Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fiestas Patrias - Old Town

Last Saturday was Fiestas Patrias in Old Town - or Mexican Independence Day.  Complete with a parade, dancers, activities, food, plays, and of course - Fiber Arts.

Nothing says festive like a parade with horses.  And beautiful ladies on horses is just about perfection.  We greatly admired their dresses.  One of these ladies had her little boy riding with her; what a memory he will have.  Best comment of the day:  After watching me on my driven-spindle wheel for a while, a man looked at me in amazement and said, "You're really doing that, aren't you?".  I said, yes I am.  So many people have never seen someone spinning on a wheel, what a great learning opportunity.  SD Fiber was well represented on the porch at the Robinson Rose house, even providing a hand spindle lesson to our dear interpreter.

A star is born.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Birds

Inspired by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (check out their video on Acorn Woodpeckers), I took a break from plying yesterday and photographed some birds at our back yard feeders.  I heard unusual calls over the past couple of days, so I wanted to see if the same birds would come back.  Turns out I caught two adult and one juvenile Nutmeg Mannikins in our yard. The two adults are at middle level on the red feeder, and the juvenile is at the seed tray of the green feeder.  Thanks to Marty for identifying these!

Check out the Cornell program and videos.  Their journal, Living Bird, is full of beautiful and inspiring photographs and articles.  I support them because (1) I am interested in birds and wildlife; and (2) my father attended Cornell University on the GI Bill after WWII and received a degree in Electrical Engineering.  This led to his career in the U.S. space program in the 1960s and 1970s - which led to an abiding interest in science in our family.  Go Cornell!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Day in San Diego

We have had the most peculiar weather here today.  It has been cloudy (no, real clouds not "overcast"), with some sprinkles before dawn, one moderate rain with thunder, and additional large drops.  Completely not predicted by the weather forecast.  This is one thing that puzzles me about San Diego weather - the forecast is so frequently wrong.  How complicated could it be?  Maybe I am missing something that makes our weather so very difficult to predict reliably.

Well, I spent a good part of the morning spinning alpaca roving from Specialty Yarn and Llamas (  We were up in Wynola on Saturday and I bought some black, tan, and creamy white roving.  This is all for hubby's fingerless gloves, which will be knitted from the different colors of alpaca plus the seafoam green I spun on the quill spindle.

I draped the black and tan unfinished, plied skeins over the distaff for the photo.  The creamy white is on the distaff and I have some on the bobbin.  Nice!  My only bungle was to ply the singles on the Joy using the bulky flyer set-up.  This was a struggle and quite unnecessary.  I should have plied it on the Elizabeth; even plied, the yarn is DK weight at the most.  The skeins came out fine, but I had to fight with the Joy and risked breaking the singles yarn.  I was lucky that none broke.  I washed the skeins in warm to hot soapy water, and have set them out to drip.  Uh oh, now it really is starting to rain here!