Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mail Call

Spinning wheels are lovely and all, but when I received a terse telephone call from the North End regarding Dolores's outstanding bar tab I decided there were going to be some changes made.

Contrary to expectations, she's turning out to be a quite good personal assistant. When I came home tonight she'd already sorted the mail.

"Would you mind going through it now?" she asked. "I have a date at 7:30."

"By all means," I said, settling myself into my armchair and taking up the chocolate milk (shaken, not stirred) that she had thoughtfully put out. "What have you got?"

"Elissa Meyrich sent you a cease and desist."

"Again? What is it this time?"

"She says she invented sheep in 1987 and you're violating her trademark. There's a handwritten postscript from Gregory Garvin that says something mean about your mama. What do you want me to do?"

"Send the usual response by return of post."

Dolores tapped a stamp reading "PISS OFF" into her inkpad and thunked it down on Ms. Meyrich's letter.

"Let's see...electric bill, postcard from somebody named Gervais who hopes you still remember Antwerp, an invitation to the Wet 'n' Wild Underwear Party at Cell Block–wait, that's for me– and a bill from your tailor for alterations. Oh, and Netflix sent you Emmanuelle at Stitches West."

"I don't remember putting that in my queue."

Dolores coughed. I made a mental note to change all my computer passwords.

"And you got a big fat package from Black Bunny Fibers. Sounds kinky."

What Carol Sent

Black Bunny Fibers is a new undertaking by a good friend, Carol, proprietress of the blog Go Knit in Your Hat. The lady has a way with fiber and she's decided to put it to good use. Wool for spinning, yarn for knitting, in colors too good to resist.

Here's what I got:

Until now, I've only spun the natural corriedale/montadale from Susan. When this slid out of the package, I couldn't resist the allure of that deep green (or the fact that she named the colorway after me) and so I pulled out a spare bobbin and got to it.

It's very different, spinning Wensleydale. The fibers are longer and silkier and not as tightly crimped. I kept thinking of mermaid hair as I was drafting. The change was mighty educational. I think I've finally grasped the differences between the woolen and worsted drafts, and I also tried spinning from the fold for the first time.

And this is what's come out so far:

I'm not in love with my spinning yet. But I'm falling hard for this fiber. Those greens, in sunlight, shine like emeralds. They're the deep, yellowy greens you find in William Morris textiles. (Excuse me as I break out in a sweat.)

I have this sinking feeling that Black Bunny is going be eating up a hefty portion of my monthly paycheck. If the damn sheep doesn't get me, the damn rabbit will.

Glencora Baby Shawl

I have finished the entire center of Glencora and begun knitting on a lace edging - Wave Lace from Heirloom Knitting. The jury is still out whether the green I picked for the edging is going to play nice with the yellow of the center. I'll post a picture later, when the edging is further along and doesn't look like an indeterminate pile of blech.

Look! A gay cowboy!


Leslie said...

I'll take your word he's gay - he looks pretty good to me and Dolores.

marie in florida said...

i love the scar on the back of The Cowboy's head!

Liz said...

Just wait till you knit with the Wensleydale. There is nothing like it. The sheen is similar to silk, but there's a great halo of sorts once it blooms in the wash. I think you'll enjoy it Franklin.

David said...

I could use a personal assistant. Maybe I should start hanging out at the 4-H Fairs.

Joe said...

Funny cartoon, clever banter with Dolores, amazing spinning with gorgeous fiber AND a gay cowboy picture.

What else could a knit blog reader want (the clever cowpoker picture worked again)?

pacalaga said...

Your Emerald City singles are calling to me.

rene said...

Wow, that's some beautiful green! I bet it will look fantastic knitted up.

BTW, I've been going back and reading your archives whilst bored at work, and I really enjoy your writing. :)

Colleen said...

Those chaps are HAWT. Please tell me where to find him so I rip them off his butt.

Emily said...

That blackbunnyfibers Carol certainly knows how to dye! I bought the charcoal sock yarn she had up (which arrived in the UK 3 days after I paid for it!) and it is the most beautiful yarn. Not sure if I can use it for socks - might have to be a scarf - yet it would make glorius socks....

Holly @Home said...

The ratio of your mail doesn't look too good Franklin.I'm sure Dolores has always seen herself as a bossy P.R she'll be following you press conferences.

Vivienne's Mum said...

Apropos nothing in particular, try this :

for Herdwicks in their natural habitat. And today you can see why the stout wool coats.

Jennifer said...

The line about "Emmanuelle at Stitches" has me in stitches. I wonder if it's from the days Krista Allen went by the letter change makes her a "legit" actress now. ;)

Jax said...

