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Spinning Babydoll Southdown October 16, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.

Since I seem to be getting hits on this phrase, I just thought I’d say –

Babydoll Southdown. As the name states, it’s a down breed with a fine, short, very crimpy fleece that easily loses lock structure. It is easy to wash and easy to spin, and can be worn against the skin though wools like Merino, Cormo, and Rambouillet are softer. If you’re sensitive to wool, this fleece might be a little prickly.

This wool is best carded into batts or rolags or processed roving – its short staple length makes combing difficult, though some commercial mills might offer top. Flick carding is also a little tricky with this fleece – when washed, it loses a lot of lock structure, making it difficult to keep the fleece organized, and it’s short enough to put your fingers in danger. (Also, the crimp makes what could be a 4 inch staple curl up into 2 inches after it hits the water. =) It can be spun long draw for a lofty yarn, or inchworm for a sturdier, worsted or semi-worsted yarn, though however you spin it, it will loft up. This sort of down breed is ‘uncrushable’, it actually has a three-dimensional crimp that helps with its bounce. (Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics is an awesome resource for wool types, BTW) This fleece will never be a good candidate for a very smooth, drapey yarn, though it is excellent for blankets and socks and sweaters and when knit into ribbing is amazingly elastic. Just remember that the staple length is pretty short when you spin – anything bulky or slubby is going to be /very/ prone to pilling and will wear quickly. However, its crimp makes it easy to spin for something so short stapled.

As a down type wool, Badydoll Southdown can also be washed in the washer without further treatment. It does not felt well. Wash a swatch first, though! I have a pair of suffolk wool socks (Suffolk is another downwool breed, with a similar but not quite so nice fleece. You can often get these fleeces for free, however) that I’ve washed in the washer numerous times, and they’ve not felted down, though the stitches /are/ slightly blurred. They’ve worn very well, especially considering they were my first actual spinning ‘project’ – I’ve only now had to darn them, and have worn them for years (on carpet. Wince). I’ve even thrown them in the dryer, and they’ve not deformed or shrunk. This means it’s not a good fleece for felting projects, obviously.

These are good ‘first fleeces’, too. They won’t felt easily when you wash them, and tend to be only 2-3 lbs for a whole fleece – a much less daunting prospect than a 10 lb Romney! They are also easy to process without much equipment – even dog slickers can yeild a nice and very spinnable presentation.


Oh, India. October 16, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.

My favorite part of Yahoo messenger is the random IM. I actually leave the program up just for that reason – if I am online at 2 am, I know someone will IM me and entertain me, asking curious questions even if my only reply is ‘ok, ok’ and ‘what?’

This said – Men from India. What on earth?

Now, I have met many perfectly lovely people from India. Most of them are polite and well spoken, both the ones here for tourism reasons, and ones who have moved here permanently. I like Indian silk and Indian food and many other India-related things. Yay, subcontinent.

That said, someone (Does anyone from India ever stumble across this?) please tell me – what is up with your ‘male under 35’ demographic? Because these people seriously confuse me. A typical conversation consists of them saying ‘hi’ over and over until I get back to my computer and say ‘hello’ back. Then they quiz me – they require a laundry list of hobbies, a description of my family, and ‘what is ur figure?’. Then they drop the ‘do you have a boyfriend?’ question. When the answer is ‘yes’, they either get pissed off at me (W. T. F.?), or then ask me about my sexual habits. Depending on my mood, I’ll tell them it is none of their business (which tends to result in either really pushy questioning, or wounded replies), or just answer ‘yes’ a lot without giving details. Typically, they then a) ask to be my boyfriend (um….) b) tell me they love me (um….) or c) offer to fly me to India.

(I figure I’ll just add here – I am aware that the concept of ‘family’ is more central to Indian society than it is to mine, currently, and that the whole family thing is a logical question. Also, it is natural to want to know what people look like, etc. I’m more curious about the progression. The thought pattern that yeilds this apparent ‘I will IM a completely random person, ask them a few general life questions, and then see if they’ll marry me’ course of action. I mean, if I decide to ever randomly IM someone, it is about something specific that caught my attention on a profile or message board…I’m not fishing at complete random for a life partner. And this particular IM style comes to me unfailingly, over and over again, from different people in India and Pakistan.)

A few years ago when I first started getting these, I was more polite, but as the number of random ‘IMs from India’ reached the hundreds, I’m now just short and unforthcoming in the name of research. But really – does this ever work? Do young Indian men with computers seriously think this is how American women work? We’ll just decide we are in love after a ten minute conversation and hop across the pond and marry Random Indian Male without so much as an involved conversation? (Seriously. I have had professions of love from people I have only said ‘yes’ ‘no’ and ‘what?’ to. Really.)

I occasionally have a lot of time on my hands, and during these interesting ‘conversations’, I’ve formed a few half baked theories. Perhaps Indian men have gotten a very odd idea of American culture and women through various media and are truly under the impression that this is what will win us over. Or, perhaps, in India it is actually common for a guy to speak to a girl for five minutes, says he loves her, and then propose…and actually have a reasonably good chance of success. (Though, the people I have spoken to in person from India really don’t give me this impression…most tell me the whole traditional ‘arranged marriage’ thing has fallen out of favor). Or perhaps they’d never dream of actually speaking to a girl like this where they live and just act inappropriately for the hell of it.

