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Category: knitting

A Slow Motion, A Mad Dash

mohair-bias-cowl-detail
Knit, knit, knit, knit.

This week, I finished a knitting project (the Mohair Bias Loop BY Churchmouse Yarns and Teas) that I started two weeks after Cora was born.  It is a fuzzy cowl of indeterminate length, knit on the bias, which can also double as a shawl.  It is the simplest of knitting patterns, with two rows that repeat until the desired length.  I usually go for intricate projects that bring me a lot of mental interest – either in their construction or the new techniques that I’ll have to learn to complete them, but with a baby in immediate view, I thought the simpler that I could go, the more likely I would be able to work on it.

I didn’t even get creative with the yarn.  I admired a friend’s cowl so much that she led me to the same booth at Rhinebeck where she had bought her yarn and I picked out a color that I liked.  In the fiber world, we call this mindless knitting — the knitting your fingers do while your mind goes elsewhere.  It’s knitting as meditation, a way to free your mind to be calmed by the simple repetitive movements of your fingers as you loop and pass the yarn from one stitch to the next, from one needle to the next.  The only challenge in the pattern was the yarn itself — it takes a brave or foolhardy knitter to commit to a large project in mohair, but I was not afraid.

mohair-bias-cowl
If you think this bears a resemblance to a certain muppet, you wouldn’t be the first to suggest it.

For the first time since Cora was born, I’ve taken my knitting with me on the train to work.  I was so close to the end of the cowl that I wanted to use the train time to sew the final seam.  I want to start other things because it’s taken me nearly five months to knit a single, simple project.  As I sat on the train this past week, I put in my headphones and plugged into my Audible account, picking up with listening to Patrick Rothfuss‘s The Name of the Wind, which I started listening to a very long time ago. Is there anything more relaxing than quietly creating while having someone read you a story?  Combined with the motion of the train as we whizzed through the suburbs of Queens, I rediscovered a place of tranquillity that I have missed over the last year.

I was so relaxed, in fact, that on Thursday night I walked off the train without my cooler of breast milk — which is perhaps the most important thing that I do all day long.  Losing it would be such a disaster that I’ve occasionally dreamt about misplacing it and woken up in a panic.  It’s taken a special significance lately, as my body seems to be steadily producing less milk, despite my many efforts to encourage it to increase.  Thursday was a good day — four bottles — and the thought of losing them threw me into a panic.

I ran.  I ran to my car and whipped out of the parking lot and down the road to catch the train.  I live two stops from the end of the line, so there was a possibility that I could catch the train before it turned around again to go back into Manhattan, but I knew I had to hurry.

It’s amazing how long four miles can seem.  Every light that turned red against me seemed to take forever, though in reality they were not red long enough for me to unlock my phone and send a message to my Beloved to let him know why the milk cow was late. The thought of delaying Cora’s last feeding as I chased her bottles was horrible, but the thought of losing them was even worse.

I got the cooler back.  I ran up and down the platform like a crazy thing until a kind MTA employee unlocked the closed cars and let me retrieve it.  Panting and sweating, I made it back to my car and raced home.  Parking as fast as I could, I walked around the corner to the sight of my Beloved and Cora standing in my doorway, waiting for me to come home.

A smile broke out across my face and my anger at my carelessness was forgotten.  My family.  My home.  My everything, right there in the doorway, waiting for me, despite my mistakes.

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Flutter Brain

Chaos Fire by Walex Khmurets

My life has been so chaotic over the past few weeks that I found myself looking forward to today as a much needed respite — a time in which I could get All of the Things done that I haven’t had time to do as I’ve been moving through my day-to-day over the last month.  Now that I finally had a few hours of time to myself, I would have time to work on finishing plotting out my masters’ thesis novella, finish spinning that bag of fiber from SOAR 2011*, work on my nursing shawl knitting project and finally weave off that monk’s belt weaving sample that I started — according to my Bullet Journal — sometime in January.

Oh my word.  Naturally, I would also get all my Christmas cards completed and the family gifts purchased, as well as doing at least one thoughtful thing for each of the five significant birthdays that I celebrate in December…because those are all the things that I want to have done by the end of the day.  That’s how this works, right?

