The Standard Sock

Yesterday…oh my goodness once in awhile life creates a perfect little storm. Well, probably once a month to be honest. I’ve had quite a bit going on at work this week, a very very large project in particular. Due this week. I meant to show off a sock yesterday, but as I didn’t get a moment to eat or knit until after I put Bug to bed yesterday (and I put her to bed late) there just wasn’t even a moment which I had free to take a picture of it. So, it can be my Friday post, and hopefully I’ll have something more interesting tomorrow.

The standard sock pattern out of some standard opal yarn. Specifically kept at work for long meetings. They go slow for that reason!

On Short Socks

This spring, my absolute favorite pair of casual shoes, ecco brand mary janes in orange and beige, broke. I tried to find the style again, but since I’ve been wearing them for more than 3 yrs now, they are no longer available. As a replacement, I got myself a pair of purple Keens.

I then decided I needed socks to go in the Keens. Short socks. Since I’ve purchased entirely too much opal at a very cheap price, I decided to use that. Now, I can get two pairs of short socks out of one skein of opal. Meaning that the grand total for a pair of socks in this case is less than $4. If you know anything at all about sock knitting, you know this is truly dirt cheap. I chose the ‘Vog on pattern, and have been knitting at work. Slow going, but productive.

On Being an Adult

I’ve got knitting obligations to complete. And I don’t really want to work on them right now. I really want to work on that skirt!

But, I am an adult, and I can complete that which I have committed to. So I began the sleeve for the commission cardigan last evening. I shall show you the start of it to prove it.

Yes, I know, it really isn’t much progress. Knitting this pattern in the round messes with my hands. But, I am working on it, progress was made. I feel pretty good about having started. Previous to the sleeves, my goal was to spend two nights a week working on this project. I think now my goal is to work on this project before I work on anything else, and work on it until my hands ache. That should give me consistent progress.

I also made progress on the Amiga yesterday. I spent two hours on the phone with a friend who has moved away, and knit on the Amiga the entire time. I have about 2 more inches of knitting on the body of the cardigan before I cast off.  I really am trying to be an adult about it all!

Not really how I had planned

I had a pretty good routine planned for this weekend. While I knew it would be busy, I intended to work on 2 projects, spend a little time with my fleece, and spin on Saturday evening.

Friday evening I worked on my amiga cardigan. I got so close to splitting out the sleeves, that come Saturday I couldn’t really stop working on it. I changed my plans, deciding to work on the commission sweater on Sunday, leaving Saturday for more cardigan knitting. On Sunday, I was still knitting on the cardigan.

That is some seriously excellent progress if you ask me. But, of course, by Sunday I was getting a little bored with project monogamy. I was also feeling a little blue about spending a holiday all alone and nowhere near family. I consoled myself, as I often do, with color.

Somewhat poorly thought out knitting idea # 3298 of this year. A knitted skirt. How can I resist with cotton blend noro and color chasing?

In fact, the ONLY thing I did as planned this weekend was spin during my “Date with Dr. Who.”


Seems like we are in a constant state of rain right now. And cold. Not winter cold, but certainly not warm.  And when the sun does come out, it seems I am either at work or off running errands and not enjoying it. I cannot tell you how much my lawn needs to be mowed! Maybe I’ll have that rare opportunity this weekend.

I’ve been fortunate though to have a few FO’s this week, and much to blog about. In keeping with that, I have a few project updates.

I was able to cast off the bottom of the sunburst cardigan commission piece. I now need to start those sleeves and get this finished. The cash from this piece is funding a new industrial strength ball winter. With as much as I knit and spin, I am desperate for it. My poor little plastic ball winder sounds so sad and loud with its stripped gears.

I also started my Amiga cardigan with the dyeabolical cotton slub DK. I was able to get gauge with this yarn, surprisingly. The sweater might be a little floppy, but I think the pattern works well for that. I’ll give a full review later of course, but upon initial investigation and comparison, I like the DK very much. It isn’t as fun to knit with. The slubs are less even. Some are much larger than others. It is, overall, softer. Less tightly spun. And in all honesty, I like the fabric I am creating more with the DK than I did with the original slub. I am finding this color very hard to photograph, but here is the beginning of the yoke of the sweater.

