Saturday, April 25, 2009


I should have posted this a week ago but you know how life can be. I mean that in a good way, though. Its been so pretty lately that if I have spare time I'd rather be out in the yard than stuck in the house on the computer. And unfortunately my laptop screen is very hard to see in the sunlight.

A few weeks ago both Chris and I signed up for a coffee swap on Plurk. This was the first time Chris had ever participated in an online swap; I've done several knitting related ones. Thankfully our area is full of local coffee roasters so we had a number of places to choose from. I won't say more about what we sent in case the recipients haven't opened their packages yet.

In return, we each got boxes full of yummy treats. Chris's box arrived first. His swap partner, Heather (winemakerssis), correctly guessed that Chris is more interested in the coffee than the "extras" so she sent THREE types of coffee. Not only did she pick out some yummy varieties of local coffee, but her own son did the roasting since he is the roasting guy at the local Whole Foods! She also included a seriously yummy bar of esspresso bean chocolate which I keep taking nibbles off of when Chris isn't looking. She even included a pretty coffee themed card which I was tempted to steal to send to my own swap pal, but I resisted. And this box couldn't have come at a better time. Its the end of the term for Chris and so lately he has had lots of exams, which means lots of late nights studying and the need for copious amounts of caffeine!

Now on to my box. Diane (BloPeep) couldn't have put together a better box for me. In addition to some really tasty coffee that she ROASTED HERSELF (!) she sent a tin of decadent butterscotches (and who doesn't love fancy sweets in a tin?), a rustic pottery jar for storing coffee beans or loose tea (which I have decided I'd rather use as a coffee mug so I can directly enjoy using it more. how did she know that I collect pottery?) and, wait for it.....a skein of handspun. I know. 4 ounces of beautiful, soft handspun merino. See here is the thing about me and yarn. I have a LOT of it. In just about every weight and color. Cause thats what I do. And I love it all very much, but it makes it hard to buy my yarn as a present. Because really, I'd usually prefer to use my own stuff. There is one exception to that rule: handspun. My spinning is awful. I know, it takes practice. I just don't have the time to add in one more hobby. But because its something I can't do well I have the utmost respect and admiration for people who do. And let me tell you, this woman spins well. The yarn is very even but with enough personality remaining that you can tell its handspun, do you know what I mean? Its a two ply and though its pretty thin (fingering weight) its not spun so tightly that it looses its bounce. And I love that its the natural color. Being a dyer you'd assume that I love color. And I do. But when it comes to my own clothing and accessories I tend to go for neutrals. Maybe its to balance out all the color in my work. So yeah, basically its perfect.

So this morning I'm sipping a mug of my new coffee (you were right, Diane, the beans wanted to be a bit darker- its just right) and contemplating my skein of handspun. I think that it is destined to be a lace scarf. Its 4oz and looks like fingering weight to me, so maybe 400yd? If you have any pattern suggestions I'd love to hear them. I'm going out of town next weekend for the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival and might bring this skein along as a travel project (along with a couple of pairs of socks, of course!).

Thank you so much to both of our swap partners. Chris doesn't have his own blog, or else he'd post about his package himself. Please know we are both enjoying our goodies very much! I hope that you are both happy with your packages too!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad Blogger, No Cookie

Wow, I haven't posted in a long time. Lately I have been spending so much time on the computer for work that when I don't have to be glued to the screen its nice to get away. Not that that happens very often. I've also been spending more time on Plurk, so I often feel like I've used up all my blogging ideas over there. Of course, you can always keep up with my Plurking in my little sidebar --->.

Life has been a lot like it always is. I've been kept busy with The Unique Sheep-- we are working on a couple of secret projects that will be very exciting when we can finally reveal them, though that probably won't be till fall. Avi has put on a few extra pounds, but hopefully the warm weather will encourage more walks and we will all benefit from that. Honey is also growing like a weed, though shes still far short of her adult size. I finally found a grooming comb that works so I'm hoping to get her beautiful coat under control soon. Chris is still busy with class work, just like always. Thankfully this year I get to see him a lot, even if it really is just "seeing" him as he studies on the couch. After this year he'll be spending much more time at the hospital. The biggest news I have is that we are moving! Actually, we are already half-way moved. Because of Chris's schedule for the next several years with school and then residency we can't buy a house yet, but we found a wonderful house in a great neighborhood to rent. It has a huge fenced in back yard for Avi, a screened in porch and more studio space then I know what to do with. We moved half of our stuff last weekend and will finish moving the rest of the furniture next weekend. Then we'll have to do the dreaded cleaning. The move is going to make life a lot easier in many ways. I'm hoping to be able to keep at least a hint of a line between work and the rest of my life by physically keeping "work" contained to the studio and office. We'll see how that works. This will be the first time we've lived anywhere but dorms or apartments since we left our parent's houses so it feels significant. Its like the first time you realize that if you don't buy more toilet paper, there will be none when you go to use the bathroom. There is responsibility there, but also exhilaration. Ok maybe not so much exhilaration with the toilet paper example. The extra space makes me feel like I could do anything. So long I have been physically unable to do certain things-- like sometimes I want to do some sewing, but don't have anywhere to set up a sewing machine. Or make soap but that is best done outside and without a yard, its hard. So now I want to do everything. I want to bake bread and sew curtains. I want to learn new things. But one thing I don't want to do is fill the space so that I get stuck again. In the past I've had a tendency to hoard but that's not what I want now. I only want "stuff" in my life if it is good and solid and real. When I sew I want it to be with good quality, organic cottons. I want to bake bread from scratch, not from a bread machine loaf-in-a-box mix. This means having/doing less, but getting more from it.

We'll start living in the new place next week. I'll do my best to stick to my new goals.