Thursday, March 20, 2008

A time for finishing

I'm still trying to clean up after more than a year and a half of start-itis. I think I must have knitting attention deficient disorder. During my time as a yarn store owner, it occurred in epic proportions. I just couldn't seem to help myself. Whenever a new shipment of yarn, patterns or books would arrive, I would be gripped with an overwhelming urge to cast on---and I usually gave in to temptation. I did manage to finish a lot of things, but I have way too many still on the needles. If I wasn't such a realist, I would declare a moratorium on new projects til everything in the works is finished. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work and there's no sense in setting myself up to fail-----is there?
Here is a sweater I started last fall, got to the point of being just a few hours worth of knitting from finishing and then, in my fickleness, put it down and worked on several other things. Last week, I finally got back to it and was amazed at how quickly I finished. I love this sweater. This is my second version. First time, I used Rowan Felted Tweed with a strand of Kid Silk Haze run together (what's not to love about those two yarns?). This time I used Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed Aran. The pattern is "Lara" from Debbie Bliss' Alpaca Silk pattern book. It's a fun and entertaining knit, begun at one cuff and knit sideways across to the other cuff, with some unusual stuff happening in the middle. The first version was used as a shop sample for many months and was so popular there are countless examples in many different yarns around town now. I'm actually planning on knitting it again, this time with handspun yarn. That's the thing, now that I'm no longer exposed to commercial yarn on a daily basis. I really want to knit with my own handspun again. Which is a good thing because my handspun stash is considerable (remember the "wall of wool"?).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A room of my own...

This is my room (that is euphemistically called my studio) in the barn. Rather, I should say this is one wall of my room. I've been calling it the "wall of wool". These shelves contain mostly handspun and I had no idea there was so much of it. For the last two years, while I was busy with the yarn shop, this room was left to it's own devices and it got really ugly! I've spent several hours a day for the last week trying to clean and organize it enough that I can actually stand to be in there.

Lambing starts next week and having a warm and relatively clean place to hang out makes it much more comfortable for me to be waiting through the stages of labor. The best scenario is when I find the ewe with lambs already up and nursing, but sometimes I find her in the very beginning stages of labor and then it can literally take hours. Usually she is very focused on the task at hand and would just as soon not have me sitting there staring at her. Having a room of my own lets me pass the time spinning or knitting or reading in relative comfort, but still close enough to observe and offer help if needed. Works out best for everyone involved.

Anyway, shouldn't we all have some little space to claim as our own? I think so!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This must be March

Let's see, we've had a few days of 60's and 70's, then rain, ice, snow, a few more days of warm-ish weather and now the weather-man says we are under a winter storm advisory and can expect temperatures in the teens, plus rain, ice, snow. That is March in Kentucky. I do have hope that Spring is on the way. Yesterday I picked the first daffodil in full bloom and two nights ago, I heard the peepers for the first time. I always think the peepers are earlier than last year, but when I go to last year's calendar, there it is written, usually within a few days of this year. I love hearing the peepers. It is a sure sign the earth is starting to wake up. Last year's calendar also tells me it is only 9 days from when we should put up the Martin bird house. We put the house up, with the doorways sealed (to keep out other birds), and then wait for the scouts to appear. It just seems like a miracle to me every year that they are able to find their way back to their birthplace after such a long journey. Once the scouts are here, we can usually expect the rest of the flock within a week. Then we unseal the doors and we have lots of activity while the pairs build their nests and get ready settle in for hatching out this year's brood.

Another sign of Spring happened this morning. I ordered baby chicks for the first time in several years. They won't arrive for several weeks, but ordering and anticipation are part of the fun! I'll be sure to post about their arrival. Last time I ordered chicks, the local post office called at 3 am to tell me they had arrived and to come pick them up. I said great and went back to bed because surely they didn't mean for me to come right then. Did they? Why, yes they did! I got another call around 4 am telling me they meant NOW! Okay, so I'm ready for them this year.

Still no pictures of finished knitting for you. My camera met with an unfortunate accident, so I'm awaiting arrival of a new one.