Until I return

A few random thoughts before I leave for New Orleans.

My boy, a bit high strung or a big freak, whichever you prefer, is working on facing his fears. Luckily, he and his sister are both big water rats, like their mother, although at this point, I enjoy the pool more for knitting. Both are on the swim team in the summer and both have great potential if they're willing to work hard. I'd say the jury's out on who's more into it, them or me.
The boy decided he'd like to join a number of his friends on the dive team as well. And started freaking out about it almost immediately. So, before the summer even started, we were working with him and not quitting 'cause you're scared and following through on what you commit to. Keeping in mind he's a high-strung 6 year old and that diving can be really scary.
He got over the first hurdle and found he really enjoyed it. The sport is, like gymnastics and karate, a natural fit for him. Diving requires movements that his body wants to make anyway. Whether he posseses the discipline and courage on the mental side of the sport are another matter. The jury's still out. It's really up to him. Not me. All I can do is take him to practice, encourage him, and Back Off. So anyway, he had his first meet after we'd been at the beach for a week. On his first dive, he was so focused on the approach ("the hurdle") that he did the wrong dive. Automatic zero's. Ouch! Cosmic meltdown. No amount of coddling was going to get him back on the board.

He did, however, get back on the board after the meet (thank you, loveley Jack) and the next day and all week for practice. Next hurdle is that a diver must go backwards in at least one dive for his scores to count for the team. No amount of coddling, pushing, or guilting was going to get that child to jump backwards of the board.
I tried it one afternoon, and it is reallay very scary. He's happy to do back jumps off the side and even stood backwards on the board once, before turning around and jumping forward. By the end of the week, his very fabulous coach decided that he'd just do two exhibition dives in the meet and that's that. He'll do it when he's ready. But in the meantime, he did a great job in the meet tonight. Look at that form!

In knitting news, I thought I'd show you a pre-felting shot. Honestly, I haven't even sewn the pieces together. When completed, I hope it will be a small messenger bag with a long over-flap and a longish strap. Strap size is tough to anticipate. The yarn is Lamb's Pride Bulky from Sheep Shed Studio and hand-dyed by me in the Blue Dolphin colorway.

From more experiments with blending on my fabulous drum carder, I give you Fairy Dust II singles

and 2-ply yarn.

and remember Astroturf? Here it is in a yarn cake

and knitted. Very tweedy, eh? Remind me to tell you what I learned about spinning and plying from this exercise.

And one more thing, as we approach the July 4th holiday. This is a bit out of character for me, but here goes. My friend Fleming, who may kill me for this, is on a six month deployment to Djabouti, Africa. She is a Navy nurse and the mother of three of my favorite little girls. The older two are good friends with my kids and Jack and I enjoy their parents a great deal. This is her third deployment - one of the others was to Iraq and I believe she went right on into Bagdad in the beginning of this crazy war. She and Kell have never complained and both bravely go on about their business, she on the job in Africa and he home with the three girls. I am in awe of them both.

Before she left in January, I "reminded" her how to knit. Here she is modeling her completed scarf. It's wool, of course! What else would you knit with so close to the equator?

Happy 4th!