Every so often I decide I am done blogging. Then, months later, I realize I am not. I have things to say, things to talk about, and this is probably the best way of doing it. So I am back. Busier than ever, since the indexing freelancing took off this fall, I will be teaching online for the University of Maryland in the spring, and oh yeah, there's the full-time job. I couldn't resist the most recent indexing job, or rather the money that will come in, and was tickled by the idea of teaching 1) an online course, 2) a course on collection development, and 3) for the iSchool at UMD. So bring it on! I do better when I am busy.
But that of course makes getting to knitting, spinning, weaving, and every other creative impulse very difficult. I would entertain the notion that sleep is unnecessary, but I quickly slip into sleep-deprivation pseudo-psychosis -- you wouldn't like me sleep-deprived. At moments like that I am reduced to puddles of tears by, say, red lights, and tend to forget how to do things like not walk into things. Or as Beatrice the Biologist says about not getting enough sleep,
The indexing job, however, will be done in 3 weeks. The on-line course will take a lot of work to design, write, and get up on the course management software, but again, that prep will be done by the time class starts near the end of January.
So with the winter break starting today, I am trying to divide my time between freelance work, trudging my way through the enormous house project, and fiber work.
First, this is what winter break looks like on my San Antonio campus.
The roses, as you can see, are very happy and some days it is still warm enough to eat lunch outside.
Second, HIC SVNT DRACONES
I know there are moths in the house. I vacuum them up when I see them. I put new yarn in sturdy plastic containers. Some folks mutter about plastic containers retaining moisture, but so far so good with new yarn. But today when I picked up a zippered clear plastic tote into which I stuffed two longterm projects that had been in baskets around the house .... there was a live moth crawling around at the bottom. And some casings. And some of the sandy stuff at the bottom that is, as the image puts it, moth excrement.
My first impulse was to put the whole bag, still unopened, in the freezer, under bags of frozen broccoli. It could stay there for a while. But I have done some readings, especially the wonderful old post at Moth Heaven, and I think what I will do is take each project out, see if there is any visible damage, and then submerge the project in water for 24 hours. By the way, Julia Farwell-Clay has moved her blog Moth Heaven here. She is the designer of a pattern I recently fell in love with, called Mork. Here is Mork.
To combat the concern about moisture accumulating in yarn stored in zipped plastic bags, I am slowly collecting zipped plastic bags that have cotton sides. The best of both worlds -- I can see what is in them, they are moth proof, and the fabric will prevent condensation. But while I have been careful about some yarn, I have been careless with others, like these two works-in-progress that were not carefully protected. So I am going to be examining, freezing/heating, and, if necessary, tossing yarn. Julia Farwell-Clay saves yarn and darns sweaters (apparently there is a reason she calls her home Moth Heaven), so I think that will have to become part of the arsenal as well. I just can't believe that moth's jaunty walk along the inside of that bag. The noive (as Moe, Larry, and Curly just said in my head).
Finally, if you are still looking for holiday gifts, please think about buying from artisans. There are craft markets everywhere this time of year, and plenty of artisans selling their wares on etsy and in yarn stores as well. So a shout out to Kim Bierly at Main Street Yarns, in Rebersberg PA, who makes it a point to carry the work of local sewists, potters, and other crafters along with handpainted yarns, to my friend Kawanna and her creative, original, and even special order Knits by KB, and to Bonnie Meltzer and her fellow artists at the markets in Portland, OR.