Ruched Tee

So, Bug’s ruched tee knit up kinda fast. Kinda crazy fast. I am still kinda crazy in love with the yarn I cannot get more of too. Bug’s tee only took 1 skein of it. Bug is kinda in love with her tee and refused to take it off even though it was cold yesterday. I think she looks kinda cute.

The yarn, dyeabolical’s cotton slub, original version.

Bug is growing like a weed right now. I should have known, since she eats 6 meals a day. I made the size 8. She only just fits it. I am now officially concerned about the size of the clothing which I ordered online recently.

What is on my wheel?

Spinning has taken a bit of a back seat since I got my hands on the fleece. Something had to give right?

I started some BFL from C*Eye*ber fiber the weekend before last. I had originally intended to do my typical 3 ply sock weight yarn, but once drafted, it asked to be a 2 ply laceweight. I love the richness in color on this one!

I’ll get a chance to work on this tonight, and hopefully finish it up this weekend!

Handspun project of 2011

I try to manage a large handspun project once a year. In July 2008, I completed the handspun, hand dyed lite lopi sweater. 2009 brought me my handspun february lady sweater. Sadly, 2010 brought a couple of smaller shawl projects, and nothing at all epic. You could say that I was already preparing for my 2011 epic handspun project.

Last year we attended the Iowa Sheep and Wool festival. While there, I purchased 8 oz. of Alpaca/Cormo/Silk and 8 oz. of camel top. I spun them 2 ply. The alpaca/cormo/silk was absolutely a bear to spin. What those pretty white balls of top held were only slightly processed blends that had a ton of vegetable matter and even entire bug carcasses. It was a slubby, dirty, awful, messy experience. But I still got good yarn. The camel was a different story. Lofty, light, perfectly clean, heavenly soft, and also gave me a ton of good yarn.  In December 2010, I began the Lilia Hyrna shawl out of “A Knitters Book of Wool.” The idea was to use the yarn undyed for this purpose. I knit on it in spare time between other projects, then at some point after Month O’Socks, I brought it to work and kept it there, working on it on my lunch break. After finishing the second chart and the set up rows for the final chart last week, I decided to bring it home over the weekend and give finishing it up a go. I worked on it Friday night. Saturday was busy and I had no time to work on it, so Sunday began a marathon of finishing. It took all day to do 6 rows and a crochet bind off. By the time I went to bed, the shawl was blocking on the floor and I knew I was going to be wearing a new shawl soon!

This shawl is far larger than I anticipated it being. The crochet bind off was a new experience for me. I love the natural, undyed fibers used on this shawl, it gives it a rich tone while still looking handspun and warm. I still have a ton of leftover wool, and have some dangerous projects in mind for it. But they’ll have to wait for the hottest days of summer.


Fleecey Adventures Step 2

Since I now have a full bag of washed fleece, 2 pounds and an ounce of it, it is time for step 2.

The next step is pre carding. Or flick carding. I don’t have a flick brush and don’t care to go get a dog brush, so I read a bunch on pre carding so I could just use my hand cards for this step. The purpose of this step is to get rid of any leftover vegetable matter, dirt, and second cuts before hand carding and making rolags for spinning. I spent all Saturday morning on this step, and it doesn’t look like I got very far at all.

First, I find a lock of wool.

The lighter part is the tip and the darker part is the base of the lock. I then hold the base firmly, and put the tip in one hand card, brushing the tip.

The tips are a bit bleached, and have a little bit of yuck in them. Once I pull it through the comb, it opens right up, and the dirt falls out and is left in the comb.

Then I have to turn around and do the base of the lock, so I gather those tips back, and put the base on the comb.

Once I pull it through, I’ve got a lovely bit of combed fiber, clean, with all the fibers aligned properly.

I add this to a different bag. Remember when I said I worked all morning on this and it looks like I got nowhere? The second bag shows that I really did work at it.

Bug was also very interested in being part of this process. While I am not ready to let her flick the locks, She was active in switching out my combs and removing the dirt, debris, and junk fiber from them. She was also very interested in keeping all the junk fiber to pad her dollhouses in wonderful softness. There is fiber literally everywhere right now!

