Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two days late and several dollars short

I am feeling like absolute crap so I have nothing productive or interesting to say. I'm just doing a granny weatherwax style "I aten't dead" post. With pictures I guess.


Lost a big piece of the apple tree, right down the middle. We had a pretty good storm on Sunday, and the wind took out the middle of the tree. Bob (mostly) and I cut it up and Bob hauled it up to the woods.


I'm making my second pair of Kai Mei socks.


This is handspun. I'm currently turning the heel on sock #2 so it's going fast. They need to be done before the end of the month.



Turkeys in the yard. They come by strictly to torment Figment.


Other than that, status quo. And I'm happy about the Pittsburgh Penguins going to the Stanley Cup finals with hopefully a better result this year... GO PENS.

Monday, May 18, 2009

yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

I finally got the chance to go to a sheep and fiber event last weekend, the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber fest in beautiful Waynesburg, Greeene County, Pennsylvania. It's just an hour's drive from home so I got some savings out of the credit union and took off around 10 AM on Saturday.

It was a beautiful day, a little muggy and warm, but still nice. And the very first thing I saw? Baby alpacas.



It really doesn't get much cuter than that.

Right next to the alpacas were some pygora and angora goats.



I also met some people from Ravelry.


That's Beth with her friends, of course I forgot their names because I can barely remember my own name half the time. We found each other because I was also wearing my red "disagree" shirt.

The event wasn't huge, it was perfect for my crowd-hating ways and I suffered no anxiety meltdowns or panics. There was a sheep-to-shawl contest...

(I can't believe this was made in one day.)

Interesting things for sale, and for free...


Herding demonstrations...

PUPPIES! Enjoyed by young and old alike!

Hey, look! It's that incredible baker from the Vanilla Icing blog and her husband!

And of course, there were sheep.

And more puppies, getting their lunch. SO cute. More cute than I could stand.

Here was a lamb cooking demonstration. I couldn't look. I am not a fan of lamb or mutton, and I am definitely a fan of the living critters. No judgment, it's just not for me.

There was also a sheep shearing demonstration.


Poor sheepie looks like she wishes it was all over.

I stayed long enough to see the announcement of the winner of the sheep to shawl contest. In case you're not familiar with these things, they basically start with a group of people and a sheep. The sheep is sheared, they card and spin the fiber, then use that spun fiber to weave a shawl, all between nine in the morning and about one in the afternoon. Here are the completed shawls, worn by the weavers.



Amd this one was the winner-you can't see it in the photo but it had crystal beads through it. Just beautiful.

I ended up buying some fiber, some yarn, a very light top-whorl drop spindle, and a vintage national geographic mag from 1988 that had a great article in it about wool. All in all it was a terrific event and I can't wait to go back next year.

The whole haul

Icelandic Roving from Aboundingful Farm.

Flying Fibers Wensleydale

Batts from Columbus Park Fiber and Quilting. (No website yet!)

Bitsy Knits sock fiber...

And sock yarn-very nice quality, too.

And the drop spindle, also from Bitsy Knits, with handpainted alpaca roving from Royal Meadow Farm.

It seems like many of the vendors didn't have a web presence. It was nice to get the chance to try out some unknowns and also, always a joy to actually touch, feel and smell the fiber before taking it home. I was THIS CLOSE to bringing home an entire alpaca fleece in the most gorgeous mocha brown, it was only twenty bucks for the whole thing. Then I remembered the about a half a pound remaining of loose alpaca fiber that I had to wash and am still slowly working my way through spinning. So that didn't happen, thank goodness. I am not up to processing a fleece, even a relatively easy alpaca fleece.

Nothing new on the crafting front, the two pair of socks I'm working on are still in progress and both pair are almost done. Yay for that. I'm planning the next pair. I need to also give a shout-out to Laura Martos at Dizzy Blonde studios. I've almost finished a pair of Kai Mei socks... out of half a skein of her sock yarn. Amazing. I divided it in half by weight to have equal amounts for each sock, and there was so much left when I finished the first sock that I kept going out of that half. Now I'm almost halfway down the foot of the second sock and I'm still not out of that half. A great deal on that yarn, and it is gorgeous.

Until next week. Happy crafting!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A fairly serious matter

I've been reading and thinking and occasionally blogging about body acceptance and fat rights for a while now. I had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday.

I went to the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival. I went by myself, which was fine. The event was just my speed, not huge but plenty to see, not thronged with people but a fair amount of traffic. (More on the event in a subsequent post.) I made it through all the walking and steps and a pretty long drive (though mostly highway so not so bad with the clutch) both ways without major cramping or pain. Later, Bob and I went out to dinner and I was seriously angry at how much pain I was in. I ranted and raved on the way home about how much it pisses me off that I can't have a normal leg and walk like normal people and not get all swelled up and numb and hurty after what to most able people would be a very insignificant amount of exercise. I was really mad that I can't go out and walk on a regular basis, that my ambulation is not and never will be normal, that there's precious little I can do on the exercise end to decrease my blood sugar because of this goddam stupid messed up leg and that if it's still this bad after over a year, it's probably never going to be much better than this.

I'd just read this outstanding piece on the nocebo effect and was wondering if being upset that my leg wasn't normal was making it less normal, that maybe I just ought to ignore the fact that my foot goes totally dead and my knee doesn't bend very far and the massive cramps I get on a regular basis in that leg because what if I'm nocebo-ing myself into my leg actually being worse? But all those things are real. So what is the solution? What do I do? HOW CAN I CHANGE IT?

Then it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

This is not body acceptance. This is no different than saying "I hate being fat and I wish I could change it". I am absolutely nowhere on the FA/size acceptance scale where my own body is concerned, because I cannot accept my body as it is. I cannot accept my bad leg and all the ramifications of it. I hate it, and I'm mad at it, and I want it to change so badly I'd do almost anything. All things I'd said in the past about being fat. All things I'd done drastic things to try to change, over and over through my lifetime, from amphetamines to exercise bulimia to Richard Simmons' various plans to food diaries to obsessive walking to weightlifting to dieting and dieting and dieting until I screwed up my metabolism so much that I eat much less than most people, even thin people, and I am way off the "death fat" end of the BMI scale.

My left leg has been the enemy for over a year. No more. It's part of my body, and I'm going to treat it kindly. Instead of being frustrated, I'm going to love and embrace it as part of a whole me, flawed perhaps but still me. I'm going to try to figure out what it likes and do that, and in the meantime, I'm going to accept and deal with it instead of treating it like I wish it'd just fall off and leave me alone already.

Much to think about. Much to do. For now, in conclusion, puppies.