It seems like the passage of time speeds up those last two weeks of December. I suspect there is some time-space continuum that goes out of whack brought about by the shortening of daylight hours, the expectations of the wee human folk, and rampant consumerism. I expect that our Sam might work to prove this theory as he grows up.
Speaking of consumerism....we had a rather lavish holiday this year. I'm not going to list everyone's gifts but we all have reading material to last through the middle part of the year! Lila had 18 books in her stash- I think she has tucked three of them under her belt already...it would have been more but she was already embroiled in the Chronicles of Prydain series written by Lloyd Alexander. Her Welsh ancenstry calling her.
I received FOUR Terry Pratchett books from the Discworld series. This man is a witty genius and I love him. I'm on "Jingo" right now. Hmm. Also four books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R.R. Martin. The first book was great so I'm looking forward to reading those also. Big thick books with teeny tiny print. This phenomenon never used to bother me, but I swear that print is getting smaller. I also used to be albe to read in bed for a long period of time, but reading seems to have more of a soporific effect on me than anything anymore....
Okay- so here is the ultimately over the top gift: TWO pounds of Yak down. No, I'm not kidding. Not ONE pound, which in and of itself is ridiculously a lot of yak, but TWO. TWO! AND a pound of sari silk. AND a half pound of black alpaca blended with Mulberry silk. I don't know where to begin. Well, I do of course. I'm going to spin a single of the black alpaca and silk and ply it with a single of black Shetland from our girls and finally knit myself a hat. I might save a pound of that Yak and blend it with our moorit Shetland this spring too....man that would be some soft yarn.
My friend Susan (the basket weaver) and I are teaching an after school arts class at the Three Lakes Academy called "Introduction to the fiber arts". We received a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), the Erickson Center for the Arts, and the Manistique Lakes Lion's Club to purchase lap looms, a 48 inch tapestry loom, potholder looms, two rigid heddle looms (all made in the USA in New Hampshire by Harrisville Designs), student drop spindles, fiber, fiber dye, yarn blanks, and knitting needles. We are using the Harrisville Designs WoolWorks Curriculum which was written by Lorna McMaster. We had our first class last wednesday and we talked about the science of wool, the cultural importance of fiber animals, and how humans discovered textiles through felting. We had a hands on felting activity- making beads and wee pouches wet felted around plastic easter eggs. It was pretty fun! This week I will be teaching the kids (ten of them) how to use a drop spindle, giving a spinning demonstration on my wheel, and talking more about the cultural importance of spinning, textiles, the physics of spinning etc... I'll take pictures this time... It is a nine week course and I'll keep folks updated as we go along. So now you know where I am on Wednesdays.