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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Home Again in Sunny France - Meet My Cat - Latest Spinning

Here we are home again for a brief spell.  Eric's brother Alan and his wife Jane are holding the fort up in Scotland so we've managed to escape and have a bit of time here.  We're waiting for Eric's Mum to go into a nursing home and have just heard that there are two places available in the town where we would like her to be.  Hopefully she should be moving there by the end of February.  We're off back to Scotland again next Wednesday and have booked the ferry back for 3 weeks after that, but we're hoping we'll be back before then.  Once she gets into the nursing home they'll want to get her settled and into a routine and probably won't welcome visitors coming in all the time upsetting her.

Thought it was time you met my cat.  His name's Jak and he's nearly 8 years old.  We adopted him when we first arrived in France and were staying at a campsite in Marciac.  Jak and his sister had been abandoned as kittens and were wandering around hoping the campers would feed them.  Our friends, Rod and Brian, took the female, and we got Jak.

He loves to help me knit, jumping on my knee for a cuddle every time I pick up my needles, and have you ever tried spinning with a half ton cat sitting on your lap?  Today he decided to help with the carding of some camel.  He loves to snuggle up in the wool and then have a good suck.  This must have been particularly tasty as it hasn't been washed!!

Oops, obviously didn't like the flash . . . he's off to terrorise the local mouse population, snack on a nice warm lizard, or catch a snake in the long grass by the field.

This is the latest wool I've spun.  It was very easy spinning as it was all pre-carded Merino.  When I bought my new spinning wheel it came with a £15 voucher for yarn, so I bought a large bag of mixed colours.  This was five different colours, all spun in rotation, one after the other, and then Navajo plied which means only one bobbin is used to make a 3-ply yarn.  That way I could control the colours and not have them overlapping each other too much.

This ball is going to be knit into a pair of socks.  It was spun very finely so that it was still quite fine after plying.  I'm using 2.5mm needles and it's knitting up well so far - a little handy project to take back to Scotland next week.

Whilst walking around the garden the other day, I came across this lump of oak, destined for our log-burner, covered with fungi.  I wonder if there'll be any colour to extract from these - must consult my latest dye book "The Rainbow Beneath My Feet", a mushroom dyer's field guide.  If they're still here when we get back, I'll maybe cut some off to experiment.

OK, first post in quite a while but hopefully I'll be more in touch soon.  Eric has just donated his mobile phone to me - this has quite a good camera so I'll be taking more photos if I have it in my sticky grasp instead of in his!