This is a week of lists. Yesterday morning, Older Daughter and I headed out, lists in hand, to visit no less than five different stores, getting supplies for three birthdays, two father's days, a graduation, a trip, and a spinning lesson for second graders. We actually got most of it done, too. And this was after baking two cakes on Monday morning: one for Younger Daughter's birthday snack at school (carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, a favorite of my girls, although most of the kids in the class had apparently never been confronted with carrot cake before and found the whole thing confusing until they tried a bite; then they got on board), and for her birthday dinner that night (chocolate cake with a chocolate frosting that tasted just fine but that I will never make again; can I just say burnt sugar catastrophe?).
Tomorrow morning, I'll be making Rick's birthday cake (a spice cake with grated butternut squash in the batter; I know how it sounds, but all I can say is that no-one has ever not had seconds of this cake, even those appallingly self-controlled "just a sliver" people), and his requested dinner: beef burgundy. While that cooks, the plan is to gather fiber, spindles, and a wheel for my visit with Younger Daughter's second-grade class, where I'll teach seven students about spinning (which fits into the Fundamental Needs of Man unit they did this year, clothes being a Fundamental Need of Man -- women, apparently, not so much). They'll all go home with their own spindles.
To that end, I gathered 16 CDs (we're making an extra spindle to show them ahead of time), 8 cup hooks, 8 rubber grommets, and eight dowels, ends sanded, and a starter hole sunk in one end for the cup hook. Once the prep work is done, they go together really fast (no glue, which was the bonus of this particular spindle recipe, and made the trouble I had finding the rubber grommets worth it), and spin beautifully.
They're even kind of pretty, no? Because each spindle has two CDs, held together with the grommet, you can make them with two silver sides out. If I can remember, I'll bring some sharpies along and the kids can decorate them if they want.
I have to admit that the guys at Lowe's seemed utterly confounded by the whole thing. "What did you say you're making again?" asked one nice man, rather plaintively, after helping me find the grommets. Heh.
I've also been knitting up a storm this week. I finished the first half of Hillflowers, and it's on waste yarn and waiting to be grafted to the second half when that's finished.
My goal was to get one half done now and to bring the other half along on the trip. This pattern is so easily memorized that it can actually be travel knitting, and since I'll only have to knit one half of it, it's not too big to pack easily.
I can't tell you how tempted I was to block the first half once I finished it. But since I'd just have to block the whole thing again after grafting it, that really didn't make sense, and I held off. That gave me more time to work on The Behemoth (AKA Shawl That Jazz), which is big enough that I'm starting to be really glad that I changed my plan to make this my travel knitting (mostly because this trip will be tight on space).
I am into my second skein of yarn, and I have high hopes of finishing this before I leave, or maybe while waiting in the airport at LAX. It's very cozy and warm without being heavy, and I really would love to be able to wear it on the trip. So right now, it's all garter stitch, all the time. I'd keep my fingers crossed, but it'd only slow me down.