Friday, November 14, 2008

Yay! and other things...

I got the coat I wanted! I'm so happy about that because I really kinda love it. Now, I just have to wait until it gets cold enough to wear it or for Christmas to come because it should be cold enough in Virginia. We're going to the cabin for the holidays... the only reason I won't go is if I still haven't gotten the subbing job. My mom thinks I should go anyway, and she might convince me yet, but my neighbors are going to Spain for Christmas and they have asked me to pet-sit their dogs. It would mean more than $300 if I do, which is a lot of money, you know... That would more than pay for all the presents I'm making with a generous bit left over... so we'll see. I probably will end up going to Virginia despite this temptation, just because I know my mom has got some valid points.

  • I'll eventually get a job and make money.

  • I don't need the money, I just want it.

  • I can't buy holiday memories with my family.

  • What's the use of staying home to offset the cost of the gifts I'm making/buying, when everyone would rather have me there in person than a gift.

A lot of valid points... So... yeah... And I'm sure my friend Maria, who will be pet-sitting for us, and is also moving to DC in January to attend grad school at American University, would appreciate the extra $300 that she won't have to borrow for the semester if my neighbor would want to hire her if I'm not here, since she'll be living at our house while we're gone anyway.

I also got the roving ordered that I need for the rest of the Holiday gifts I'm spinning/knitting... It should be here Wednesday at the latest. I can't wait! I got some Falkland, which I've been wanting to try for the longest time. I've heard different things about it. Some say that it's like Merino, and others say it's more like Corriedale, so I'm eager to find out for myself. In any event, it should be very soft. And I also got some Shetland in two different colors. I love Shetland! OMG! I think I want Shetland sheep at some point... They're just so beautiful, cute and lovely, and their wool is dreamy... They'd be good sheep to have, I think... And for myself, because I want to make myself a hat to match my beloved pashmina scarf, I got some European Merino in Sky Blue. From Ashland Bay. I'm wishy-washy on Ashland Bay. I think their Corriedale is seriously inferior, useless stuff. Easy to spin maybe, but not for anything I'd want to make with it. It's too coarse! Who wants coarse Corriedale? It defeats the purpose... Ashland Bay's Corriedale, imo, really isn't a good example of the breed's fiber. I've gotten absolutely heavenly soft, comfortable Corriedale from other suppliers and especially from individual farms, stuff that's closer to Shetland (but not quite as fine as Shetland), so I don't know what's wrong with their stuff. But we'll see how their Merino is. I have hope. The color is certainly very pretty on my computer screen.

A note on Merino... I've never been overly fond of it because despite it's softness, it can be a little tricky to spin. I find it kinda... sticky... generally... But I recently heard from a vegan PETA person at a knitting gathering that the Merino industry is rather evil. Not an unusual thing to hear from a vegan PETA person, since it seems everytime I hear anything from anyone that extreme it's with the attitude that anyone who doesn't treat animals like they would another human being or better is cruel and immoral... So I didn't really take her at her word. The things she was telling me made no sense as far as what I knew of raising sheep for wool. Mistreating sheep damages the wool and the value of the fiber on the market, and therefore the bottom line, so even the most callous industrialist - I would think - would want happy, healthy sheep that are well taken care of if sheep fiber were their business... I would think... So I did some research because what she was telling me was just so disturbing. She, of course, made it sound like all Merino sheep are mistreated, and I told her that I found that very hard to believe, and that most of the roving I get is from a small farm in NC (which is true, most of what I spin comes from Spinners' Ridge and Gate City Yarns - formally Yarns, Etc. in Greensboro). I told her that it's very easy to find wool produced under ethical, caring, healthy conditions, that all one has to do is talk to their suppliers. She didn't seem to believe me and prefers to stick with acrylic... because the petroleum that acrylic is made from doesn't hurt animals, you can see the logic there... :/ Oh, well... Even so, here's the 411 on Merino mistreatment... European and New Zealand Merinos are protected by law from the mistreatment they are subjected to in Australia - some barbaric practice called "mulesing" (I think I spelled that right), which I won't describe because it's just too disgusting. It's illegal in almost every country that produces quality Merino, but not in Australia. There it is widely employed to control parasites. Seems to me there must be better ways to go about that. So I'm inquiring where the Merino I buy is produced and boycotting Australian produced Merino, until the country outlaws the practice. I don't want fiber with that much blood and pain attached... just, no...

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