Certainly I am devoting entirely too much time to this.

An easy solution would just be to ignore them entirely, but I enjoy being irritated and perplexed by their behavior. I tend to be a polite person, but sadly I am pretty entertained by the…weirdness, by my standards. The ones who say they love me and then are hurt and outraged that I am not immediately buying my ticket to India are my favorites. Also, the ones that suddenly turn pervy – ‘ur family? see my cock?’

Why do I never get random chatty IMs from Indian /girls/? That would be so much more fun.

Along the same lines, I also often get random IMs from Pakistan. In fact, I have one random Pakistani guy who changes his screenname so I cannot ignore him, and then spams me with random Farsi and then insists I love him and he is my boyfriend, without seeming to realize that those are not things you can declare and make so. (Yes. He is entertaining, and I am a very sad person. I know.)

Is is just that area of the world? I never get these kinds of IMs from, say, Japan, or China, or Germany, or Brazil.

And I know it is not because I am all that alluring and entertaining, seeing as these guys see…my screenname, and the word ‘ok’ over and over again.

What gives? Is there an anthropologist in the house?

Edge of your seat October 15, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.
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I know the world at large was dying to know if my lotto ticket made me the recipient of a heartwarming news story about kind acts between strangers and winning a lot of money.

Sadly, it did not.

But I did get one number right! Yay, ’14’!

Oh, what the hell October 15, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.
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It’s 3:30 AM and I thought I’d see if I’d gotten any interesting google hits (not really, though three hits from people searching for ‘Brianna’. Hi.)

Anyhow, I was already here, and in the interest of reducing mouseclicks (lazy girl that I am), I am typing some black marks up here for random people to decipher.

Again: Hi.

(why does this feel like one of those ‘I just started writing on the internet!’ posts? Because, really, I haven’t. Just started, that is.)

Anyhow, I am pleased to announce that weekends have meaning again, due to the 9-5 job thing I am currently doing. To many, that would be painful and death preferable, but I am enjoying the structure. Sleeping until 3 pm has /meaning/ and that meaning is ‘I freaking woke up at 8am five days in a row, I will sleep until it is no longer interesting’. I then returned some very, very overdue movies (sorry, Rock) and bought a plethora of food and food-like items, a few articles of clothing. Clothing shopping is irritating lately, because I am not a fan of the ruffle, yet all clothing designers seem to think the ruffle is the Best Thing Ever. I have worn a solid colored t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and a black belt to work for almost a month now (of course, rotating individual items), and I need some goddamn shirts to break the self-imposed monotony. Please to nix the ruffles. Thank you.

Also in the past month (just to keep the internet at large up to date on the fascinating details of my life. Or, to keep me up to date when a tragic head injury erases all memories of this time in my life and I need this wordpress thing to reconstruct my vision of my past) I have seen the victim’s advocate person twice. It was…about what I expected it to be. But I now have technical names for a lot of things! Hooray, hyper-vigilance! It’s fun to feel the constant need to watch doors! Apparently, putting exact names to forms of behavior you are trying to eliminate helps the eliminating process. So, now when I feel the need to keep the door open while taking a shower (difficult with roommates) I can say to myself ‘B, that is hyper-vigilance’. And then, I will still keep the door cracked, but be more defined about it. =p However, I am apparently ‘bouncing back a lot faster than many other people’, and there is nothing I like more than being ahead of the curve in many ways, so – yay, me! Gold star.

I made banana bread tonight. Well, very early this morning. It turned out…reasonably well, though I think it tastes odd to me because I’m using whole wheat flour. Last week I made the best loaf of bread I have ever made – Whole Foods is a mecca of interesting ingredients.

I have also acquired a lotto ticket. I don’t buy the things (depressing), though I do enjoy the scratch-off things when people give them to me, but when I was buying beer (fizzy bread water. Ick. However, it is good to have other people’s favorite things in the refrigerator) I loaned a random man a quarter. This is apparently a very shocking thing to to, because in an excess of good nature, he turned around and bought six lottery tickets, five for him, and one for me. I don’t even know where to check the numbers. Ha. In this vein, on the way home from work on Friday, some random church was handing out free soda at a stop light. I am not going to go to church, but I will gladly drink their fizzy sugar water. (It was a Dr. Pepper, for the record). Things like this keep me happy for days. I wish you could still pay tolls for the people behind you – I used to do this all the time (especially through New England, the tolly-est place on earth), but now I see signs in all the booths that this is not allowed. Which is just…odd, but oh, well.

Oddly, despite all this activity (And I can make a little seem like a lot), I feel unproductive and lumpy. My things are breaking (the computer, the car), and it’s so frustrating – the things I cannot fix are always the things that choose to break. Or, rather, I inadvertently break them and then become frustrated not only at my lack of care, but also at the things themselves for not being more sturdy, and at my lack of knowledge in the computer-and-car repair arena. Of course, instead of actually getting things fixed, I choose to complain about them on the internet. I still have four ounces of merino and alpaca to comb for a swap I signed up for, and I have started two pairs of socks and have finished neither.

Strangely, I started writing this in a lovely mood, but now I want to hit something.

So, I will stop typing.