Ah, Franklin, if I weren't married and you weren't gay, I'd have to whisk you away to England.

Ruskin(How's little Effie?), Morris, roving the precise shade of green that colors all of Possession...'re just dreamy.

Did you visit the art museums while in Fort Worth, or was the attraction of all those cowboy butts just too strong to let you walk across the street from the coliseum?

Stephen said...

Does the label on the wool saying "100% wool top" refer to you or Dolores?

Lee Ann said...

It is entirely your fault that I've just begged Carol to make me Wensleydale in the Bloody Mary colourway.



Anyway. Absolutely gorgeous, and I've been dying to spin with Wensleydale. Now you've confirmed for me that it's a must-have fibre.



What shawl? ;-)

Heather said...

Ahh, a sarcastic sheep, fiber porn and cute cowboys. You know how to draw in the readers! :D

Sherry W said...

Hey Franklin!

Your really improved! I'm a rank novice and I just spun my first batch of fiber and it was Wensleydale. I agree it wasn't hard to handle.

I ordered some BFL from Carol earlier this week (I haunt her LYS), I'm so afraid I'm going to mess up her pretty roving.

Joanne said...

Great yarn, hot cowboy. Are you SURE he's gay?? :-)

Cheryl said...

Hmmm. somehow I imagined a gay cowboy to not have jeans on under his chaps...
maybe this is just a bi-cowboy.

Fyberduck said...

mermaid hair... damn you for making it sound like that. Now I have to get some.

some good advice, tho, from an experienced addict - buy in bulk. it's cheaper overall, and you're stash will be big enough to always have something alluring ;)

Lucia said...

There's the Yarn Pirate carrying on about her craft-supply fast, and I come over here and find you taunting me with Wensleydale. This is clearly a collaboration to drive me insane. (Shut up.)

Zee said...

Yummy Wensleydale
yummy cowboy


No need for dessert!

Mindy said...

Ooooh, that green looks fantastic. And that's some pretty fine spinning for not having done it long. You gotta watch out for Black Bunny- she's dangerous! (this is from experience- there are 3 rovings and a lace-weight tempting me from my counter- nevermind cooking dinner)

Quite efficient, isn't Delores?

Ellen in Conn said...

How does one discern the sexual orientation of any particular cow-person?

Franklin said...

The bull rider in the photograph was participating in a gay rodeo, so while that's not a 100% assurance by any means, it's usually a good clue ;-)

Carol said...

Thanks, babe, you are such a sweetheart. LeeAnn -- I'm on it.
I was going to say that the lavender fringe on his chaps was one clue, but attendance at a gay rodeo is much less subtle. Only next time, Franklin, might I bother you to get more of his ass in the picture?

Daisy said...

Hi Franklin,
A friend is contemplating raising sheep and I mentioned the miniature sheep you had rhapsodized about on your blog. We can't find that post now. Did I hallucinate that entry? Was it just a dream?

Kathy Merrick said...

Excuse me, love, but isn't your acerbic roomy called "Dolores"?
As in "sorrows"?
Or do I have a brain tumor again?
I hate when that happens...

Ann said...

Daisy, tell your friend to get himself to Maryland Sheep and Wool, and to visit the parade of sheep breeds, where he will see more types of sheep than are dreamt of in his philosophy. Tell him to avert his eyes as he goes in the gate, as there is usually a seller of Babydoll sheep there, and they are as cute as buttons. Otherwise, google either on Babydoll sheep or Old English Southdowns and you should find out more than you need to know about those cute things.

Also, if he's serious, have him check out the pre-festival classes on sheep care....I was going to say sheep husbandry but it sounded too kinky.

Personally, I'm thinking of bribing Dolores to swipe the finished green mermaid hair and mail it to me. I am SUCH a sucker for lovely green yarn.

Linda said...

I adore the idea of a piss off stamp. It will keep me happy for years as I open my mail. The green is seductive and too beautiful for words. (I'm not usually a green lover, either.)

A'tuin said...


I am so jealous. You are getting such good results from your spinning now. I still slub it sometimes, if you know what I mean.

Oh, and I wanted to ask a question about the link to Your link doesn't work--I get a cannot find server message. The bookmark I had doesn't work either. Do you know if something is up?

Jon said...

Look! A gay cowboy in a rather provocative pose. Seems to me that I've seen that in a porn movie somewhere. Or, heard about it in a porn movie. Yeah, that's it.

What are we signing up for? There were only 3 classes of interest to me.

Jax said...

Franklin, I just have to hear your opinion on one of the most important aesthetic questions in the art of cowboy watching: Wranglers or Levis?

sahara said...

His chaps are FABULOUS! I wanna pair!

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