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.
In knitting news:
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:
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.)
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…
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:
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.)