Sunday, August 14, 2016

Making 1950's America Over?

The other night Trevor Noah made a profound statement that has rung in my head ever since: "Trump is a 1950's guy. So when Trump says 'I'm gonna make America GREAT again!' he's really saying he's wants to bring back 1950's America." (Without the heavy taxes that millionaires paid in those days and all those pesky social reforms.)

What he's really talking about is simple: The Boomer Years.

The problem is the Boomer Generation went to work for corporations that changed the world, profoundly, and in their favor. Like goats, they've eaten all the green and left the rest of us to deal with the ravaged desert they left behind.

Well, we've been dealing, and there are a number of things from the 1950's that I think we should bring back.

Clean Air -- all the CO2 in the atmosphere is a pollutant.

Clean Water -- get all the fresh water in country clean enough to drink. While we're at it, get the oceans clean enough to eat out of.

My problem with Trump is that he might have a great delivery, and be a hell of a an entertainer, but he can't un-do 65 years of resource harvesting and industrial pollution.

He can't clean the air or the water. He can't put the CO2 back into the ground ground as fertility.

He can't make it rain in California. Hilary can't make it rain in California.

Guess we just have to vote for the career politician who won't nuke the world in a fit of temper.

If we, as citizens of the world, want to make the world a great place again, we're each gonna have to do our little bit.

Act local, think global.

It's a great start.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Quick Note




My occupational therapy project, my hand is still sore.

Doing my best to work the hand and get the finger working again.

Gotta give it time, this isn't gonna be easy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Busted Wing - Update


Here's a photo of my messed up hand. The pins are out, the stitches are out. The finger and joint are swollen still.

They gave me a cute little harness to exercise the finger. They say I can get most of the range of motion back.

The problem is there is something weird happening with the palm of my hand. The tendons of the fingers are drawing. It's scary.

So I worked on the fourth book of Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse - The Healer for a couple hours today. Gave the hand a bit of a workout.

I'm not going to The Arts on Bridge Street this year. I'm just not up for it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Catching Up -- A Quick Note

This has been a busy month, busier now than ever.

While I'm tackling The Hoard for the (hopefully) final time, I'm going to post this brand new book cover for you to drool over.


This cover is by the man who did my cover for Swallow the Moon.

Athanasois Galanis the link goes to his website, see his cover art for yourself.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Busted Wing

I'm making do with a broken finger, but I wanted to update this blog.

Went to the Kentucky Sheep and fiber festival last weekend and brought home a lovely selection of pencil roving. The colors are wonderful, the blend feels like alpaca and I can't wait to get to spinning.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fleece, Fiber & Fuzziness

 


I've still got quite a yarn habit. The top photo is some Mohair fleece that has resisted all my efforts to clean it. You might be able to tell that it is almost clean, the ends are fluffy and everything is great...right to the cut end.

What I'm looking to create is more of the bottom photo. Soft yarn in nice colors that spins like a dream.

Not gonna happen with the Mohair, as far as I can tell. The skin-side is stuck together with something that acts like glue. Since this is goat hair, it's not lanolin, which is actually good to have in a fleece. 

There are two schools of thought on washing goat hair. One is LOTS of hot water, but don't touch the fiber because it will felt in a heartbeat. Heavy use of Dawn detergent is recommended. Some people say borax, some say not to use borax.

I've tried hot water & detergent. I've tried cold water & detergent. I've tried cold water & borax and a vinegar rinse. I've tried cold water & detergent soaked for 24 hours. I've tried hot water, detergent, borax & rinsing. I've tied epsom salts, which worked better than plain detergent. Hot water must be kept hot, which makes rinsing a challenge. 

Today, I soaked a big batch of Mohair in a dye bath and a bit of vinegar. I cooked the whole thing in a crock pot for 4 hours. I added green, blue and yellow dye to the pot. The blue vanished, it ether didn't take or it mixed instantly with the yellow, because there's no sign of it.

I've been fussing with this mohair for a week. I also washed two batches of burgundy suri alpaca that came out really nice. So I opened up a bag of Grumpy's fleece and washed a batch of alpaca today. 

I've got very little Mohair and a BUNCH of alpaca fleece. So I've decided to just let the goat fleece soak in it's own 'brine' of potassium. The process is called Suint Fermentation. The link is to one of the better websites on the process. 

I haven't got a greasy sheep fleece to kick start this mess. So I bought some potassium pills to kick start the process. So far it looks like it's working. 

We've got a run of nice weather. I'm allowing the fleece air dry in the back yard. All my washing stuff is set up back there, and the fleece washing project is coming along nicely. 

Tomorrow I collect a few gallons of rain water for the Suint Vat and I'll let that ferment in the back for a week or two. Eventually, I hear tell, the fleece will produce the microbes needed to get the sticky stuff out of the fleece. 

Meanwhile, the stuff I dyed today will be come a crude yarn with tales and stuff sticking out. Like the orange yarn below. 


We'll see if it works or not. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Yarn Ala' Llama

100% Alpaca, dyed with Koolade

Jacob wool, dyed and plain

A peek at the stash

Left to right - Alpaca in yellow & green, wool alpaca blend, llama dyed with cherry Koolade, natural wool in brown

It's time to celebrate something fun and festive...my yarn! I've been spinning, because it relieve stress and experimenting with Koolade dyes.

There's citric acid in the yarn, I get a Koolade aftertaste when I knit. It's kinda creepy, really, to taste Koolade for hours after you put the yarn down. I didn't lick the yarn, or my fingers. It gets into your pores. Makes me glad I didn't use any harsh chemicals to dye the yarn.

Still the colors are bright and cheery. They are likely to be fairly close together when you dye in batches. (One package of Koolade per ounce of yarn.)

If you want to learn more about dyeing yarn with Koolade start here.

I'm currently working on a hat (of course) and might try a set of fingerless mittens, with the green and yellow alpaca. I loved my stumpy-looking llama wool mittens from two years a go. I might give that another try,