Travis and I moved to Ohio a tad over six years ago. We had lived in Muncie, IN – Travis for his whole life, and me since 1994, when I started going to college. Anyway, we wound up buying a house here in Mount Vernon in July 2001 and moving, somewhat randomly. We didn’t know anyone here or anything about the area. We just knew we didn’t want to stay in Muncie forever.
So Travis took a week of vacation and we drove here on a Friday afternoon (a 4 hour drive from Muncie), signed the papers, took a minute to check out the house (that’s when we discovered that there was only one phone jack in the entire house), and drove back to Muncie. The next day, we loaded up the U-Haul and realized exactly how much crap we had accumulated. That was scary. We didn’t just load up the U-Haul – the largest one they had – we loaded up every available vehicle we could. And I think we still had some stuff we had to leave. Assisted by Travis’ family, we drove back to Mount Vernon Saturday evening, and spent that night and the next morning unloading everything into the house.
The next week, we kind of got stuff organized a little bit. I know at some point (I think it was a Thursday afternoon) we were so frazzled we decided to just forget about unpacking and drove around a little bit, to see the area. There are some cool places to buy plants around here! Then at the end of the week Travis left to go do his 2 week National Guard thingy. I’m not sure if he went to Michigan or California or somewhere else that year, but I’m pretty sure it was the 2-week trip where he came back with a bunch of Harry Potter books, since all of the other National Guard people were reading them.
Anyway, I was alone for the next two weeks in a place I knew pretty much nothing about, with absolutely no one I knew. I think I only left the house once or twice – that’s another thing – I got my driver’s license late, when I was in college, and am still slightly uncomfortable driving. I’m a lot better now than I was at that time, fortunately. But back to me (and Toby!) in the new house by ourselves. I’ve never been bothered by being alone. I don’t get scared or lonely. About the worst thing that happens is that I get bored. Remember, this was before I started knitting.
Actually, a funny thing – right before we moved, I had wanted to learn how to quilt, but Muncie didn’t have any quilt shops (one is open there now). So, in the week after we moved in, we went to Wal-Mart (evil!) and bought a cheap Singer sewing machine. It took me a few weeks before I got the courage up to try it – I can’t remember if Travis was still gone or not. But I know that as soon as I sewed my first seam, I knew something was amiss.
I didn’t own an iron.
It never even occurred to me that I would need an iron if I was going to make a quilt. Go figure.
Back to those two weeks, though. I unpacked some, although not all. I read a lot (by that point, I hadn’t lived anywhere with a TV that actually worked since my freshman year in college). I hung out on the floor since we didn’t really have any furniture besides a futon bed and our dining room table. I played with Toby out in the yard (this was before we got our fence put up, and I was always paranoid that she was going to run out in the street. She’s done that exactly one time since we moved here. She was chasing a squirrel). But mainly, I was hot.
We have a bank of windows in our dining room, which faces west. And it was so hot those two weeks, and we didn’t have any type of window covering over those windows. Not to mention, no air conditioning (now we have 2 window units). And all of this is leading up to now, this time, this year, where it has been and will be, for the next 4 or 5 days, at least, that consistent level of hot. I keep thinking back to right after we moved in here, and how hot it was, and I’m so thankful even now to have the AC and the insulated shades in the dining room to keep out the heat. I’m just really glad that Toby can be at least somewhat comfortable (Ellie and Bela, on the other hand, keep sneaking around the drapes to lay in the sun).
So, hooray for air conditioning, and also for one of the rare good things that this house came with – the very quiet, very functional ceiling fan in the living room. If not for that I surely would have melted.
I finished up the woven shawl today!
I’m pretty satisfied with it. It came out a bit smaller than I had anticipated, only 22″ x 64″ (or something like that, I can’t remember exactly). I also found some spots where I had skipped over some of the warp threads, which I honestly don’t think I had ever done before. I blame it on inattention and also the fact that I never quite got an even tension in all of my warp. Still, it’s nothing I couldn’t fix or live with – I fixed the one spot that was kind of bad, and I’m living with the few other bits. My left edge is really nice and straight, but my right edge was a bit weird – again, I’m blaming that on my tension issues.
Still, not bad, especially since I had kind of pooped out halfway through. I do love the texture (fuzzy! soft!) and drape of it, and it’s far more durable than the handspun silk shawl I made, so I may actually wear this one and not be afraid of ruining it. Crazy, I know! Look, Toby can even wear it:
I never got around to ordering the fat heddle for my loom, so I’m going to do that tonight so I can weave something crazy with my crazy stash (including Karida‘s Big Ass Ball O’ Yarn). But before I do that, I’m probably going to weave a scarf combining some mohair from YarnLove and merino/tencel sock yarn from Dianne at Creatively Dyed. I don’t think I’ve ever woven with mohair before, so that should be an adventure.
Oh, you were perhaps expecting something about fiber in this post called Happy Fiber Day? Yeah, well, my boatload of fiber came today. No pictures, but the fiberly delights include such rare and exotic things as tencel, soysilk, black diamond fiber (scroll down until you see the dark gray roving to read about it), alpaca, sparkle fiber (2 different kinds) and a ton more. It’s all part of my evil plan to take over the world, or at least corner the fiber market.