A fun time was had last Sunday as we celebrated two birthdays. I won't mention any ages, but here's a picture of the honorees:
We weren't sure what to get Isobel for her birthday. Our son said that she had so many toys already and suggested that I sew her a superhero cape. It really didn't seem like much, but as it turned out, it was a big hit. Of course, it's always important that superhero capes be kept nice and tidy:
I also gave the girls their shrugs with very mixed results. Ivy loved hers:
Isobel, on the other hand, refused to even try hers on. For some reason, I think she got it in her head that the shrug and cape were exclusive of each other and a choice had to be made! Once that was in her little mind, she would not budge! Hmmm – I wonder where that stubborness comes from? Certainly not her paternal side of the family. Right, Abby??
The girls and the dogs also had a great time outside chasing bubbles. Of course, sometimes two can go for the same bubble at the same time!
On Monday, I loaded up my spinning wheel and supplies for a three day workshop with Anne Field. It was a very intensive three days and I was exhausted by the end of it. I do have mixed feelings about the workshop. First of all, three days was a little intense. Secondly, we worked exclusively with raw fiber, although it was cleaned – after a fashion. It seemed that we spent about half our time preparing the fiber. This is not something I enjoy and I don't see it in my future. I learned that the quality of your spinning has a lot to do with the quality of the fiber preparation. Since I was so new at the prep, my fiber wasn't always of the best quality!
However, I did learn a lot about the different breeds of sheep and how the crimp affects the finished yarn. I learned the difference between worsted, woolen, semi-worsted, and semi-woolen and somewhat successfully spun all four. I also spun from the fold for the first time. Anne was a wonderful teacher and very patient with us newbies. Her New Zealand accent was charming, although we often had to listen very carefully and occasionally ask for clarification.
It was nice, though, to get back home and to my own spinning. One of the major things I learned in the workshop was to sample. I know this should be a no-brainer considering my previous experiences, but I'm not always able to grasp the obvious. So, learning that, I started spinning on the fiber for Ben's sweater. I made two mini-skeins – one 2-ply, one 3-ply and knit them up into gauge swatches. I'm waffling between which to use, but don't have to make a decision until I start plying.
And – speaking of handpspun – how many of you wagered that I would dive right in on my handspun sock yarn? Those who know me well, knew I would!
The pattern is Winterscape and is free on Ravelry. The yarn was actually a heavy fingering and so I did need to decrease the stitch count a little. I was sweating having enough yarn, and only ended up with about a yard to spare! Of course, this now gives a new meaning to Second Sock Syndrome. I not only have to knit the second sock, I have to spin the yarn for it too!!