Yarn Heaven

I’m making great progress on the cowl-thingy I finally decided on for that chunky alpaca. Chunky yarn knits up so fast, and this particular yarn really makes it feel like I’m knitting a cloud. Heaven might be made of alpaca.

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But even more enticing, this came in the mail this week:

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I know that craving green in February is an established and slightly trite thing from me, but ohhh does this color make me happy right now.

Snowed In!

Well, we definitely got walloped.

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It’s hard to know for sure with the drifts, but it seems like we got about 2.5 feet. There were low points that “only” came to my knees, and high points closer to shoulder height. Of course, the plow-made mountains are a whole different story.

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I worked obsessively on the Project of Doom while it was actively snowing, and got a good couple blocks done. Maybe I’ll finish it this year after all. If we have like 3 more blizzards.

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After the snow finally stopped it was time to dig out ourselves and a few neighbors. This took most of a day. Athena was hemmed in by the new “fence” while we were digging out our own driveway, but when we trudged through the (for me) nearly-hip deep snow to the next driveway, she wasn’t about to be left behind. She and the other dogs on the street had a blast while we were all digging. Of course, it turned out to be a rather futile effort because even though we had clear driveways, nobody showed up to remove snow from our street until last night.

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Instead, Athena had great fun ignoring the clear spot Hubby created in the backyard and making her own path for a few days. We ate lots of baked goods and soup, worked off all those baked goods in our tiny home gym, binged on Netflix, and slept embarrassingly late. I knit about a mile with the green handspun.

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Monday it was above freezing, and yesterday it hit 50, believe it or not, so that’s done a good bit to melt down the massive piles of snow. By Monday a few of the most adventurous truck and SUV owners were venturing out, only to return and tell us nothing was open and there was no place to go. Yesterday Hubby ventured back to work, and said that while the main roads were fine, if only one-lane, getting out of the neighborhood took nearly half the time he spent commuting. My tiny car and I stayed home. Instead, I took advantage of the much-warmed weather and put the olive tree out to sun itself in the blinding snow glare, because nature is weird.

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Then last night someone from the county showed up to haul snow off the road! Finally! It had melted quite a bit and all the trucks had compacted it plenty too, but it was still too much for an ordinary plow. This guy spent more than an hour on our short, residential street and there are absolute mountains of snow on all of our lawns today. The kid across the street had a blast climbing the one in his yard today, and planted a U.S. flag on the top of it. It was pretty stinkin’ cute.

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Thanks to the county’s efforts, today I was actually able to LEAVE THE HOUSE!! I only went to the grocery store, and they were still pretty picked-over from before the storm, but it was exciting anyway. The roads are definitely not back to normal, but they are reasonably safe as long as you go slow and there aren’t too many people out at once. This whole storm has been such a weird experience for all of us native to the area. Schools are still closed through the end of the week, because buses can NOT get down many of the neighborhood roads right now, and things are even worse up in the mountains. Looks like I’ve got a lot of knitting time left ahead of me.

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Sooo…what should I make with the awesome chunky alpaca?

What Is It About Snow?

The first real snowstorm of the year here in this part of VA is forecasted to hit on Friday. Both the kids and the staff at work have been discussing the possibility of a snow day/3 day weekend pretty much since we got back. On Tuesday. That’s right, we just had a 3 day weekend and everyone is still dying for another.

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In the last 2 days they’ve begun to talk not just “snow”, but “historic storm”. People are starting to get nervous and silly about it, so when an end of day meeting let out early today, I decided to go to the grocery store a day early rather than waiting til my normal day. I figured all the pre-storm shoppers would be there flipping out if I waited til Thursday.

I was wrong.

As I somehow didn’t need eggs, milk, or bread this week I actually managed to get everything on the shopping list in about 20 minutes, although I got the last one of several things. Then I stood in line, for 35 minutes. All registers were open, but there were just that many people. Because you know, a foot of snow might fall in 2 days and we’ll never be able to go outside again. Must buy all the French toast supplies now. All of them.

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Of course, there are other preparations to be made too. A blizzard means there’s a chance of losing power. I made sure to pick up some foods that don’t require electricity to prepare  today (hello peanut butter and apple wraps), and we have a fireplace and a massive stack of wood for warmth. Also? I’m a knitter. There is plenty on hand to keep us warm and cozy if the power goes out. Worst case we’ll sleep in my stash. ;-) Candles are on hand and there are good batteries in the flashlights. Which leads me to the fun stuff.

