Sunday, June 30, 2013

Anachronistic Lifestyle Living

To say I'm a bit anachronistic may not be the most accurate description of me. Maybe I'm a bit more Steampunk, in that I love to incorporate technology into my anachronistic ideals  Lately, I've been knitting. And spinning (Tour de DeFleece).  And cooking.  Yesterday was a bit of all three.
Yum!  Blueberries!
I've been wanting to make blueberry jam, and yesterday I managed to squeeze in some time to get a few batches finished.
Start of jam.  Lots of sugar!

I had forgotten how much sugar went into it.  That's 5 cups there, baby, for just a small batch!
It's not looking so great, but trust me, it gets better!

After cooking, and getting it to mash up well...
It's cooking more and more!
It started to look better and better.  And finally, I ended up with some delicious jam!  Trust me.  It's really yummy.  Full of some Florida sunshine and sweetness!
The finished product!

But cooking isn't the only thing on my mind these days.  After all, the Tour kicked off yesterday.  No, not THAT tour, this tour!  The Tour de Fleece!  As a participant, I am dedicating myself to spin each day and challenge myself with different spinning techniques all through the Tour de France.  Yesterday I divided my fiber and began spinning some lace-weight on my Majacraft Rose.
Blue Faced Leicester Fiber

Turns into Blue Faced Leicester Lace!
Needless to say, it's been awhile since I have spun.  It's not that I don't like it anymore.  I love it as much as ever.  But I never seem to prioritize it in my life (kind of like my blog).  That's why I love the Tour de Fleece.  It helps me to prioritize, just for a while, my spinning life.  Each time I go back to it, it's such a joy to me that I wonder why I stopped to begin with!

After getting some help from my son, I got the fleece all divided up, and I started spinning.  It didn't take long for my smile  to come back to my face.  I am looking forward to seeing what it will become in the future, but I anticipate using it to incorporate into one of my lace designs.  It's only 4 ounces, so it will necessarily be small, but I'm looking forward to seeing the result.

Spinning isn't the only thing I'm working on these days.  I started a special project for a dear friend and am almost finished with it.  Worked in the round with an easy to remember pattern repeat, I anticipate I'll do more of these in the future.
My little surprise for my friend.

One of my treats to myself when I was in Scotland was to go to a local yarn shop named Kathy's Knits in Edinburgh.  I picked up a couple things, but the yarn that I really got excited about is St. Kilda's Laceweight.  I'm using my single precious skein to turn into a scarf, the pattern being Jardin d'hiver.  It's been a true joy to work on it and think of the sheep on that tiny island in that harsh climate.

As for finished work, I finally finished working on my Carson shawl, which you can see below, blocking.
Carson, finally complete!
I can hardly wait to have the opportunity to wear it this fall!

Homeschooling continues to occupy the greatest portion of my day.  Right now I'm in lesson planning mode and culling mode.  I'm trying to sell the old to make way for the new.  It's been a lot of time and work, but I'm beginning to make headway.  As of right now, I have only two more lesson plans to complete, and my lesson planning days (at least for this year!) will be over.  The kiddos are doing their end of year testing this upcoming week.  In reality, it's pretty much just another typical day for us.  I really don't want the kids to get stressed or feel pressure.  I want them to always do their best, no matter what they're doing, so I treat it just as another typical day.  I hope all goes well, and afterwards we'll celebrate by going out for pizza.

School will begin for us officially the beginning of August.  We are still finishing up a few loose ends with a couple of classes, and I am planning on having the kids do a study skills class, via a course named  Victus Study Skills.  That, coupled with the kids' mission trips and camps and visits to grandparents will occupy all of July.  I'm uncomfortable with the idea of starting so late, but after all that's happened this past year, one month's delay is pretty decent!  And as long as I don't have a year like I did last year, we should be in good shape!