrossing. It took 2 years to construct and was one of at least 5 of his sculptures displayed at the fair.

Linda Mihara, "Blue Wave Dress", Wet-folded mulberry paper (36" x 12feet).
Exquisite. I'd love to wear this as paper or velvet. Blue-black is one of my favorite colors.

Ianna Frisby, "Archaeoacoustics", mixed media.
References drawn upon include ancient pottery, lasar reading, a bell-flower amplifier, and "his master's voice".

Dave Lane, "Device for Creating Stars, Model A", Sculpture.

There were corndogs!
I got my annual ration.

There were corporate sponsors!
Reddy Kilowatt was taking a break. That's a joke! he was not there and hasn't been for a generation. This is the second reference that date-stamps my memory of corporate advertising.

Of course, some things are fleeting and don't last long enough to be recorded - here's a remnant of the late afternoon.
We looked at a thermometer on the way home: 104F. Unbelievable but clearly tolerable - good thing we didn't look beforehand!

TdF 2012

Na lei hulu hipa (from inside to outside):
2-ply merino off a bobbin from SW 2011 (yep, pretty old);
2-ply "Salad Days" from several "first-try" bobbins;
TdF 2012 project of 2-ply cashmere-merino.
They've gone through the wet bath and are drying.
After the yarn was dry and hanked up I had a chance to mention the project to Lisa. When she asked if it had a tight spin I knew I had to revisit this yarn.

I put the hank on a swift and put it through the wheel again, adding more twist. This first pic was taken when it was taken off the niddy-noddy.
Looking good!

This second pic was taken a few minutes later as the yarn was no longer constrained with tension.
Looking wacky!

I made wool soup again. I love the aroma. We'll see what's up when this is dry in a few days.

Friday, July 20, 2012

a gem in The Little Hours

This is the time the swooning soul hangs pendant and vertiginous between the new day and the old, nor dares confront the one or summon back the other. This is the time when all things, known and hidden, are iron to weight the spirit; when all ways, traveled or virgin, fall away from the stumbling feet, when all before the straining eyes is black.
--Dorothy Parker

...is then balanced by La Rochefoucauld.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Some things done

Saturday Jun 30: This afternoon dying occurred - turmeric, vinegar, soda ash in a boiling solution onto muslin. The aroma triggered a yearning for curry.

At 11:30pm I opened my eyes wide and realized I had not started my TdF. I found consolation in knowing I had my goal and fiber in mind, so re-affirmed those two thoughts and vowed to spin tomorrow.

Sunday Jul 1: Countless "birds" were crushed, maimed and killed with my sweaty right hand that held tufts of cashmere and merino. At least 3 false starts occurred in getting spun fiber onto the bobbin before my hands and wheel found their balance with this precious short-staple fiber blend.
When I took this picture I intended to stop for the day. But my hands wanted to feel the fiber so I continued, putting aside the desire to eat (or do anything else on my weekend "to-do" list) and spin instead. Hours later, 2 ounces were spun, with 2 ounces of fiber remaining for another day. I don't know if I can spin this fiber in short periods of time - once a rhythm is established it is difficult to stop and re-start without losing consistency of spin. I suppose the consistency will occur with more practice.

Then I went into the kitchen (in the early evening) and saw the bowls of rhubarb and strawberries that I'd prepared a day earlier, to be put into jars. I could no longer postpone this so I just did it.

Recipe notes: 2# rhubarb, 2# sugar, 50g grated ginger, 1/4C lemon juice. 2# cut strawberries, 2# sugar, 1/4C lemon juice and a few shreds of lemon peel. Macerate fruits in different bowls for 2 hours then refrigerate for 24 hours. Bring strawbs to a boil several times, resting 5-10 minutes between each boil. This process gets the air out of the berries. Drain & divide juice & solids for each mixture (yields approx 4C juice, 4C solids for each fruit). Put 1/2 of each fruit's juice in pan, bring to boil until "set stage", skimming scum. Add 1/2 of strawbs & boil about 10min, then add 1/2 of rhub & boil another 5min or until "set stage". Yield 5C for this 1/2 batch (total yield 10C). Process jars.

I'm a bit tired. But I feel like I've put money in the bank.