Sunday, August 12, 2007


Y'all, it is hot. It was a hundred and four degrees Fahrenheit yesterday afternoon. It was 84 degrees at two in the a.m. when I woke up and had myself a good dose of insomnia, and it's 101 right now.

It's the kind of hot that makes you seriously contemplate whatever posessed your ancestors to settle here. Me? I'm convinced that my own ancestors arrived in October and made their decision based on that, and by the time summer came back around they were too busy eking out a living to get the hell out, and by then, the babies caused by happy October weather were born ... and then well, you know. You're stuck.

My own personal, direct ancestors didn't arrive till the late 1880s. By that time, clothing was slightly less voluminous than in days gone by, but not by much. Women still drowned when any sort of boat sank, weighed down both by their clothing and the social norms of the time which forbade them to shed it, even to save their own lives.

I can't stand wearing anything but the thinnest garments in this weather. I can't imagine facing it in pantaloons, petticoats and corsets. Gah. Once the thermometer hits about 95, it's even too hot for shorts. A loose, thin, cotton or linen skirt is much more comfortable. Today I'm wearing a Hawaiian-print wraparound and a tank top, which makes me think of Lisa Louie -- hi, Lisa!

I have a hard time imagining the first European explorers deciding on this as a swell place to live. "Hey, guys! There's a little rise over here next to the river! Let's build here, just as soon as we get all those water moccasins and poison ivy vines out of the way."

Before the advent of air conditioning, running water, mosquito control and modern sewage, people down here died all the time from yellow fever, malaria, and related ailments -- right up until the early 1900s. We still have to maintain diligent mosquito control to keep encephalitis and West Nile Virus in check.

Anyway, yesterday, it was too hot even to spin properly. Even indoors with the air conditioning on, the humidity was such that I was having trouble drafting the fiber.

So I fooled around with experimental yarn labels instead. The labels shown below are draft-quality mock-ups -- having a bit of Sunday afternoon computer fun:

I waited until late afternoon to catch the low, slanting light outdoors, but the oak canopy above our house still prevailed -- it's so much easier to take outdoor pictures in winter here. You can't even see our house on Google Earth, but you sure can see the trees.

Yarn colors, top to bottom, are: Candy Striper (gradient-dyed Romney singles plied together), Blood Orange (space-dyed roving, spun into 2-ply sport weight), and Blue Hawaii (dyed 2-ply Romney). I was going to dye some more last night but it was too hot, even with the air conditioning on. It occurs to me that I should put a tiny dash of yellow here and there in the Blue Hawaii, to represent the twist of lemon in that drink.

I suppose the name "Candy Striper" belies my age -- how many of the rest of you were hospital
Candy Stripers in high school? I am thumbing through my dye notes, and nearly all of my other color names are either food-related or adult-beverage related. I can't imagine why ...

I don't think I like the idea of a twisted skein with a wrap-around label as much as I like the idea of loose skein hanging with a tag. I'll play around with tag designs tonight, and post photos to solicit opinions.

Thanks to everyone for your kind and supportive commentts about my upcoming venture into the weekend arts market. I am still waiting for my application to be approved but I will let you all know as soon as I have an opening day for my weekend stall.

I'm getting up super-early tomorrow to dye some singles before breakfast, before the heat gets serious. I also need to be up super-early because I'll be edgy -- my brother-in-law is having bypass surgery tomorrow morning, and I worry better if I'm up early.

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At 5:26 AM, Blogger Lori said...

The yarn looks yummy. While the labels look great, I like the wider ones, you may be onto something with the tags, especially if you hang the skeins to display them. They are much more easy to fondle that way, but may be more labor intensive for you in terms of set up and tear down.

At 4:46 AM, Blogger Ann said...

I'm torn. The bands will keep the straying yarn in check, and make it less likely to be tangled during fondling. Tags, however, make it much more possible to fondle (and tangle.

Tough decision.

At 9:11 AM, Anonymous oneken said...

love the label sleeves -- something about the window muntins suggests bars but it's subtle.

been in the 100's four days in a row now -- juss aint natchel!

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Brittany said...

Saw your comment on Yarn Harlot that you're from N.O. I am from there originally but in Houston now (for 13 years-not b/c of Katrina).
Your yarn is great. I've been doing a little spinning here and ther. I bought a wheel earlier this summer and just sort of jumped in. I love it although the Merino/Silk blend I'm spinning right now is slippery as heck.
Oh, and yes, I do remember having to be a candy striper for service hours. You must be a Catholic School girl (me? Immaculata High School class of '89)


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