simple things

Hello, blog. Good to see you again.

This morning the sun is shining, and I am watching the Tim-the-eternal-kitten play in a patch of sunlight just in front of the sofa. Yes, he’s batting around a little tiny goose figurine he ought not to be batting around, but he’s so serious about his hockey practice that I haven’t the heart to take away his puck. It’s not breakable nor chewable; and I’ve got my eye on him. So charming.

Of course, in the time it took me to go find my camera, he hopped into the basket of papers-for-the-fire.

Tim hogs the woodstove heat

In knitting news:

The beginnings of a Simple Thing

Isn’t that pretty? I found I needed a very simple project I could pick up and put down and pick up again without too much thought, and it seemed a perfect opportunity to knit Mary-Heather’s Simple Things (that’s the non-Ravelry link, here’s the Rav link). I’ve been admiring that one for quite some time. And, of course, it was an excuse to go on an archeological dig through the sock yarn stash:

This entire sock yarn stash

My final choice was Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Silkie. And oh, good grief, I’ve misplaced the yarn band, so I have no idea what the colourway is. Sorry. Bad knitter, no donut. (It’s from the sock club, the 2008 club methinks.)

The reason I needed a simple pick-up-put-down project was this:


Yeah, I’ve injured my paw. Too much IKEA furniture building, a task that seems endless around this house. (The bedroom is done, at least in terms of furniture. Now: The Studio. Yikes.)

Bonus points if you can Name That IKEA Dresser...

So I’ve had to baby my hands, and that has meant a slow-down in knitting, spinning, and, of course, writing. All the fun stuff. Apparently, I Am Five and thus cannot sit still without something fibre-y to do with my hands. No, simply petting the fibre isn’t enough. I must be making something with the fibre. Thus, the need for a simple project where I could take frequent rests along the way.

As to what I was working on before the IKEA incident…

Red Shawlette (in progress)

See that red lump of yarn up there? Well, it’s the brightest, richest red you could wish for, and I chose it to help lay waste to the season’s hobgoblins. (Jennifer’s Flock Sock Yarn in Garnet, brand new from Holiday Yarns. OOps. So new it hasn’t made it to the website yet. Email her if you want some. It comes in laceweight, too. Just warning you.)

That looks lumpish right now, because it’s lace, and knitted lace always looks like a pile of raveled rubbish until you block it. This particular raveled pile of Not-Rubbish is going to be a little shawlette, a wee triangle to wear around my neck to warm up both my neck and my wardrobe. It’s a simple pattern, one I’m wrangling in the depths of my own mind, and I love it because the design is giving me a chance to work with some basic elements of Estonian lace. I’m working from my increasingly battered copy of Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia, whilst yearning for a copy of Pitsilised Koekirjad, which for those of you who are not lace-crazed like me, is sort of the gospel according to the Estonian Lace gurus.

I’m also spinning up a lovely batch of the softest Polwarth I could imagine:

Bad photo, I suppose. It’s a deep, rich forest green, with highlights and undertones of other greens mixed in. I bought a pound-and-a-half of it (yes, a POUNDANDAHALF) at SOAR this past fall, intending to spin it up as a three-ply to knit a cabled sweater for Nicholas.

I got a little nervous once I started the actual spinning, as the fibre, while sumptuously soft, has a lot of neps and noils in it. (I must have Estonian lace on the brain. I first typed that as “has a lot of nupps and noils in it.” Uh-huh.) I panicked, thinking the whole lot was a waste of money, but after listening to the folks on Abby’s forum on Rav, and after spinning and plying a test skein, I think It Will All Be OK. The neps tend to just mix into the twist somehow, especially when plying, so you don’t really see them, or feel them much, in the finished yarn. I imagine that this would be even more the case if I were to “spinner up” and do a four-ply. I don’t know. It would be gorgeous yarn, but that would require mountains of patience. There’s certainly enough fibre for a four-ply batch of yarn to make a whole sweater for Sir Nicholas The Lithe. We shall see.

I see from last entry’s comments that the hobgoblins of winter have been making the rounds. However, on a second, more careful, reading, I also noted the bright talent and joy-in-making you all wield as anti-goblin tactics. What a treat you folks are! (And Carole, the blue shawl is Gail AKA Nightsongs. I seemed to have renamed it “Nightwing” in my notes!)


A few of you reminded me that knitting projects were not the only things I had done last year. True. I made some lovely yarns on my spinning wheel and spindles:

"Zombie" yarn; fibre by Spunky Eclectic

I took classes in spinning, fibre processing, drumcarding, combing, advanced knitting techniques, and plying; I designed projects and wrote articles and moved to a new town and quit my full-time job and started learning how to live the life of a freelancer. (Whew!)