I stopped this process after dye day was over, as my shoulder had gotten quite sore from the use of new muscles. I might try to dedicate a night a week to this process now, in order to know that it will eventually get finished. I’ll just have to find a way to contain the junk it produces rather than ruining my furniture!

Dye day

My friend Orangekathy recently did me a huge favor by watching Bug while Nick was out here on his visit. In return, she wanted me to host a dye day at my house. We were able to get that done this weekend. O’Kathy had 11 skeins of yarn to dye, and I had some fiber. We started early, and really O’Kathy did most of the dyeing. We took everything out to the porch once we were done so we could take pictures even though it was terribly cold.

OrangeKathy lived up to her name. I lived up to her name too. In the end, I fell in love with one of her yarns, and offered to spin some merino that I dyed in return for a skein.

My wool:

The yarn I took:

I just loved the way this moved from blue to purple to pink!

All in all, a sucessful dye day. I have a total of 2 pounds of undyed fiber, so I am going to need my own dye day, but what I really wanted to work on yesterday was my fleece. I’ve got pictures of that for tomorrow!

Fleece, day 1

We had such a busy evening yesterday. There was the pancake man fundraiser at Bug’s school, and math night. And Bug needed to be bathed before I turned up the hot water heater. Yet I couldn’t resist starting to wash my new fleece. I did take pictures, though all of them on my phone, so the quality isn’t fantastic. My excuse for this is that the quality wouldn’t have been fantastic anyhow, since the weather is absolute crap and I can’t take pictures outside.

During Bug’s bath, I turned the hot water heater to high. I put half the fleece into lingerie bags, and took them to the basement. I had anticipated that I’d be washing this fleece in the washing machine. Turns out….my hot water cycle isn’t all that hot by the time the machine fills up. I ended up wasting a full drum of water and 1/3 cup of dawn dish detergent.

So, I got Bug out of the bath and started on her bedtime routine, while filling the tub with truly hot water for the wool’s initial soak. Once the tub was full and the water shut off, I added 1/3 cup concentrated dawn original scent dish detergent. You know the one, the one that cleans oil from animals at oil spills, and the one you use to make bubbles for kids. I stirred in the dawn with a wooden spoon, since the water was way too hot to touch. Apparently the idea is to avoid bubbles, and I managed that. Then I put the wool down on top of the water, no need to smoosh it in, it sank quickly. I set my timer for 15 minutes and walked away.

Once the timer went off, Bug started to get involved. We went back in the bathroom and took a look at what we had. This is what we saw:

Pretty gross huh? It actually is less gross than I expected. The fleece was amazingly clean to start with.  I had been worried about the smell of the processes. Having a lamb fleece made it far less smelly I believe. Once the wool hit the water, it did begin to smell barnyardy, but not in an overly pungent and bad way.

Bug helped me hold up the bags of wool to drain, then we put them in a bucket. I snapped another shot of the dirty water:

This was really amazing to me, the water was so full of lanolin that any contact I had with the water, which was minimal, made my hands instantly soft. It seemed that the dirt and dust really settled on the bottom of the tub.

Once the tub was cleaned out, we went for soak #2, same process. After a 15 minute bath, the water looked like this:

That is an amazing improvement on just the very first wash. We repeated the process for a third time in order to get really clean water. Then I repeated the process once more to rinse the wool. No soap was added to that bath, instead we added vinegar. I did not get pictures of this.

Then I ran into a little problem. The problem was me not thinking, rather than an actual problem. My original plan had been to make a “Hammock” out of a sheet on the porch, and allow the wool to dry out there. That got canceled on account of rain. I then planned to hang the wool in its bags in the bathroom until it drained well. The problem with this was that I had not anticipated on the wool holding quite that much water, and instead of draining into the tub, most of it was draining onto the bathroom floor. The bags were too hot to squeeze out, and I was afraid of felting them anyhow.

Then I remembered that I could use the spin cycle on the washer. I lugged the bags of wool in a bucket into the basement, threw them into the washer, and spun them out. Worked like a charm!  I then brought them back up, put a flannel sheet on the living room floor, and spread out the wool to dry.

