09 February 2007

Can you smell the Gobi?

First, a short bloglife note -- FeedBurner, in addition to providing a nice universal feed (by which they mean it doesn't matter if you're using an Atom- or RSS-based feed reader, which apparently does matter) will also track stats. And not just feed stats, they'll track overall site stats, too, if you bury a bit of code in your template. For free even. So I now know that you, my loyal readers, tend to use My Yahoo! to subscribe to my feed, that you use a mix of IE 6 and 7 and various versions of Firefox as your browsers, and that a startling number of you seem to be reading from Herndon.

Actually, probably not so startling about the Herndon part. But anyway. The FeedBurner thing is good. If you're looking for a feedburning, stats-tracking kind of service, check them out. I'm just using the free service, but there's a bells-and-whistles paid version as well.

The Snow Leopard Trust yarn has arrived, and it is nice. I will try to take photos and be a bit more descriptive about the visual and tactile quality of 'nice' over the weekend. For now though, let me assure you it's nice. It's worth the cost of a skein, even without the sense of moral rectitude that comes from supporting worthy causes.

The first thing that happened when I opened the box was I had to smell the yarn. Normally I am not a nose-to-the-wool sort of person -- I know what sheep smell like, thank you -- but for handspun from Mongolia you really just have to get the full sensory experience. And then the Viking wanted his turn. The yarn was clearly rinsed in some sort of mentholyptus wool wash, but we both think we detect notes of musky camel and open steppes.

Then I set it down by the computer so I could pet it while I futzed around in WoW for a bit. Maeve, who is not normally a lap-sitting cat, came to sit in my lap and spent a lot of time sniffing the yarn too. And of course if I am paying attention to a cat, I must also pay attention to the dog, so the dog had to sit right next to me, and also gave the skein a thorough sniff, punctuated by a long searching stare at me. Dogs and cats, in spite of our best efforts to anthropomorphise them, really are other nations, and I wonder what sort of language a skein of Mongolian camel yarn spoke to them.

The yarn is a 2-ply, roughly fingering to DK weight, and the skeins are large -- each one is supposed to weigh in at 5-6 ounces. I haven't weighed mine yet to verify that, but it seems about right.

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