knitting

Knitting Update

Three things in progress this month. img_5668The shawl is coming along nicely, with 10 rows of the increase section left before I shift to the the bias part of the pattern. This morning I started a one-skein project, another simple cowl that should be quick to complete–I long ago lost the tag for the yarn, so I’m not sure what it is or how much of it I have. It’s very soft.

Not pictured is the broken rib scarf I’ve been working on while we watch Avatar: The Legend of Korra in the evenings. That one is just a way of using up leftovers from the hats I made this winter, and I will probably end up giving it away when it gets cold again. We have snowdrops and crocuses blooming here in MA already.

In writing news, I just now finished editing Chapter 7 of The Hasty Visitor’s Guide to American Fairy Hills, which should be available in June. I’ll post the cover as part of this month’s wrap-up. In April, I’m going to give Camp NaNo another try this year and see if I can make headway on a new project.

Last thing going on this week was that I went skiing for the first time ever yesterday. It was fun!

knitting

Knitting Update

Yes, I am aware that this is my writing blog, but writing has been dreadfully slow lately. Not non-existent–I’ve got four flash fiction pieces drafted that I didn’t have at New Years, and editing continues on Fairy Hills–just slow.

I have, however, been knitting. Well, planning knitting, mostly. I had a light week, and got an impulse to deal with my yarn stash. Some people have space in their home for a craft area or even an entire craft room. I have seen pictures of these rooms, with walls of labeled crates and shelf after shelf of patterns, so I know they exist.

I have two small plastic totes serving as a makeshift end table next to the couch, and after recent purchases they have started overflowing.

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During some quiet time last week, therefore, I got out each of my yarns in turn. I did some searches on Ravelry to find appropriate patterns, which I purchased and printed out and stored in a bag with the yarn and, if possible, the needles. I didn’t quite get through the entire stash, but I have ten projects planned out now, and only a few odds and ends don’t have a home in mind. Some, like the cowl pictured above, are simple single-skein projects that should only take a few days of dedicated work. Others are larger or will require me to learn new techniques. With all of that, I have at least a year’s worth of knitting ahead of me.

Which will make room for buying more yarn, of course.

knitting

Knitting Update

Frigid weather this weekend means no hike (boo), and I haven’t been getting much done on the book (ditto). It was a very stressful week, and I wasn’t able to concentrate on much other than knitting, so here is the latest project.

I have another repeat to go, so I hope to finish it this month. This has been a good learning project for me, since along with the lace I finally had to get comfortable with M1L/R.

I’m also making yet another hat (I generally give those away). Planning a summer yarn crawl with a friend, but if I’m to do that, I absolutely must decrease my current stash to make room.

knitting, reading

11. Adventures in Yarn Farming

I suspect that everyone who does fiber stuff at some point daydreams about having a sheep farm of their own. I was effectively vaccinated against this desire by reading a lot of James Herriot as a youngling–the cover has fallen off my copy of All Things Bright and Beautiful–but even I occasionally wonder how it would be. This book is designed for that audience: people who know something about yarn, but not a ton about where it comes from.

It isn’t a manual on livestock care, or a how-to-craft guide, but a sort of lively small-scale memoir with admixtures. Think Animal, Vegetable, Miracle with fewer pretensions, maybe. Ms. Parry’s farm is a business, and she makes no bones about how things like the summer’s hay yield factor into her herd’s management, and how critical it is to keep track of each individual sheep’s lineage and wool characteristics, and the earthier aspects of animal care.

The book is handsomely made, feels lovely in the hands, and is beautifully illustrated (although the photos are, frustratingly, not captioned). As a bonus, while it guides you through the yearly round of a sheep farmer’s life in Western Massachusetts, it provides detailed instructions for a number of dyeing and knitting projects that are, alas, well beyond my skill level.

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I borrowed this book from a friend who picked it up at the Boston Farm & Fiber Festival a couple years back. (I believe I bought some yarn from the author, which I also believe is still in my stash somewhere. As one does.) It’s a nice one to curl up with of an evening and lazily turn a few pages, day-dreaming of a pastoral life in between vignettes and doses of hard-earned sheep knowledge.