Instead, I found myself sitting down at my desk, which looked very much like what you might imagine the desk of someone who has been completely overwhelmed for months to look like.  I have more relevant loose papers to file than I likely have in my file cabinet.  The pitted cherry surface of my desk had been littered with various boxes of medication, lotions, plastic caps, small electronic parts and, inexplicably, half a small tube of toothpaste.  A broken necklace that I love has waiting for repair.  There’s an intricately folded dollar bill that came from who-knows-where and a pile of hair accessories for someone with long hair, which has not been me for at least a year.  I have been paying the price of my disorganization — I still have a crushed car sitting in my driveway because I cannot seem to get the title and the lien release for this car in my hands at the same time, despite several attempts.  No matter how many times I go through all the various piles of paper in my house right now, I can never reduce them to some meaningful amount that produces the paper that I need right now and that I know that I saw somewhere.  Even my computer was filled with too many programs open, a mishmash of ideas for work and school and the various aspects of my life, with no focus anywhere.  My inboxes are overflowing with unread messages and my brain feels just about the same way.

People keep saying that I have pregnancy brain, but I actually hate this phrase.  I think instead that I have life brain. Pregnancy has definitely contributed, as I’ve been spending a lot of my time on a fast-tracked learning curve about both pregnancy and what the heck you’re meant to do with a newborn to keep her alive.  Having to radically change my diet because of some issues with the pregnancy has also been a time-suck, as I’ve had to try to figure out new recipes and ingredients that I never used to cook with never ate before.  Normally, feeding myself is a fairly automatic process, but it’s been moved up to the front burner of my consciousness as something I actually need to pay attention to, rather than letting habit determine my behavior. That’s a lot of time that I used to spend on keeping my life in order and my desk has shown the end result.  I am not my normally organized self, which means I spend so much more time looking for what I need rather than accomplishing the simple things. Pregnancy brain indeed.

Stressed by it all, I reached a breaking point today that my family is quite familiar with — the  moment where the house is too thrown apart for me to even think.  I can’t be happy in chaos.  I’ve done none of the things that I planned to do today, other than cook some food to buy me time later this week, but I have thrown my desk and basement back into enough of a semblance of order that I can think again.  I can write again.  I can relax again….as long as I don’t go upstairs.

Ahhhh.   Can someone send all my food down here? I don’t think I ever want to leave.

 

 

 

* Yes, this is as embarrassing as it seems.

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October – Rhinebeck 2013

As it usually does, October flew by in a mad rush.  I always want to do more for Halloween and, every single year, I find myself speculating at how everyone else manages to find the time.  I’ve no idea how my time gets so filled up, but there’s something about the changing of the seasons that puts me into a flurry of writing and fiber arts and music that makes it difficult to keep up. Before I know it, Halloween is over and I haven’t done a thing but admire everyone else’s costumes.

One of the biggest events for me was my first time going to the Dutchess County Sheep & Wool Festival, more commonly known as Rhinebeck to the knitting community.  It is a county fair that has been taken over by the fiber arts world and is largely considered the biggest fiber arts event in the country.  My knitting circle went together. They convinced me to walk out on a very tall bridge:

rhinebeck2013

I love these ladies.

I had mixed feelings about Rhinebeck as an event. This is because I’ve been to SOAR, which is a spinning retreat put on by Spin-Off magazine, which ran for the very last time this year. I am very sorry to have missed it, now that I know that it was the last one, because it was an event I deeply wanted to do again. SOAR is all about fiber arts mentorship and learning. There’s a market, but it doesn’t open until four days into the event, and it’s small enough that you can go through it a few times. Rhinebeck is the inverse of this; the focus is on the market, with a handful of offered classes. The market is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the fiber world; barn upon barn upon barn upon building of fiber vendors. It is so overwhelming that people develop strategies on how to cover all of the vendors. It is very crowded, particularly among the more popular booths. And while I would like to say that it was crowded with my kind of people, that just wasn’t universally true.

I like to talk to people when I’m at fiber events, because it’s an occasion to gain knowledge on subjects that just aren’t all that common among the general population. I did a lot of that at Rhinebeck and I learned some interesting tips, particularly regarding weaving. If knitters are becoming more common, it’s very hard to meet a weaver, so I asked questions of everyone I could find that was behind a loom. That was really great. I also went with the goal of buying myself a nice spindle, which I did within the first few hours of being there. I picked a Forrester, largely because it was beautiful, and I thought having a beautiful tool would make me more interested in spindle spinning, which has the advantage of being much more portable than a wheel.

spindle

This has worked well. I also picked up a copy of Respect the Spindle, which has demystified some of the aspects of spindle spinning. That little ball of alpaca single there is my first real spindle spinning.  I can’t wait to finish spinning all that alpaca behind it so that I can try my hand at plying.

It was also at the moment of this excellent purchase that I had my first meeting with The Other Kind of fiber artist. I had been chatting with her about spinning while waiting in line to purchase my spindle. She cheerfully declared that she had just spent her entire Rhinebeck budget in one place – pointing out that it was $300, repeatedly. Then she asked me, with some disdain, if that really was the size of the bag that I had brought *to Rhinebeck*, since it was just my purse and clearly not big enough for everything that I would want to take home.  She also asked if New York had *any* good yarn stores, as she’d only ever seen one and it was in Ohio, but…she’d spent $500 there the first time she saw it! I suggested that Manhattan does, indeed, have several that are quite good, as it is the home of the fashion industry, and then I fled, feeling weirdly ashamed and disgusted at the same time.

There is a subset of people in the fiber arts community that are collectors. To some extent, we all are — we love the beauty of fiber. But there’s a certain set that seem to feel that the extent of one’s fiber and yarn stash is somehow corollary to how dedicated one is to the fiber arts. The point seems to be not the creation of art from beautiful materials but a sort of competitive commercialism. My stash is better than your stash.  I have such an aversion to shopping and commercialism generally that I never quite know how to handle these people.  It wasn’t the quality of what she had purchased – it was the dollar amount that she seemed to feel was important.  For me, this is the opposite of what the fiber arts are about.  Knitting or crochet or spinning or weaving connects us to a time when these were mandatory survival skills.  I feel at peace when I’m doing these things.  I feel connected to a slower time and the people that led to my existence.  I feel a pride as my hands turn string into clothing and cloth and fleece into yarn.  Having the modern “buy buy buy!” of mass consumerism shoved in my face throws me for a loop every time, even though I’ve been to enough shows to have expected to meet her.  It’s just not what the fiber arts are about for me.  It’s not what I think they should be about.

2.2 lbs of first year goat locks
2.2 lbs of first year goat locks

Perhaps it is actually a comment on the fiber arts community that I only met one of her.  I spent the rest of the weekend walking around, feeling inspired and meeting people whose work I admire.  I had my books signed by Ann Budd and Gertie Hirsch.  I had sightings of  Ann Weaver and The Tsock Tsarina.  I went to my first fleece sale and got to look at fleeces in person before buying them. (I brought home those pretty goat locks on the left there.) I learned from weavers and spinners and knitters alike.  I spent the weekend with some excellent friends and drank way too much grappa and Domaine de Canton.  I discovered that milk stout is delicious.  If the crowds were overwhelming and occasionally peppered with people who were loudly missing the point, I think the benefits far outweighed the downsides.  I left feeling inspired…and with plenty of fiber in my far-too-small bag.  Now just to use it all up — maybe I’ll catch up by next October.

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Garden Trellis Mitts, More Photography

Work is continuing apace on the kitchen and we are definitely in the home stretch now.  (That’s going to be it for my sports metaphors.  I know very little about them.)  A window was put in this weekend and now we are waiting for the cabinets, which are set to arrive on Tuesday.  It had been a bit of a down weekend for me for kitchen responsibilities, so I invited the lovely Maya over for a sleepover.  I was determined to have an utterly sterotypical sleepover, so I bought nail polish and spent the evening utterly failing to manage to do my nails properly.  I ended up repainting my left thumbnail no fewer than four times because I kept trying to knit before they had fully dried.  On one occasion, I managed to grab the wrong nail polish and painted it a totally different color from the rest of the my nails.

As you can see, I am extremely good at this.

Kindly, Maya agreed to be a model for my 365 photography project, so I spent Saturday morning fussing with lights and playing with props.  Our torn down kitchen is actually a brilliant photography backdrop, since the walls are cream and we now have lots of natural light.  As there’s no cabinetry up, there’s very little in the background to detract from the subject.  I don’t have much experience doing portrait photography, so it was nice to have a willing and patient subject to allow me to fool around with lights and readjust at my leisure.  It was my first time working with a model willing to sit for longer than five minutes and I think that it was a good learning experience.  I haven’t invested in a lot of tools for photography, but taking Franklin Habit’s photography class at Vogue Knitting last year definitely paid off in making me so much more aware of how light affects a photograph.  I am pleased with the way the sitting went.  I also have a few items on my very short list, because hanging drop lights off of temporary ceiling fixtures is likely to result in a house fire.

Garden Trellis MittsThe rest of the weekend has been extraordinarily lazy.  I watched no fewer than four movies in a 24 hour period, which did result in nearly finishing the Garden Trellis mitts, which is a nice pattern that knits up quickly.  I’ve been working them in a Rowan Tweed, which is one of my favorite yarns of all time, and have enough leftover yardage for a hat and cowl.  Cleverly, I’m working them in a dusky blue, which means that they will not actually match any of my colorful collection of winter coats.  What they will do, however, is work nicely for being able to operate my camera outdoors in a New York winter.

 

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I do actually still knit

It’s true. I have been knitting. What I haven’t been doing is taking pictures of my knitting, so here’s a few.

I have my first handspun project that doesn’t stand up by itself. The fiber was 100% alpaca, which I bought at SOAR this year. I had four ounces of it, which didn’t quite give me enough yarn to finish the Georgiana Shawl from the first Jane Austen’s Knits. The shawl was designed for a thinner yarn than my homespun, so I got quite a different look than the one in the magazine. I had about 400 yards, which is what the pattern called for, so there’s an important lesson about homespun. It’s modeled on the lovely Kate, who needs to hurry up and move to New York already.

I also spent quite a bit of time on some socks of my own design, which I kept meaning to write the pattern down for, but have undoubtedly forgotten too many details to do it now.  Still, I’d love to go back and design some fingerless mitts with this pattern, which rather unintentionally turned into a pretty traditional Celtic design.  Anyone know what the little circles are called?

Beyond that, I’ve been working on another sock pattern that was chosen by my knitting circle. I’m well behind everyone else making the sock, but I’m okay with it. I was trying to practice cabling without a cable needle on them, but I did such a terrible job that I had to rip back the sock and redo the cables. Worth doing, though, as the result is much nicer and I would have regretted all of those mistakes forever. Of course, that means I’m still on my first sock, but it’s a much nicer sock.

I’ve also been trying to finish up my resubmits to the Knitting Guild of America’s Master’s Knitting program. I’m onto the project, which is a striped hat that I completely fussed the gauge on. It’s amazing how making the same hat you don’t want to wear twice will inspire you to really do it right – it’s been a great program for pointing out to me what I thought that I knew, but didn’t actually. My knitting has gotten much better and neater – and it turns out that I’m not the only knitter I know that doesn’t do her SSKs right…!

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Narragansett Sweater, Creative Angst

I never posted pictures of the Narragansett sweater that I made.  The design is Thea Coleman, who is BabyCocktails on Ravelry.  This was, like most of my sweater pattern choices, a quick knit. I think I made it in about two weeks.  It should be understood that I spend two hours a day commuting on a train, so that probably translates into something like twenty hours of work.  It’s a seamless top down pullover, which is pretty much the fastest knit that you’re going to find.  It’s also majority stockinette, so you should choose a yarn with some visual interest, though too much visual interest will make it overwhelm.  I chose Yarn of the Andes heather tweed, because I adore heathered tweeds.  I think the fabric came out nicely.  My picture is crappy, so you’ll just have to believe me.  (It’s hard to control the photography when you’re also the model and your photographer has a very short attention span for fiber projects.)

I made it too big.  it’s supposed to fit as it does in the pictures, but when I wear it, the neckline moves up and begins to choke a bit.  I have a 36″ bust, so not wanting it to be too small, and having learned to differentiate between my size and garment size, I went for the next size up, which was 42″.  Six inches of ease, I thought, would make certain that even if my gauge were off, the sweater would still get over my frame.  Well, it does, with enough room to spare that it’s not as flattering as it should be.  Whoops,  lesson learned.  This was before I went to the lecture by Debbie Bliss, where I learned that knitting fabric stretches a lot, so you’d be surprised who a 36″ sweater will fit.  The next sweater will be for a 36″ bust and we’ll see how we do.  If I ever finish the socks I’m working on.