I had been so concerned about felting during this process. I about panicked over the wool when it came out of the bags, as it was all smooshed together and had such a different quality without the lanolin. But….once I started moving it about, I realized that it had held up perfectly to my careful washes and soaks, and it felt just amazing. This morning I turned it, and hopefully I’ll have dry wool soon! Bug came downstairs this morning, got her hands right in it, and decided it felt like wool. As opposed to the stuff with lanolin, which she really didn’t like.

Tonight I have to wash the second half of the fleece. The hot water heater is still on high so now is a perfect time. I think after the first and dirtiest soak, I will try spinning it out in the washer. Hopefully this will help remove all the lanolin laced water from the wool, and I’ll only need one additional soak before I rinse.

Tomorrow is a big dye day, and I should have lots of pictures from that as well. This is going to be a very fun and fiber filled weekend!

Once in awhile…

I get an idea in my head and I can’t let it go.  That happened on Sunday, after my long draw spinning practice. I had no more rolags to practice with, and I discovered that rolags are hard to find and rather expensive. I completely understand why and I think they should be. They are very time intensive. I have a pair of hand cards, so I could have used my own wool to create rolags, but it seemed too silly to me. Using commercially processed wool to create something hand processed is like….going backwards.

And then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. I realized what I really wanted. I mean, what I really really REALLY wanted, was my own fleece to process and handcard. I mean…I REALLY wanted that fleece and I wanted it RIGHT NOW.

This is after 3.5 yrs of spinning and saying “I will never be interested in the dirty and time intensive hard work of processing my own fleece.”

Never say never.

By Monday morning I couldn’t stop thinking about a fleece. I started seeking out a fleece I could call my own. But somehow, purchasing a fleece sight unseen for someone like me who doesn’t actually know what she is looking for seemed like a gamble. I was also wary of the price of shipping. It is all fine and good to pay a decent amount for a fleece, but with shipping it seemed that the price could double.

I then resigned myself to talking about wanting a fleece. I asked my friend Sarah if she remembered seeing any at the IA Sheep and Wool Festival last year. She said she had. I decided I could surely wait ’till June to have a fleece of my very own. And then Sarah came up with a brilliant plan. “Why don’t you ask Carin for one of her fleece? She has 3, don’t you remember?”  Oh BRILLIANT! I knew Carin had 2 she was going to send out for processing, so I emailed her to ask if she was willing to part with one. Carin, having a large stash of many types of fibery goodness, can usually be convinced to part with things, she is like a local yarn shop all to ourselves. But she works nights, and I had to wait ALL DAY LONG for a response! It was painful. Really painful.

So I occupied myself with researching how to wash a fleece. I spent my time reading about it, and watching videos, and then I decided I could go purchase my supplies. That is right, I purchased supplies even before I knew I would have a fleece. (Of course, purchasing dish detergent and lingerie bags wasn’t cutting into the budget all that much.)

I then got a message from Carin saying she’d bring both fleece and I could look them over. This gave me another task to fill my time and obsess over. Finding last years video cast where she showed off the fleece from Estes Park CO. I found it, watched it, sent the link to Nick, made him watch it, obsessed some more…it was intense! Had my heart set on Opal, the black CVM/Romeldale. I thought Sepia was nice too, such a rich kind of brown color, but I wanted that black fleece!

On Wednesday evening, I waited and waited for Carin to show up at knit night. Such anticipation! And she chose that day to oversleep! Thankfully, she came bearing fleece, and I was able to get an up close look at them.  Also, thankfully, I have friends who can really talk me down from a crazy idea. Carin patiently explained that the brown fleece was from a lamb, weighing only 3 pounds. And that her fleece, Millie, that she had started processing the year before was also from a lamb and only 3 pounds and she was still processing it. And thus, starting with the small fleece would be the way to go. And if I liked it, she could just get me another black fleece in Estes Park. Very smart woman that Carin, and enabler but not without logic!

So I introduce to you the fleece from Sepia of Black Pines Sheep. This is Romeldale CVM. Such a pretty pretty color! This was a coated fleece, so it shouldn’t be too terribly tough to process. At 3 pounds I should have enough for a sweater AND for a bunch of long draw spinning practice. And it truly IS significantly cheaper to process your own wool. I am amazed!


