Our first day of spring is promising to be a wonderful one. Temps should be in the 60's and the sun is shining! As far as the spring flowers go, we're about a month ahead of time. It's always interesting to note the timing of the bulbs over on the mainland. There are fields and fields of daffodils and tulips and every year they have a Tulip Festival. Some years they hit just the right week, but often as not, the bulbs are either too early or too late. Last year they were too late and this year there is some concern that by the time the festival rolls around, the bulbs will be all gone. This picture was taken about 10 years ago – we usually avoid the crowds that descend at tulip time.
I finally dived in and started knitting with my handspun. I was a little hesitant, because once I wound the blue merino into a ball, it didn't look anywhere near as nice and even as it did on the skein. But it's amazing how the humble little garter stitch can even out yarn:
The yarn is fingering in some places, close to worsted in others, underspun, overspun, you name it! In some places the underspun singles broke while I was plying, but I just spit spliced and moved on. Despite it all, I find it extremely satisfying to be knitting with yarn that I made! One of the reasons I gave for rejecting spinning last year (never say never!!) was that it added one more step before you could start knitting. Now that I'm spinning, I realize that the added step is really a destination of its own. I've been surprised at how much I love spinning for its own sake. There's something about feeling the fiber flow through your fingers and twist into yarn that is hypnotic. In fact, I'll find that I can sit and do it for so long that I have to remind myself to get up and move a little every once in a while so I don't freeze up.
I finished a new skein this week and I am ridiculously happy with it:
This is Ashland Merino/Silk blend in the Sea Mist colorway. It was gifted to me by Lorette before I even started spinning (an enabler if I ever met one!). This was pure pleasure to spin. And, it's come out so even and nice that I can really see some potential for this skein. Right now I'm thinking of doing the Yarn Harlot's Pretty Thing cowl. This is so soft and silky and would feel wonderful around my neck. I loved spinning this so much, that I have ordered enough for a sweater. I wasn't sure how much to order, so I ordered a pound. I have a feeling that may be way, way too much, but I don't want to run out. And, if I have some left over, I can start knitting cowls for Christmas. Depending on gauge, I'm thinking about the Featherweight Cardigan. Marguerite mentioned this on her blog. I would never have given it a second thought until I saw some of the changes that Ann had made. Technically it calls for laceweight, but I believe I'll be able to get gauge with a fingering weight.
Lots of things between here and there, though. With spring comes some yard work and gardening. Not my favorite thing to do, but we at least need to clean up the yard so we're not embarrassed when John and Lorette come to visit next month. And, we've decided to try a small vegetable garden. Just a trial to see if we can win out over the deer and rabbits. I also need to finish the Auracania socks for my friend. I went through my stash and just couldn't find anything I liked as well, so I've decided to finish them and toss them in the wash on cold water. If they come out ok, I'll just give them to her with specific washing instructions. Let the chips fall where they may!