Starts with S
S is for spinning, and anyone who has read my blog for any length of time probably knows that I'm a spinner. When I went to the Maritime Spinners' Retreat a couple of weekends ago, I did some spinning, and then I finished a little bit more when I got home. Here's some yarn that I have spun over the past couple of weeks.
The purple blend is something that I made at the retreat using the fibre they gave us to play with - not my usual colours, but it's what I was given! The green mix is some Coopworth roving that I had hanging around in my stash.
This multi-coloured yarn is some 50% merino - 50% tencel blend that I spun fairly fine, and then chain-plied to maintain the colour sections. I really love the way it turned out and I'm very pleased with the overall yarn. It has a nice shimmer to it and a lovely drape. Not sure what I'll use it for yet.
This is a soft grey alpaca blended with a mixed batt that had alpaca, bamboo and wool. The turquoise is the bamboo. I spun one ply with just the grey alpaca, and the other with the batt. The batt was spun at the retreat, but I did the solid grey when I got home, and plied them together.
My favourite picture this week is this blue jay. I like the way he's tilting his head, sort of like a dog who has heard a funny noise. I believe he's doing that to actually take a better look at the ground. He's under the seed feeder, picking up sunflower seeds dropped by the chickadees.
He certainly had some success with seed hunting that day!
Sometimes, the word "amazing" is thrown around in a rather haphazard manner. People say that things are "amazing" when, in reality, they're good, or even great, but perhaps not quite amazing. I looked up the dictionary definition of amazing, which says that it is "causing great surprise or wonder" and "startlingly impressive." I'm going to tell you about something that certainly falls into the startlingly impressive category. Even though I'm biased, I have to say, my parents are AMAZING!
When I think about all the times over the years that they have helped me, in a myriad of ways, it's really remarkable. I know, it's a parent's "job" to help their child, but their help goes so far beyond the requirement, it's not even on the chart any more. So let me tell you about a few weekends ago when my amazing parents helped me out yet again.
I have had a lot of work contracts lately, and since I work for myself, I just have to take the work as it comes. Before the busy time, I had purchased about 300 spring bulbs for planting, thinking that I'd have plenty of time on the weekends in the fall to get them in the ground. As is often the case, the best laid plans of mice and men (and women!) don't always work out the way we expect. I had very little time to get the bulbs planted. In the meantime, I also had the terrible experience of having the nuthatch die by hitting my window. I had purchased some special tape for installing on the windows to help prevent bird collisions but...no time to install it.
Parents to the rescue! They knew I was in a bind, so they came to visit for a couple of days to lend whatever help they could. My mom and I spent a morning and afternoon weeding all my garden beds and planting all those many bulbs - assorted daffodils, alliums, English bluebells, Chionodoxa, many kinds of tulips, Siberian iris, and more. I know you can't see the bulbs, but they're in the ground, and they'll be glorious in the spring!
As if that wasn't enough, my mom and I then processed about 60 lb of apples (I'd bought huge bags of apples, thinking I'd have time to process them...oops!). We peeled and chopped for hours, and I put some into the food dehydrator for dried apple rings, and others went into a fresh apple crumble for our dessert, while the majority went into freezer bags.
Meanwhile, my amazing Dad installed the anti-bird-collision tape on all the windows of significant concern, which required washing all those windows first, and then using a little plastic scraping device to properly adhere each of the little squares to the window by rubbing it into place. The squares are evenly spaced on a tape-based product. This bird-saving product is endorsed by FLAP and I have not had a single bird collision since it has been installed. Before it was up, I regularly had collisions from "gentle" to severe. I am really impressed with the product, but I am even more impressed with my Dad, who just got straight to work and helped me, and the birds, in a time of need.
Although the squares are white on the outside, they are not as obvious from the inside, and the mild effect on the view outside is certainly worth the trouble!
That's not all he did! He also did some work on that tree that fell in our woods a few weeks ago. He cut off all the branches so the log would lay on the ground and begin its decomposition process more quickly.
Then he cut the top end of the fallen tree into four sections, all of which will be easy to move.
And even that's not all. My mom prepared a slow-cooker turkey dish ahead of time, which she brought with her, so we didn't have to worry about making supper while we were doing these tasks. To top it off, it was actually her birthday as well, and we were able to celebrate despite our hard work. I definitely owe her a cake!
So when I tell you that my parents are amazing, I do mean it, in every sense of the word. I am a very lucky daughter, and a very grateful one too!