(Carin accused me of being a badger once I had an idea in my head. She is entirely correct.)

Cotton Comparisons Part 1

As I mentioned, I’ll be doing a dyeabolical cotton slub comparison in the upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, I’ll still have to work on the sweater commission which has already been started. I plan to devote 2 nights a week to the commission, and call it a wrap. Other than that, I’ll be working on the cotton project.

While I had mentioned that I would be finishing up my grover cardigan over the weekend rather than starting on a new project, I couldn’t help but ball up some of the yarn. In my defense, Saturday was far too hot to work on a fuzzy sweater. Doing so made me look like I was turning into grover myself. I mostly spun, but balling up the yarn and then starting on Bug’s cotton top seemed wise.

I’ve done pictures of the balled up yarn so you can see the differences. The purple does seem far thinner than the dk weight cotton slub.  I would also say that the red seems slubbier overall. I’ll have to see what I think once I start knitting with it.

I couldn’t start the Amiga over the weekend because I had not printed out the pattern. So instead I started on Bug’s top, which is the Child’s Ruched Tee from Interweave Knits Spring 2011 issue. To be perfectly honest, I am not positive I have enough yarn to complete this top, but I think my sassymetrical is too long, and I am willing to shorten it in order to finish Bug’s tee.

I’ve actually managed to knit another ruched repeat since this picture was taken. Thus far, I find that I love knitting with the unavailable cotton slub just as much as I loved it last year. This is not a surprise. It just makes me sad.

Updates and learning new skills

It has been awhile since I’ve shown off the sunburst cardigan. I have worked on it, but in fits and starts. I plan to now devote 2 nights a week to this project, so we should begin to see a little progress now that the grover jacket is complete.

Additionally, it has been on my mind to give one handed long draw spinning a try. This is a type of spinning which is done primarily from rolags. I have a few sitting around, and feel that it is a skill I should master. I’d been told to learn this skill, hold a beer in one hand while spinning with the other. While I found this not quite practical, I did honestly attempt to spin one handed. Sadly, and without much practice, I ran through all my rolags. And didn’t particularly like the thought of breaking out the hand cards at this time.

The resulting yarn:

I think next time I try this, I need to add more twist. I think this is what I am lacking. Besides skill. Remember, it took me 4 years to even attempt this, so I’ll assume progress will be slow. Anyone know where I can purchase rolags?

Additionally, I plan to watch this video repeatedly first:

Grover Complete

I’ve finally finished the Lavender Jacket, otherwise known as my grover cardigan. This was knit with one strand knitpicks Suri Dream yarn and one strand cascade 220. This is the first time I’ve ever used US size 13 needles. I thought it would go very very quickly. It did not. I also developed a new callous on my finger, because using such large needles makes me hold them in a way that is unfamiliar to my hands.

I had a few issues with the way the pattern was written, I’d suggest reading all the comments before attempting this knit. While it may not have been my favorite knit, and while I was nervous about the resulting sweater being too fuzzy, I can’t say I am disappointed with it over all. It seems to look equally good just thrown on as it does with a shawl pin. It is indeed warm and fuzzy and squishy. Mostly I just wish it would stop shedding! (Of course, I wish I would stop shedding too, but neither thing seems to be happening any time soon.)

The modifications I made were that I did not cast off at the shoulder/neck seams. I chose to 3 needle bind off instead. Additionally, I used the held stitches around the neck to incorporate with the garter stitch collar in order that I did not have to sew.

Two for one.

My goal this weekend was to finish up 4 oz. of spinning. I spun 8 oz. instead. Actually, more, but you won’t see the rest until tomorrow.

The initial project I wanted to finish is a merino/bamboo blend. This was spun into a 3 ply light fingering weight yarn. I ended up with 306 yards.

Then I tore up my fiber cupboard looking for a specific BFL yarn. I never found it. I might have stuck it in a destash bag, I’ll keep looking. But I ran across some very lovely wool/silk batts, and I decided rather than try to make them into my normal, skinny, plied yarn, I’d make some worsted weight singles instead.

