Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spinning stuff

I finally finished spinning, plying, washing, and skeining the alpaca that Amanda sent me for my birthday last year. I absolutely loved every minute of working with this and wasn't in a hurry to finish.

I taught myself the long draw method with this in hopes of making a light and airy two ply. I succeeded to some degree and this is a huge improvement over my denser worsted spun yarns of the past. Here's a pictorial timeline:

Last week my friend Tracy agreed to sell me her barely used hand carders, and today I spent the better part of the morning learning how to use them. I've pretty much turned my leg into ground beef with the sharp little teeth. For future carding adventures I'll be sure to wear jeans instead of shorts. I'm hoping that as I improve I will stop being so clumsy with them.

I managed to make about 40-50 little rolags, which barely even put a dent in the bag of fiber my parents sent me. I'm so excited to get this stuff started and see how it spins up. I'm going to aim for a very light fingering weight/heavy lace weight with which to make a lacy scarf. Being so new to spinning, there's really no telling how it'll turn out, though.

Tomorrow J will be here again:

Wish us luck!

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Monday, June 08, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation

Summer is here, and we're off to a busy start.

Saturday we met up with Michele for one last pre-baby afternoon together. We wandered the mall a bit, let J play in the mall playground while we sat comfortable and knit on our respective socks, and then met up with Wil and the in-laws for dinner at Olive Garden.

Yesterday we headed over to Mary's house for a barbecue and swimming day. Unfortunately, it rained like crazy, so there wasn't a whole lot of swimming, but the barbecue was good, and the company even better. J had a great, even if he did have to play with girls.

Today we had our appointment with the neurologist, which was a treat all in itself. Both he and his staff were rude and cocky. But I wasn't really there to make friends, so I can let that go. Overall, he seems to feel that J-man is neurologically intact, just awkward and slow. That's a relief, huh? Still, he wants to run a few tests just to be sure, or to line his wallet. He's got J scheduled for a sleep study next week, which means that I need to stock up on some good coffee and yarn since I'll get to stay there all night with him. I'm sure it'll be a real treat, and I'm positive I'll have no trouble getting him to fall asleep at 8:00 with wires glued all over him.

I have to keep reminding myself to think positive.

We're still waiting for the hospital to call and schedule his MRI. So for now it's just a waiting game.

What else are we doing? Well, next week, before the sleep study, J's having two fillings done. We're looking to signing up for karate lessons, and I've got J signed up for a 3 day a week playgroup with one of his teachers.

My original plan for this summer was to simply work on my transcription and get it done (we've heard that before, right... yeah, for the past 3 years or so!), and simply enjoy these last few months together before 'real' school started and routines got crazy again.

I'm sure we'll still find time to enjoy ourselves, but as the days go by, and the calendars fill up more and more, I'm starting to think I'll need to set my alarm an hour or two earlier just to fit everything in.

Oh well, that was a boring update, wasn't it? No pictures, no yarn. I'll do better next time.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

All good things must come to an end

Tomorrow is J's last day of preschool. I can't express how sad I am about this. Not only because it means I'm stuck with a bored 4-year-old for the entire summer, but also because it means that tomorrow when we walk out those doors it'll be the very last time I see so many of these faces that have truly become part of our family.

Some of you may remember the struggles we've had with previous attempts at daycare. It was with a heavy heart and a huge weight of trepidation that I decided to entrust my baby to them, but they have blown me away with their love, dedication, and compassion for the children.

I've watched my son go from a clingy, crying, self-conscious little boy to a confident, boisterous, intelligent little man right before my eyes. I can't even begin to describe the bonds he's formed with his teachers and his classmates. Ms. Tracy 'gets' him, turns her curriculum on its ear on a daily basis to accommodate him, and does so in a way that makes him feel successful, even at things he's not so astute at.

Last week when they had the school circus, and J was sad because he wanted to be a clown, but got stuck as a tumbler (certainly not in line with his motor skills) Ms. Tracy talked him up, velcroed the beanbag to his head, and held his hand as he walked the balance beam. And when it came to the actual tumbling, while all the other kids did summersaults, she got down on the mat with him and they barrel rolled together.

And I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I wasn't bawling like a baby behind the camera lens when he walked across the stage in his burgundy cap and gown at graduation, pausing to hug each of his teachers-- a display of affection that even I rarely get the privlege of receiving.

Yes, my baby, you've grown so big, so strong, so smart, and so capable this year. You take my breath away, and I owe so much of it to this amazing school, and the beautiful women who are a part of it.

So tomorrow I promise I'll try not to cry too much, and I promise that we'll do our best to keep these people as life-long friends. I know that all good things eventually end, but will try to remember that for every ending there is a sweet new beginning.

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