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Making sure I have enough knitting to see me through an extended period indoors. You guys told me in last week’s poll to cast on with the green handspun, which I have. I also wound the blue-green alpaca, just in case. The handspun is practically flying off the needles, especially after the sweater. I think it’s going to be a cowl, but it may become a scarf, depending on just how much of it there really is.

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That leaves the question of what to make from the alpaca. I kind of want another cowl, although I certainly don’t need one. It’s a thick, bulky solid and I think it would look great in a basic fisherman’s rib. I mentioned this to Hubby and he announced that cowls are entirely too trendy for me to possibly be happy with and I should make something else. He had no ideas for what that “something else” should be. I’m not actually opposed to trendy; I’m just not often swayed by it. Sometimes the trend is good (read:cowls), but “good” is the deciding factor for me. What do you guys think? If not a(nother) cowl, what else would 2 skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky want to be?

Too Many Choices

So I’m coming to the end of the knitting portion of an upcoming sweater design, and also find myself seriously lacking a purse project. I love picking new projects, but I have so many fun new yarns I can’t even decide which yarn to use let alone what project. Help me decide!

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I’ve been wanting to knit with my handspun more, and this single 90 gram skein of more-or-less sport weight pretty seems awfully tempting after a massive sweater. I think there’s about 245 yards of it, which is enough for a hat (I have way more than I need) or a cowl, or a couple pairs of boot toppers. Hmm…

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Then there’s the 324 yards of chunky alpaca that’s so radically different from what I generally knit with that I can’t help but be intrigued. It doesn’t hurt that it’s 100% alpaca, so I occasionally wander over to the stash just to pet it. I can make pretty much the same things from this as I could from handspun, but I definitely want the alpaca to go into something worn close to my skin.

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Then in a totally different vein is the Art by Eve yarn. It’s lace weight and in a sweater quantity, which is a little daunting so soon after this other sweater. On the other hand, siiiiiiiiilk. Also, it’s such a light shade of green, and everything else this time of year is so dang dark.

Then of course there’s all the rest of my stash. It’s not small. So, help me decide, oh wise readers.

 

2016 Fiber Goals

New year, new plans. What can I reasonably expect to accomplish this year? I’d like to:

  1. Publish at least 2 new sweaters.
  2. Publish at least 4 new patterns.
  3. Knit the entirety of at least 1 of my spinning stashes (there are currently 3 in stash ready for knitting).handspun
  4. Spin something that can be interchanged with commercial yarn, instead of having to search for/create patterns that can tolerate a bit of thick and thin.
  5. Finally finish the dang POD I’ve been working on since I was engaged. Our 5 year anniversary is this summer; it’s getting a little ridiculous.blanket

This isn’t very many things, but I still worry they’re a bit overambitious. Not one of the things on that list will be fast. What do you think? Reasonable or not?

A Productive Christmas for a Happy New Year

I’ve gotten SO much knitting done since school let out. Thankfully, I did not run out of knitting while visiting Hubby’s family, but it did get a little dicey one day when I overestimated how much I could safely leave in the hotel room! So what have I gotten done in the last week?

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I finished the socks for my sis…

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and the gloves for the Husbeast…

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and a hat for me! Recognize Brumby Jill from my Sharon Boswell interview?

I’ve also made big progress on an upcoming design that’s not quite ready for sharing yet. So to distract you, look what I got for Christmas!

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That’s 3 skeins of Cascades Baby Alpaca Chunky in colorway “Emerald City” and 2 skeins of Art by Eve Anne in colorway “Emerald”. I’m seeing a theme here. Isn’t it interesting though how two different dyers could take the color “emerald” and come up with two such radically different colors? Even funnier, neither one really matches what I think of when I think of emeralds. Colors are such an odd (and fascinating) thing to me.

P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday, and like other years, I will be giving away presents to Feel Good fans! If you’d like a chance at winning free patterns, make sure you have some FGK patterns in your Ravelry wishlist!

Plane Knitting

Hubby and I are about to hop on a plane to visit his sister for a few days, and I’m feeling a little paranoid. There’s the usual “but what if I run out of knitting?” fear I have every time I travel, but also? Every project I have going right now (3!!!) is on dpns. I know the TSA website says knitting needles of all kinds are fine, and I’ve literally never had trouble over it before, but I feel like if they’re going to take exception to any type of knitting needle, it’s pointy little dpns.

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The thought of losing my needles this far into a sock this intricate makes me a little panicky, but I’ve discovered it makes me less panicky than the thought of not having anything to knit in the airport. So I’m risking it.

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At least, I’m risking it with two of the projects. The third is going in my checked baggage, along with some spare yarn and needles. I’m not that brave.

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