Sunday, June 26, 2011

Op-Shop Perils.

I found this cone of lovely stuff at our local op-shop. The picture doesn't show it but the yarn has a silky sheen with a slight slub to the texture. Greedy little me grabbed it and headed for the counter to pay for it, believing it to be acrylic - just what I wanted for the base colour of the crocheted blanket I'm working on. Sure the yarn is very fine but that's OK, I can use 3 or 4 strands together to get the thickness I want. What a surprise when I got it home and did the flame test. It certainly isn't acrylic and definitely not wool as it burns too enthusiastically, although it does burn to an ash that simply disappears leaving no residue at all. When I wound off several skeins and washed them the smell was not that of washed wool and they shrank. Curiouser and curiouser. Could it be linen? Maybe viscose? Surely not silk, the quantity is huge, weighing well over a kilogram. The odd thing is it is cold to the touch and doesn't get very warm at all so I won't be using it for a baby's blanket, especially as it is very flammable. Further experiment showed that the knitted swatch I tried, with 3 thicknesses of yarn, washed without further shrinkage and the fabric is lovely and soft. So all is not lost, it looks as though I will be treating myself to something lacey for Summer. This is actually the first time I've tripped up over an op-shop purchase. I've had some lovely bargains in the past and am still hopelessly addicted. I'll just have to go back until I find the yarn that I need for my baby's blanket won't I?
Bye for now until next time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blogger's Block

What to say when there's nothing to say? I suppose I'm not the only one to suffer from it. You know those times when there's so much going on in your life, but nothing that would be of any interest to anyone else. It's been like that for us of late - lots doing - gripping stuff even, but only to we who are caught up in it. In short, the man of the house has been struggling with ill health for months and continuous trips to a confusing number of specialists have proven only frustratingly un-enlightening. At last we know, and it is mendable, entailing a short stay in hospital, probably only overnight. In a couple of weeks he will, hopefully, be his old self again. It has been a long, anxious time for us and I am very grateful for this new turn of events.
Another reason to be grateful is shown in the pictures here. We have a friend who parks his caravan on our block as he has no room on his own. A couple of nights back we had some really violent winds overnight, so much so that the man and I dragged our bedding into the lounge to sleep as we feared that the very large Ash tree outside our bedroom window might fall victim to the elements. It didn't but one of the old cypress trees that border our property did and here is the result: To quote Maxwell Smart, "Missed it by that much." Despite the rather frightening sight we found when went out to survey the results of the storm, the caravan had only the tiniest dent from a branch no thicker than my wrist.
Scarier for me was watching Greg, the tree removal man, clambering around to clean up the remaining branches. I couldn't help but think, "I'm glad that's not my bloke up there." But Greg likes to do it and he does it well. Thanks Greg.
Winter solstice has passed. Warmer days on the way. How lovely.
Bye for now until next time.