10 December 2007

Tea, Art, Knitting, Spinning. (wit took the night off)

Boy, oh boy, do I have updates. Let's start with the most recent.

I just bought the utiliTEA kettle from Adagio Teas for the office. I've wanted an electric kettle for a while and this seems to be the best for the money, since it has a variable temperature control. I haven't bought one before now because I've been getting by with my morning caffeinated tea and buying 1-2 unsweetened iced teas from McDonald's during the week. Now that the weather is colder I've switched to drinking hot tea all day long.

I took off this past week to paint trompe l'oeil. Painting full-time is the most marvelous thing I can think of. I loved waking up in the morning knowing that I was going to drive to the studio, brew a cup of tea, and sit down to my palette and paint until lunchtime, walk a few blocks to one of the many neighborhood eateries, pick up a cup of tea to go from my favorite tearoom, and settle back in for an afternoon of more painting. It wasn't exactly fun painting--the phrase that comes to mind is "brutally hard"--but it was intensely satisfying. I was really depressed on Saturday because it was over. I don't know when I'll have time to paint again in the near future, but I hope it's not too far off.Anyway, the painting is linked to the electric kettle-buying. Last week I averaged daily tea intake between 5-8 cups between 8am and 6pm: 1 cup chai in the morning; 2-3 cups of rooibos until lunch; 2 cups black tea after lunch; 1-2 cups assorted decaf late afternoon; 1 cup Egyptian Licorice Mint before bed. It was marvelous. My new favorite black tea is Golden Monkey. I want to keep up the tea intake at work, although the hot tab on the office water cooler is for crap and microwaving in the limited kitchen is a pain. (*side note* the GE Profile water cooler has a hot feature that really gets steaming hot enough for tea--instantly. If I were going to buy a new water cooler for the office, I would get this one)

I didn't finish my painting, but when I do, I'll post a photo of it. I painted it all from three--count 'em, three-- colors, plus white. Behold, palette before and after shots:



I picked the Thrummed Mittens back up. They had been hibernating for many months and in the desperation to have something hand-knitted to give away to family members for Christmas... Actually, I was trying to think of a gift for my sister-in-law. My brother buys her anything material thing she could possibly want (and many material things she didn't know she wanted), so it's not a matter of buying something really nice, pretty, soft, or useful. It has to be one of those, "from the heart" gifts. Damn. Those are always the most difficult. So I started knitting her a felted wine cozy in colors she likes. I know, nothing screams "I'm so glad to have you in my family!" like a felted wine cozy. It ranks right up there on the Charm Scale with getting an electric leg razor as a surprise gift on your 20th wedding anniversary. It is a damn nice wine cozy, though. My mom came to the rescue and said,

"Why don't you make her a pair of those wonderful mittens you showed me--the ones that are all soft inside?"
"The Thrummed Mittens?"
"Yes, those. Did you tell me, though, that you absolutely hate knitting mittens?"
"Ah well. It was a thought."

Turns out I don't hate them nearly as much as I thought. In fact I plowed through the body of the mitten in less than a handful of hours today. I estimate that in two more hours, I should have the left mitten finished--which brings me to one completed pair of Thrummed Mittens. If I were particularly enterprising, I would also figure out how to make Thrummed Booties. But surely my SIL knows how much I love and appreciate her without me having to make Thrummed Booties. Yes, I think so.

Then I had the second thought: Hey, these things aren't so bad after all... maybe I'll pick up some other color yarn and roving while I'm at the knitting shop that looks more like her and whip up a pair, and give the finished blue ones to Mom. I'm brilliant AND a masochist, apparently. My main objection to knitting socks and mittens is that it tends to make my wrists sore... but that could also have been a tendency to strangle my knitting, which I have fortunately given up. Perhaps my wrists have also become stronger and less prone to injury since I've been doing hour-long weight-lifting sessions twice a week for the past 6 months. My shoulders are ripped and beastly, so why shouldn't my wrists (while lacking in obvious stunning musculature) be stronger too? That, or the weakness in my wrists was psychosomatic. Oh god--what if I'm a hypochondriac?!?


dost mine eyes deceive me?
'Sfaith, I see Thrummed Mittens by the pair.

I knew I shouldn't have left them alone unsupervised.


Looky, looky! My very own handspun 2ply: 50% Corriedale, 35% Merino, 15% Tencel.

No comments: