Monday, April 17, 2017

Signs of spring

Cold morning sunlight pours in through the curtains.  I open the window for ten brisk minutes.  Mourning doves mutter outside in the maple tree, the school bus comes and goes, a big truck downshifts.  Outdoors!  It smells so lush out there.  So dirty and loamy and promising.  
Scarves, hats, mittens, cowls make their way through the wash and into storage.  I love this part of things.  I love taking care of these beautiful things I've made; hand washing them, folding them neatly, tucking them into bed for the summer.  I love unpacking them again, too, later, rediscovering them.  I am already anticipating that moment.  
I make yarn at my spinning wheel.  This is a mystery wool, bought as a bump [that's what you call a ball of carded roving] at a fiber fair last fall, unlabeled and unidentifiable.  Somehow I had it in my mind that it was alpaca, but it is definitely sheep.  That's about as specific as it'll get.  Brownish, natural gray, wooly, soft.  Probably DK weight?  I don't know.  Who knows.  My plying is improving.  There is so much to learn.  
 
My Warriston is finished, and I wear it with some weariness, looking out the window at the tattered but greening landscape.  This pullover is meant to be worn as an outer layer--a sweatshirt with style--so it is very roomy and very comfy.  I used Natural Wool DK 8-ply by Wools of New Zealand in "Cocoa".  What a smooshy, springy lovely wooly wool that is.  It totally looks like the perfect handspun, and I am so interested in that at the moment.  
Here it is, in action in the field, with squirrel skull, discovered on the ground underneath our big maple tree.  I can't say I'm one bit sorry.  Squirrels!  Ugh.  I hate them.  That up there is my very favorite kind of squirrel.  He lives to chew another hole in my barn NO MORE.  
The sock yarns continue to haunt.  Why are these handpainted things so utterly magical in the skein, and so utterly not magical when knitted into something?  So often the gorgeous, luminous colors just devolve into mud.  And yet, they are always in my stash, always in my shopping basket at the yarn shop, and always ALWAYS coming home with me from the fiber festival.  I can't stop loving them.  The Scarfy Thing they are becoming is just fiddly enough to keep me from getting up a good head of steam on it.  Many of my joins and seams look pretty terrible.  I'll probably knit the whole thing all the way to the end without having decided whether I like it or not.  
It won't be the first time.  A knitter's gotta knit.  

30 comments:

  1. I like squirrels the are so nice.

    Sonja


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    1. They chew holes in my house and nibble on my stuff. The squirrels are not my friends.

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  2. What a lovely Spring post . . . from seeing your beautiful creations, I would say that you were born to knit. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
    Have a joy filled week.
    Connie :)

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  3. You have a cozy looking home and I love that scarf. Think I will try to knit one of my own from all my leftover yarn. How old were you when you learned how to knit?

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    1. And how many stitches did you cast on to make that scarf?

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    2. I've been knitting with varying regularity since I was 11--almost forty years now, yikes...

      This scarf is made in a modular construction, so you cast on 20 and knit for awhile in garter stitch, then turn the corner and change yarns and pick up stitches and knit for awhile, then change color again and cast on some more and knit up the side--all very artistical, really. There's a freebie "recipe" for it at Ravelry--just look up "Scarfy Thing" and add "Beata" (that's the designer) to your search. :)

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  4. Your opinion of squirrels reminds me of my grandfather's opinion of groundhogs. He was a farmer and they did so much damage to his ditching tiles. These cute,furry critters can do so much damage. My grandfather was a quiet, peace-loving man but when it came to groundhogs, let's just say he was a good shot.

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    1. LOL! Exactly. My granny had a little hole in the screen of her back door, just the right size for the barrel of her .22! :D

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  5. Did you see this today on Ravelry? http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/make-a-long-story-short

    Perfect for those luminous sock yarns
    ,
    Love your Warriston...it's been in my queue for a long time...a bit worried about the collar...so I've been thinking about making it less of a turtleneck. Yours looks beautiful!

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    1. Off to check that out, thank you! xoxo

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  6. On the leftover yarn project...won't a lot of the wonky-ness block out? If nothing else use it for a emergency car blanket? And yes, don't want to kill the squirrels, but they sure could go live somewhere else. Interesting thing is in Europe and Japan, squirrel sightings are like treasures. Both places the squirrels are not at all common, aggressive or in everyone's backyards.

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    1. I am hoping it'll all block out. It usually does.

      I know there are places where people actually plant dandelions, too. Whatever's rare is interesting, right?

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  7. I really like your Warriston. This is my idea of the best winter sweater, all loose and snuggly with great long cuffs and a cowl neck. Perfection! I first read it as Mr. Warriston which seemed good name for a cuddly sweater.

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    1. It is a perfectly cuddly sweater, indeed! I think Mr. Warriston is a much better name, too. Mine will be called that from now on. :D

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  8. Your Warriston is gorgeous; it looks like it would keep you as warm as a cast iron woodstove! I feel your pain with the squirrels - if I didn't live inside the city limits, I would be shooting every one I could. They dig. Every. Freakin'. Where. When I plant my garden, I have to put chicken wire down to keep them from digging up my seeds! Tree rats I call them; nothing more, nothing less. Tell your woolens that its only 180 days or so before you will be wearing them again.

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  9. Love your Warriston, looks great. I hate squirrels too, rats with tails I call them. Nice to see the sun popping out. CN x

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  10. 'So dirty and loamy and promising' God, I love the way you write! I also have serious Warriston envy. I'm a crocheter, but I've just bought DPNs and sock yarn just need a little courage now to get started. 

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    1. You can do it! I believe in you. xoxo

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  11. Squirrels are enemies to some and others it's a love hate relationship. I have never had a bad experience with them, but having said that, they did get into our roof of the old house once but never again. Rats have been the enemy for me, chewing holes in my dishwasher hoses and getting inside somehow. Dishwasher down and out now. Rats also down and out. People and their compost piles are usually the issue around here, you gotta remember what NOT to throw in the compost. :)
    Love all your yummies going into storage. I just can't stop knitting stuff either. I love knitting socks at the moment :) Love your blog!

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    1. Our problem is a profusion of black walnut trees on the farmer neighbor's property. They flock to the field, spread the nuts around for growing everywhere, and then chew their way into my barn for a nap. Ugh.

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  12. What a beautifully written post, I could almost smell the soil you talked about. Love your new sweater, that collar and cuff detail is fabulous.

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  13. I had no idea that squirrals were pests! Possums are often pests here, though native. They can decimate fruit trees, and veggie beds. And if they get in your shed or roof? Euggh!

    Your knitting is just so beautiful. I love the promise of winter, so much. The air is cool and clean, the ground softens. Layers of clothing, simple comfort cooking, wood fires and flannel Jammies. Whats not to love? ;)

    xx

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    1. Everything in its season, right? xoxo

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  14. I really like your Scarfy Thing! I love scrappy stuff :D
    M<><

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  15. A beautiful post Kristen - really nicely composed images - the sun coming through the windows : ) your sweater is lovely! And squirrels! - my daughter is terrified of them and she is grown. We tease her about this, but truly they are pesky and bold where we live - a little bit scary.
    Hope you have a wonderful day

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  16. Love it all--you are the kind of knitter I dream of being :) I'm kind of the same lately about all the speckled, hand dyed yarn I keep accumulating--I love it but now have so much, it's overwhelming! Find myself wanting to get back to simple, natural colors--which is leading to more yarn purchases, naturally! :)

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