As for that last one: I’ve managed to read an entire novel. AN ENTIRE NOVEL. Start to finish, endnotes and all. Yes, I know: Shocking. I haven’t been able to do that for years, so this was a lovely change, even if I did feel a bit guilty at times. I mean. I was JUST SITTING THERE, doing nothing, with a novel in my hand and coffee on the table next to me. But I pushed past the guilt, as the joy of reading was utterly worth it. This particular novel was a Christmas prezzie from my sister, Liz:

The book is Three Bags Full and it is a hoot. Go read it. (Hint: There are sheep in it. The sheep think and talk. Sort of. It’s a mystery. Both the book and the flock of sheep.)

(And yes, there are two cups of coffee in that photo, and yes, both belong to me. One was hot and one was cold, and do you REALLY expect me to explain this in a parenthetical aside? No, I thought not. Thank you.)

I hope any visiting winter goblins are slinking away to their caves, even as I type this. (Good riddance.)

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
This entry was posted in Animals, Knitting, Spinning. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to simple things

  1. LynnH says:

    What a cheerful post! I miss having a cat, my only pet ever, Muffett, died 14 yrs ago. However, I’ve been married to Brian for 13 yrs and he’s quite allergic. I do prefer Brian over an as-yet-unmet feline, but I still miss my fuzzy friend.

    Today in Lansing, Michigan, we have a little sun peeking through our eternal (winter) cloud cover, every once in a while. Beloved is on his Sunday bike ride, woke up at 6:30 and won’t get back for probably 13 hours. In the snow. It makes him really happy, I’m all for it.

    So I sit listening to the furnace blow and read about your different wools and they all sound wonderful. I spun some polwarth years ago and it was delicious, like a chocolate truffle that melts the minute it touches the lips.

    With your cats, and a fire, coffee and your 2 sweaters, it sounds like a fine Sunday to me. Enjoy every minute!

  2. Naomi says:

    Here, I think they’re hiding under the approximately 2 feet of snow we got earlier this weekend. Today is beautiful and sunny, though, and I’m warping my Flip. 🙂

    (And I just last night started spinning some polwarth, myself. Oh, it’s lovely.)

  3. Mardi says:

    I’ve read Three Bags Full! It was terrific. And I love that red yarn. I spun my own red laceweight, but I might have to get some of the sock yarn…

    Sorry to hear you’ve hurt your hand. No more furniture building for you!

  4. AnnaMarie says:

    Oooo, yuck about the hand. I hope it heals quickly. I read Three Bags Full a few years ago and loved it! I think it might be time to read it again *g* Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Sara GL says:

    Okay – is it a leksvik dresser??

    Love your simple shawl! Now I need to get some sock yarn to knit it! I love sock yarn but my wrists don’t love knitting socks so I’m always looking for other great projects to knit with sock yarn. Thanks!

    • sandiwiseheart says:

      It is a Leksvik! You win bonus points. Faerie dust to you this Monday. May you have a bright day and not encounter The Stupid all day long 😀

  6. sarah says:

    Might that sock yarn be ‘Walking on the wild tide’? It looks familiar and I have some. Made Monkeys of it.

    Glad the green seems to be working out… it’s so lovely and you loved it so.

  7. Lynn says:

    Silly girl – you hurt your hand? And you didn’t tell me about it, in gruesome detail? Bad Sandi. How are we supposed to have a knitalong/spinalong/weavealong if you’re laid up? Do I have to dig out the pile of unread novels in solidarity?

  8. Tami says:

    The green is gorgeous! Just go along with your original plan and soon there will be an equally gorgeous sweater for your man to admire.

  9. I missed you from Knitting Daily so I googled your name and came up with this. I hope you are doing well (apart from the hand). I hope the hand heals soon! Winter doesn’t help, does it? I have way to much yarn and too little time right now to do much with it. I’m currently teaching full time and am enrolled in 2 graduate courses (I must be crazy!). I’ve been working on the twilight mits for going on the second year. I’m well into the second one. I started a Baby Surprise Jacket. We’ll see which grandchild or which neice gets it when more knitting reveals the size this garment is meant to be.

    Knit on!!

  10. donna lee says:

    I have been having an arthritis flare up in my hands so I sympathize. I have a nice simple sweater pattern (Mr Darcy from knitty) to make from my handspun alpaca (I bought three pounds) for my not so lythe husband (thus the three pounds). It’s a two ply and so soft and lovely. It’s easy to knit with and easy on my hands. Much easier than the bayeriche socks I have been slogging through.

  11. Natasha says:

    So happy to hear from you again!

    Yes, you have done lots of things this year! Including enchanting, teaching and guiding all of us who read your blog and KD posts on a regular basis. I’ve been knitting for 28 years and I’ve learned LOADS from you since I started. I also want to reach out and give you big hugs everytime I “read you.” I’m sure the lucky people who know you personally feel even more like that!

    Cheers Fiber Friend,


  12. says:

    What kind of dresser is that? I have the same one but I forget the name.

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