I used the slowest setting on my lace whorl for these, and I treadled very slowly. Since this is so out of the box for me, I had a lovely time with them and I love the result.

I think I need to consider more fun batts in my future. Specifically enough for a great project or sweater or something. In fact, if I remembered where I had gotten these, I’d contact that person and get this specific combination again! Or better yet…get myself a drum carder and do it myself!


I alluded to a fun project using dyeabolical’s yarn. Today I get to tell you a little about it.

Last year I knit the sassymetrical cardigan out of dyeabolical’s cotton slub yarn. And then I proceeded to rave over it in this blog post. Right after that, before I’d had a chance to order any more of it, the mill she received the yarn from discontinued the yarn. A great disappointment to me, and I am sure to her.  What is even more sad? I didn’t purchase any more of it due to my attempt to work with stashed yarns.

She then got in some new cotton slub. This one is a dk weight as opposed to the fingering weight yarn the discontinued yarn weighed in at.

Now, along comes the new issue of, and I see Amiga. Immediately I think “Now wouldn’t that be pretty in dyeabolical cotton slub?  The very next day, she runs across the same pattern and tweets about it. Which started a conversation about how I had thought the same thing, and her offer to send me the yarn if I’d knit the sweater and do a comparison.

Well, I can’t tell you how excited I got over such a prospect! She immediately sent out some yarn, and I got it today. Additionally, I am going to do this simultaneously with a project in the discontinued cotton slub, because I’ve another skein I wanted to use for Bug. There may be some challenges, namely the pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn and cotton slub is a dk. There will be swatching involved for sure. But this is a project which is right up my alley!

This is really not the best picture, but it will do for now. The purple is the discontinued cotton slub, and the red is the dk I just received in the mail. I love the red, it is a citrusy pinky red.

But first…I MUST finish the grover sweater and some spinning this weekend. After that, I can wind some yarn and get started.

Time for happy!

I must admit to being completely addicted to my handspun gradient scarf.  It is one of those projects that was like crack for me. I did actually spin and work on 2 other projects during the time period I knit this scarf, and yet it still only took me 6 days. Less than a week! Of course, if we count the time it took to spin the fiber, it would be a 2 week project. And so, I present to you my handspun gradient scarf.

The wool: Falkland wool from Dyeabolical’s first fiber club. This was the March installment. You should probably know that I adore her in a very big way. We will hear more about that later, I’ve got a very fun project coming up that involves her and her beautifully dyed yarn.

The pattern: Palette from, spring 2007 issue. I truly believe this the perfect pattern for the scarf. It was not an “easy” knit. There is lace patterning on both sides. It took me some time and a bunch of ripping to get it right, but once I did I could knit it up pretty fast. I could never go without the pattern on this one though, it was not a portable project.

The spinning: 240 yards of navajo plyed yarn.

The scarf:

To say I am pleased would be an understatement.

The end of an era

I began blogging in January 2007. And ever since, long time readers can expect to see pictures like the one above. Pictures taken from my porch, showing a red garage behind whatever knitted object I happen to be showing off that day.

What you don’t know, is the person behind that red garage.  Mr. Fox. An elderly gentleman and recluse who, though rarely gracing us with his presence, brought something special to our community.

Mr. Fox is a gentleman. He didn’t mind when Bug ran across his lawn, repeatedly, to visit her friends. He’d prefer that to her going to more dangerous route through the alley. He didn’t seem to mind that his quiet and overwhelmingly mature neighborhood has been inundated with the screams and hollers of little girls in play in the last few years. His walk was more of a shuffle, and yet he would bring his snowblower over during the worst of the winter, and help me dig out from the snowplow’s revenge at the end of my driveway.

Every Saturday Mr. Fox would wander off to the grocery store. When it was warm, he’d wear long basketball shorts and tshirts. Such young attire for an older gentleman. It was a conundrum for me. He’d come back from the store about the time I’d be spinning on the porch with Bug playing in the yard. I could tell it wasn’t so easy for him anymore. The noises he’d make getting the groceries in the home. And yet, his independence and solitary home were obviously important to him.

