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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rhapsody in Green

I have spent most of the past week wiping snotty noses (both mine and Rei's) and living under the fog of what I can only pin down as a really terrible cold or a really fantastic flu. My usual blogging method  involves dumping a bunch of pictures in my "To Blog" folder and then dealing with them later - when I went to peruse them today (my first day of mental clarity since Tuesday) I realized the last week's photos are all green! Bingo, said I! A theme!

This is my latest skein of handspun. It's 214 grams, and 605 metres (662 yards, but I'm trying to do my patriotic duty and move in a more metric direction) of fingering weight 2ply. The fibre looked like this:

And was purchased from Hummingbird Fibre Arts - a local-ish vendor. It's organic Romney (wool), alpaca, and silk. I'm not sure how I feel about it - the spinning experience left something to be desired what with the vegetal matter and second cuts falling out hither and thither, and the colour isn't really saturated enough for my tastes, but it is shiny and drapey and rather pretty. It'll be good for a lacy somethingorother.

Next up, the garden! We weren't getting ANY sun in the back yard/patio/thing because of our overzealous tree, so nothing was growing. We live in a great co-op that welcomes families of all income levels, which means that there isn't a lot of money floating around for things like professional arborists. So, with Jake's help (well ok, he did all the physical cutting, I just dragged branches around and shouted orders), I gave the tree a haircut. A terrible, sloppy looking, jaggedy haircut that I am sure it is totally embarrassed of.

This is what came off:

Which is a lot. Particularly considering that that pile is what it looks like after we cut it into more stackable chunks. But now the sun shines fully on my planters for several hours each day! So I finally planted tomatoes:

Look at all the little baby lettuces! And the strawberries! And my zucchini is flourishing! Yay for gardens.

My final bit of green? A PSA for all you yarn-lovers. Please, for the love of all that is good and fair and right, do NOT store yarn with mothballs. A friend bought this gorgeous yarn in a destash, and when it arrived it reeked (through three layers of plastic) of noxious chemicals. I was doing some dye work for her, so she asked me to wash the deathly smelly yarn while I was at it. It now only smells a bit musty, but do you know what it took? Two washes with dawn soap, a 6 hour vinegar soak, a long wash in Eucalan, innumerable rinses, and a week (A WEEK) hanging up outside between washes to blow around in the wind. The mothball chemicals burned any broken skin on my hands (I have a semi-psychotic cat, broken skin is a necessary part of this lifestyle choice) when I put them in the soak water. I really though that the smell wasn't going to come out. And look what was nearly ruined:

It's impeccably dyed, and a luscious merino/cashmere blend. It would have been a crime against yarn-kind. So please, please - no mothballs. They're toxic and terrible. The best way to prevent moths is constant vigilance. Take out the stash every once-in-a-while; shake out the skeins and get them some sun. Store them in ziplocs and then in plastic. Throw in lavender or cedar, if it makes you happy, but they're mostly useless. Light and agitation are your friends. I'm through with mothball yarn.

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