Sunday, March 30, 2014

Techno-necromancy, crochet, and the saga of no computer.

A little over a week ago, my computer died. Apparently the motherboard decided to expire in a most grievous fashion and it seriously looked like there were other problems as well. My Beloved husband did some sort of computer techno-necromancy. A few new parts and approximately a week's worth of work later, I not only have a functioning computer now but all of my writing and the photos of the kids were saved. It was an enormous relief. I honestly think I would have cried if my five novels had vanished into the aether.

I did a prodigious amount of crochet over the last several days. I completed three shawls and I have approximately an eighth of this large blanket that I am crocheting for Moo left. I expect that I'll finish the blanket this week. I also have fashioned myself a new spindle. It is a turkish style spindle made from a bit of doweling, a few rubber bands, and wooden barbecue skewers. It is shockingly light.

I have started using it to spin some of the silk that my mother in law gave me a little while back. I honestly have no idea how many yards I have spun on this wee little thing. I am finding it absolutely delightful to use, though the fact that it is so light does make it a bit challenging to get it to continue spinning long enough for me to draft out the fiber. I expect that this minor problem will improve as my ball of thread gets larger. The thread that is resulting from this spindle is literally the weight of sewing thread.

I am clearly going to have to ply this in order to use it for knitting with. I am more then confident that I will accomplish my goal of spinning up thread I can use for embroidery. As I figure out how to become more consistent with the silk thread, I expect that I will manage to spin up stuff that is the weight that I want it to be for embroidery. I am terribly excited by this because this means that I am a step closer to my goal of making a 10th century dress entirely from hand (spinning the fiber, weaving the fabric, sewing and embellishing it).

I have started knitting a shawl for my Finger Lakes shawl collection. Unlike the other shawls, this one is going to be knit in modular pieces that are then stitched together. I am stealing the idea of this shawl I saw a while back. It was a triangular shawl made up of little tiny squares (or was it diamonds, I don't remember exactly now) that were stitched together. I have a book of knitting stitches. I have decided that I am going to knit one six inch square (approximately) for each stitch sample in the book.

A six inch square is exactly 20 stitches wide and 25 rows long with the yarn and needles that I am using. While my cone of yarn is not exactly small enough to go into my purse, the project will not require an enormous bag to be carried places with me. Working on this huge crochet blanket, I have decided that I needed a project that worked up faster and was easier to carry around.

Another thing that fills that need is the preemie baby hats that I have been crocheting for the last week. When I was at the spinning guild meeting this month, the call was put out by one of the ladies who works at the Golisano Children's hospital up in Rochester for hats. Apparently they have a shortage of hats for the preemies. In the last of the yarn that was donated to me for my blanket project last year, I found a ball of baby yarn. I have been using that and a terribly simple crochet pattern to make these tiny hats.

I had an eerie moment yesterday. I crochet my seventh hat and a chill went down my spine. I made the exact number of hats that I had for the children that I lost in early pregnancy. I was naming them as I worked on the hats. As such there is a hat for each child that I would have had before I had the boys.

  • Alexander  (1995)
  • Jane (1999)
  • Sarah (2001)
  • Elizabeth (2001)
  • William (2002)
  • Gregory (2003)
  • Daniel (2004)
My memory insists that there are two more but I honestly am not sure because the time period that my brain insists this happened is a blur due to my psychological difficulties. It feels bad to say that, like I should remember each and every pregnancy that happened. Never mind the fact that with most of them, I didn't realize I was until the miscarriage happened. (It was during the first trimester. I would have thought it was merely a late period except for the fact that there were clots of blood and a tiny pink form approximately the size of a pencil eraser each time. The one that happened in 2001, there were two.)

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