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Yaarrrrrrn.

I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with all the management that I have to do in my life.  Aside from the literal management that I do at work, between staff and projects (I seem to be the “give her a giant project that could bring down our whole network since we know she’ll carry it off okay” person), I’ve got a lot going on on the homefront.  We’re getting roofing work done, I’m managing a mortgage refinance, school has started and the kid is joining a soccer team on top of all his other stuff and there’s vacation coming up.  So things are busy.  Very, very good but very, very busy.

I always find myself turning towards creativity when my stress levels reach these heights.  And by creativity, I mean yarn.  There’s just something about being able to hold something in your hands that you’ve made.  Perhaps it’s because so much of my work happens virtually; I work hard all day long, but there’s very little in the physical world to show for all that effort.  Spinning and knitting and crochet pick up the call.  Good yarn is so soothing to hold; nothing beats looking at a sweater or a ball of yarn and thinking, “Hey, I did that.”

Here’s a picture my second bit of homespun yarn, which is a big improvement on the first, but goes to show that SOAR will be worth the money.

   This is spun from Corriedale and is a whole bunch better than the last yarn I spun.  I’ve been focusing on spinning more air into the yarn, as it make the yarn loads more pleasant.  I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with this, as I only have 215 yards (but hey, I remembered to count yardage this time).  I’ve already made one cowl for the season and am working on another with some homespun, but can one have too many colorful warm neckerchiefs?  I’m feeling like scarves are too much this year – and cowls have *buttons*.  I’ve become kind of insanely button obsessed, or rather, because I’m a knitter, *buttonhole* obsessed.  I do love making buttonholes, which I learned how to do for this project:

This was my first homespun yarn, with a cowl pattern I made up.  I’m pleased with the buttonholes, but not  a whole lot else.  Being my first yarn, it’s spun very, very stiff, because I just didn’t know better until I tried to knit with it.  But being a cowl, it knit up ridiculously quickly – and it does fit around my neck, which means I’ve learned a thing or two about sizing appropriately.  So, uhm, yeah.  Just overlook the cable pattern that didn’t quite work out.

I’ve also been knitting sweaters, but I don’t have pictures yet of the finished project.  I’ve already finished my first one of the year, although it is blocking for the second time at the moment, as it’s knit in a rather nontraditional manner and didn’t quite stretch as anticipated.  But it was made in lovely, lovely Cascade 220 Heathers and I cannot wait until it dries.  And it was excellent to finally try out one of Ann Weaver’s patterns, as she’s a designer that I’ve really admired for quite some time.  She’s innovative and it shows, because it is a neat, neat sweater.  If only you could see it.

I went on a bobbin hunt last Saturday for my spinning wheel, as I only have two and I need three.  It took me to a famous yarn and spinning shop that only carried Ashford bobbins, alas, but since I was there and it was quite a drive, I had to buy something.  To my delight, I discovered Rowan Tweed there at a semi-reasonable price.  I think Rowan Tweed may actually be my favorite yarn of all time, so I bought three balls, giving me about 600 yards to work with.  I keep thinking of the scarf from Lost in Translation, which has haunted me for literally years, but I’m not yet sure what the destiny of this freaking gorgeous yarn is going to be.

  Of course, I had no business buying yarn when I still have 1,200 yards of my gorgeous three ply mystery yarn from Henry’s Attic.  I bought this in a little yarn shop out in Joseph, Oregon when we were on vacation with the idea of making a serious keep-me-warm 19th century type shawl with it.  I’ve been browsing patterns, but haven’t quite found my inspiration yet, although there is a pattern in Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia that’s coming close to the right idea.  My yarn is the wrong weight, but I think I can steal some of the ideas.  Once I stop being lazy, that is.

And by being lazy, I mean knitting sweaters by hand.

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