I’ve been having serious focus problems with my knitting lately.  I find that when I’m facing challenges in the rest of my life that it often does translate into a sort of artistic angst with my needlework.  When I’m stressed from work (the current issue), suddenly nothing I’m doing on the needles is right.  I tear out projects, doubt my yarn choices and feel completely unable to actually accomplish anything worthwhile.  The creative reserves are depleted; my beloved fiber work becomes a source of distress.   Augh.  Recognizing this does seem to help me stop the madness and I think that I’ve just reached that point.  My work stress is unlikely to resolve soon, since it’s dependent on several large projects that are going to be slow to complete (even though I am a rock star), but the least I can do is turn it off when I get home and actually enjoy the things that are supposed to give me pleasure.  This week I turned the heel on that damn sock and for this week, that is just going to have to be enough.

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A handspun bag

My obsession with my Gtab continues; so I used the opportunity of needing a case for it to use up some of my early handspun yarns. Lately I seem to be too impatient to bother with finding other people’s patterns,so I just sort of made it up as I went along.  I knew that I wanted to use stranded knitting to make the bag thick and I happen to really enjoy alternating yarns over 1 stitch (i.e. *K1 MC, K1 CC, rep from *), so that’s what I did.  One of the yarns that I chose was the last thing I spun before going to SOAR – it is overtwisted and overplied, which makes for yarn with the basic consistency of bundles of straw.  Not very pleasant.  The second yarn I used was yarn that I spun in Maggie Casey’s class at SOAR from a fleece that we handcarded ourselves.  In comparison, it is the softest and fluffiest yarn that you could imagine.  Even standing alone, it’s a yarn that I can actually knit with, which differentiates it quite a bit from all of the yarn that I made before taking her class.

My bag is scratchy and scruffy and rough, but it absolutely does the job.  And how many Gtabs get to be carried around in a hand carded, hand spun, hand knitted bag?  At the end of the day, that’s what all of this fiber madness is about.  My bag might be a little rough and unfinished looking, but every single scrap of it is the reward of the labor of my hands.  I go to bed satisfied that I have brought something into this very mass-produced, commercialized world that is totally unique and mine.  And I had a lot of fun doing it, though knitting with my pre-SOAR yarn did contribute to a carpal tunnel flare.  I’m really looking forward to knitting with some of the other yarns that I’ve made since, since I can tell by their feel that they’re nice and soft.

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Vogue Knitting 2012

Just like last year, I started this year by going to Vogue Knitting with a hacking cough and taking a class, while wishing all the time to be drawing significantly less attention than I was.

But I was signed up for Franklin Habit’s Photographing Your Fiber class and I was *not* going to be missing that. (Also, I am cheap.) The class was excellent and informative, with a good grounding in photography basics. I already knew the basics of photography, the aperture and shutter speed bits and that photographing is quite literally recording light, but I’ve really struggled with how to take good photography of my fiber projects when I have no north facing windows and only see my house in daylight in the winter months on the weekends. He had some great suggestions. He also had a light tent. Now I desperately want a light tent, so that will be next weekend’s project.

I took the picture above in the class in the lightbox; it’s also my latest handspun, which is yarn that I’d actually like to knit with. I’m getting a lot better, though I’m not sure what I want to knit with this. It’s a nice change from my normal mode of putting the project on my gray driveway on cloudy weekend days. Color saturation will always be a problem, so his advice was not to worry about it. I am proceeding to not worry. See me not worry.

The yarn is green. Really.

I went to a lecture by Debbie Bliss, which was not what I expected. I thought it was going to be about customizing knitting patterns to your body, or at least in picking designs that will suit your figure type. It was more of a marketing event for Debbie Bliss, in which she proved to us that she does have very many nice patterns indeed. The sum up of useful information is that knitwear stretches a lot, so negative ease is fine as long as there’s a good fit in the shoulders. Also, A lines under the bust suit just about everybody.

Fortunately, I was feeling so ill that I left having purchased only 9 balls of yarn and four ounces of llama. It’s not my fault; the llama was local to Long Island, so I was just supporting local farming and I had to. Also, it is llama. LLllllllamma.

I am still quite sick, but I did finish a hat this weekend for the Man, who has such a big melon that he’s never had a hat that fit properly before. In fact, I couldn’t find any patterns for hats that would fit his head, so I had to make one up. It actually fits and he likes it a lot, though he is a very impatient model. (Franklin warned us about that too. He’s a genius.)

