Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming…

Ah, so I can unveil the secret project.
A few weeks ago, someone indispensable and terribly important to our family got news that she had cancer. I know this is very common and everyone knows someone, but I cannot even explain the feeling of being hit by a bus. Quickly, as much as was possible was taken out, and the recovery from that process began with lots of quality knitting time in the hospital keeping company, and plans for chemo began.

Now to say I am medically useless is actually an understatement. I actually will pass out at the slightest tube, blood, incision, or just the smell of hospitals. This makes me negatively helpful when I have to be peeled off the floor. I did my best and actually got over the tubes and hospital smell, as long as I didn’t have to see where anything goes in or out. But, really, besides the doctors, who do as much as they can, none of us can do anything really to make it better. We can’t make tumors go away, stay away, or make things less scary. Luckily the statistics are in our favor, and since I believe in science and statistics and good hard numbers, that has to make me feel better.

So, I did the only thing a knitter can do. I can at least keep you warm and pretty. The blood, tubes, and actual physical real healing stuff, nope, sorry, useless. But, warm, that I can do. So I stole some yarn that was supposed to go into the shop, wound it into balls, downloaded a pattern (daybreak, but without the stripes, since it was striping already. I love the shape of it) and just started knitting.

Handspun Wrap

I used a sneaky trick I saw somewhere about putting plastic under the blocking item to make it dry faster. Worked AWESOME. I usually am waiting for things to dry forever because whatever is underneath, usually a towel, is also wet from the wet wool. This one dried very quickly.

Handspun Wrap

The yarn is my own handspun, polworth/silk. Size 7 needles with DK yarn for a warm but light fabric, the drape is fantastic, thanks silk!

Handspun Wrap

And most importantly, warm. Since that is what I do.

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There’s an App for that

Someday, I swear, I will learn. Recipes are there for a reason. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. yada yada. From this you can infer (and if you can’t, don’t worry, I’ll just tell you) that all that progress? Yes. It is no more. I spent Halloween handing out candy alternately with ripping back that sweater upon admitting that the neck hole is way big and it is all wrong. And I discovered, if I’d just spent 15 minutes googling for such a thing, that for a top down raglan sweater pattern? Yeah, there’s an app for that. Duh. So $0.99 later and 10 minutes of measuring and plugging in numbers and neckline preferences, yeah. A recipe to follow. I swear, I’m not as dumb as I look.

I am now just about back to where I was when I admitted finally that I was being dumb, and so instead of showing you photos that look exactly like the last ones, although this time of a properly proportioned sweater top, I will instead show you photo of YARN!!

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Ohh, pretty colors. Shiny silk. Handspun yarn. Lots of it.

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All available at the shop – go get them before they go home and make someone else happy!

Fits and Starts

Where I’ve been:

A Polish wedding. Holy Wodka. Seriously, the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Got to see and party with family I haven’t seen in a while, family I’ve never seen, had fantastic food I haven’t had in forever, and be more hungover than I’ve ever been. Fantastic. Highly recommended.

Wodka

Na zdrowie to Alicja and Aaron.

Snausage

Also, been spinning up a storm. Here’s the latest, to enter the shop sometime this weekend. Seriously excited about this update, the purple/red is so deep and complex, I really want to steal that one. And the softer blue/green/purple is the new Polworth/Silk – I am madly in love with this one.

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And, I’m playing the “pick a color – any color” game, hopefully transforming the bedroom this weekend from bright dark blue to soothing, clean crisp white. How there are so many “whites” blows my mind.

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And, in knitting, the yarn-bag emptying scrap yarn blanket is working out beautifully. Seriously boring knitting, but the yarn has to go somewhere, and it’s actually turning out pretty cool, so that’s something. Once this is done, I’ll have to get rid of a few other skeins I don’t know what to do with. I don’t know how this escaped my notice, but I am a dyer, so some of the un-inspiring skeins, I can change their color. Seriously don’t know how I didn’t think of this before now, but there you go. I’ll keep you posted on any exciting transformations.

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Colors

It’s been quiet on the blog, but I’ve been doing things, namely putting colors together.

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I received the next order of wool, and got to work dying that to begin spinning it up for the shop. Gearing up for the Gore Place Sheep Shearing Festival in April, if you’re in the Boston area, I’d love to meet you!

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And the more challenging, I’ve been swatching for a sweater. It is SO NOT EASY!! So many options, so hard to pick one, so hard to know what is going to go together. The new fair isle book has been very helpful indeed.

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I’m debating between the greens at the top, the red at the bottom, or some combination… Decisions decisions.

New Yarns

My sweater is almost finished, I have one sleeve cap, some seaming and some weaving in of ends to do, and then it is done. I’m dorkily dreaming of mittens, so I cannot wait to finish this sweater. Yes, I could start the mittens before the sweater is finished, but come on, we all know that the sweater would just sit for ages, I would never pick it up again, these are my least favorite knitting tasks…

In the meantime, since I have no useful photos of that, I’ll post a few photos of yarn which will be going up in the shop this week, so enjoy a little yarn p0rn!!

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And I’m slowly learning, little by little, how to use my Photoshop. And today? I discovered batch editing. OMG WHAT A GREAT THING!!! WHERE HAS THAT BEEN ALL MY PHOTO-TAKING LIFE!!!!

Happy Tuesday!