The most important thing Mr. Fox did for our neighborhood was foster a sense of community. We liked to care for him in little ways. We like to sweep up broken glass in his driveway, and help clean up the downed branches from the mature trees. We, and I do mean we the community, rather than just Bug and I, like to make sure he had a clear path shoveled in the snow. We liked to watch to make sure his newspaper was getting picked up and his trash taken out. We liked to do this while respecting his need for privacy and independence.

So, it came as a great blow to us this winter, after observing that the trash had not been set in the alley, to find out that Mr. Fox has had a stroke. I had held out hope all winter for his return, but it is not to be. He will be going to an assisted living home. And now there is a company cleaning out his home and throwing his belongings in a rented dumpster. And every night there are dumpster divers going through that dumpster and taking his cast off belongings, strewing their discards all over the lawn. I suppose I should be thankful these items are being “recycled.” But somehow it just feels so scavenger like. Such an ungraceful end to an era.

I’d adopted Mr. Fox, as we all did, as the grandfatherly patriarch of the neighborhood. Living so far from home, this was somehow important to me. He will be greatly missed here.

Meanwhile, I am well aware that a lot of these feelings are probably linked to the passing of my own grandmother this winter. I didn’t live across the street from her. When living 1000 miles away, there is guilt that goes along with not being able to help care for the important people in your life. Having Mr. Fox around helped alleviate some of that. Additionally, I know that probably this summer a dumpster in PA will be rented. And a home will be cleaned out. And there might even be dumpster divers strewing personal items across a lawn that is important to me. And I won’t be there. I will miss it completely and I will feel guilt about living so far away. I’ll feel sadness about the end of an era and sadness that I can’t be there to help go through the home.

Why is it easier to write about Mr. Fox than Grandma?

Spinning takes project form

I really was powerless to resist the call of the gradient dyed spinning. Powerless. Even though there are plently of projects already on the needles I should be working on, yesterday called for a new project and I answered

I balled up my yarn, and took a quick shot of it because I even love how it looks in a cake. Then I cast on.

Knitting really is a most satisfying hobby!

Observations from my front porch

Spring is the time for spinning. Spinning, and observing what goes on in the neighborhood. The last 2 days have been beautiful, and despite recovering from a cold, I’ve spent a good portion of them spinning on the front porch.

I’ve observed that my neighbor, who had a stroke this winter, seems to be coming home soon. Observed 2 cars in his driveway, and a group of people touring the home. One of the cars was a home health car. It will be good to have him back.

I’ve observed Bug getting far more confident on her bike. She rides all the way to the stop sign now. 🙂

I’ve observed how spinning gradient dyed wool is like an addiction.

240 yards sport/dk weight yarn, navajo plyed to preserve the lack of color repeats.

I’ve observed how once I start spinning in the spring, it is really hard to stop, even to eat.

Bamboo/merino wool of unknown origin. This will be a 3 ply.

And I’ve also observed that my phone, on pandora, station set to Jolie Holland, makes the entire evening even more relaxing.

Where were we?

I was blogging so regularly, and then I got thrown off! Nick’s visit, the ensuing let down, and then the cold he brought with him and gifted to me have really not allowed for much knitting. But, today was productive, and I can finally see progress.

The poor grover jacket has hit this total stall. I am SO BORED with it. It goes much slower than I expected, and so I can’t seem to get too enthused. I’ve picked up stitches for the sleeve and started it. I am about at the elbow, not quiet. I have one more decrease before straight knitting to the end.

The majority of my progress has been on the sunburst cardigan, I’ve split for the sleeves and begun working the sunburst pattern.

Since I’ve knit this pattern a number of times now, it was the easy mindless knitting I needed while I nursed my sore throat and stuffy head. But there was still a great deal of sitting around doing nothing.

During the week, I did manage to finish spinning 4 oz. of falkland wool. This is a gradient dyed wool from dyeabolical, and so I spun it all and navajo plyed to keep the transition from one end to the other. I’ve caught a picture before plying, I’ll have a plyed and dried pic tomorrow.

It was a beautiful 70 F out today, making the weather seem like the beginning of spinning on the porch season. Very pleasant!