He likes it so much that he’s decided I’ll be knitting one for his brother. Ahem.

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2011 Holidays

Christmas was a quiet affair filled with good friends and family, which is what it’s all about. I made out with some very thoughtful loot and ate slightly more than my body weight in cookies.

But I have prevailed; the cookies are all dead. In my belly.

I enjoy the week between Christmas and New Years an awful lot because it is so quiet. After all the hustle and bustle of lights, tree, cooking, family, etc., it becomes almost necessary downtime. The trains are quiet, nearly everyone is gone from the office, and I have no excuses for not getting a great deal done. As a productivity nut and worker bee, this makes me very happy. As a person with an exciting life to write about, well, not so much. But it’s been a nice quiet. I’ve been able to conquer the world in Civilization get some writing projects done, master some Bach and finish some big projects that have been hanging over my head at work. It’s a nice feeling.

I see other bloggers out there doing lists of what they’d like to do next year. It’s made me think about some of the highlights of this year. This year, I:

– got engaged to the love of my life (this is a celebration, not an accomplishment)
– actually managed to get good enough at the piano to be able to sight read stuff where the left hand does more than play chords. Slowly, mind.
– learned how to fox trot, to rhumba, to merengue
– learned that if fox trotting, rhumbaing or merenguing with a 6’3″ man, heels are a good idea. Otherwise, neck injury occurs.
– (self)published a knitting pattern
– had the realization that not being my skinniest weight ever does not, in fact, make me a bad person
– watched my ward pull in grades higher than he thought possible on his report card, despite having skipped most of two years of school a few years back.
– adopted a house hippy. Everyone should have one.
– learned to rip up carpet and stained all the wood for a new staircase in a weekend
– went to a spinning convention and actually learned how to spin yarn that looks like yarn
– fell in love with the mountains of eastern Oregon and took some awesome pictures
– bought a cowboy hat
– knit multiple sweaters, learned to not hate knitting socks and designed a few more things on my own
– have actually done a little bit of wedding planning, despite hating it like you wouldn’t believe
– actually genuinely enjoyed the holidays for a third year running

It has, all in all, been a good year. We are all safe and happy and the family grew again this year (see the house hippy aspect). I am filled with gratitude and can only marvel at my good luck. Life is good; my only goal for next year is to keep it good.

Happy New Year everyone. Let’s make 2012 even more filled with light than 2011.

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December String

I’ve been very distracted lately, because I’ve discovered Librivox, which is a collection of public domain audiobook recordings. For free. This means that I can knit and have someone read Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Bronte to me. If you don’t know about it, go now and download the books you always wished that you’d read, but never made time for. You can multitask! It’s a dream.

We went down to Virginia for Thanksgiving and had a very quiet visit, which was actually really what the doctor ordered. I took my new spinning wheel, the Majacraft Rose, because, well, it has a carrying bag. And carrying bags ought to be used. I managed to spin up about 2 ounces of alpaca, which I really ought to finish working on, as I have another 2 ounces left. My spinning has gotten so much better since SOAR, so now I must show a picture of the last skein I finished:

I’m not a master by any means, but I have improved an awful lot, which feeds into spinning as a new obsession. I’ve picked up a few tomes on spinning techniques now, as well as having subscribed to SpinOff, which mostly seems to be an excuse to look at pictures of weird looking sheep. Like merinos.

I have been doing a fair amount of knitting as well, including picking up a cardigan that I never quite liked the fit of and making the shawl collar twice as wide. It’s the first sweater I ever made and nearly took me two years to complete, as I naturally picked the most difficult cable pattern in the universe to learn how to cable on.

I feel like this picture should really be called Self-Portrait. Plants, books, games and knitting. If only it paid better.

Somehow it became December without me looking, but I’m procrastinating finishing up my holiday shopping. (I can say that, as I have purchased exactly two presents already). Tomorrow I’m going to find someplace in the house to put the tree and potentially procure one. I never used to be much of a fan of Christmas trees until I realized that having something gigantic and organic (unlike, say the giant fern in the picture above) is kind of awesome. We may even get ambitious and climb ladders and put up lights – coming home to a nicely lit house makes the dark of December so much more bearable.

As does sock yarn.

*Cough*.

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