Right before we left on vacation one of the ladies in my spinning group suggested that I enter something in the Island County Fair. I told her I didn't have time to do that, so she volunteered to take some items for me. She literally took Damson off my body and took a skein of handspun from my bag! Imagine my surprise when she returned the items to me along with a huge honkin' ribbon:
I got Best Handspun Item! To say I was gobsmacked is putting it mildly. My humble little skein got a second place ribbon. Definitely an encouraging turn of events. Since I got back I've put in a little time at the wheel, but I've had some projects with deadlines that have taken priority.
This is not to say that knitting has not been accomplished. I finished the Landscape Shawl.
This is #9 of the 10 in 2010 shawl challenge on Ravelry. Although I do have Christmas knitting to do, I think #10 will be fairly easy to accomplish. The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, size 4 needle. I really do love this pattern. It's not completely mindless because you need to pay attention to stitch count and there was some ripping, tinking and cussing involved. But I think this is one that I will probably do again.
I also bit the bullet and started blocking my big pile of shawls. I decided to do the most challenging first and it didn't seem to be as bad as I had anticipated. I give you Aeolian:
Although this will probably be a one only pattern, it is by far one of my favorite finished shawls. Yarn is Zen Garden Serenity, size 2 needle.
Stash enhancement has also taken place. I got a package today from Knit Picks:
From left to right – Stroll Tonal in Foliage and Deep Waters. They were both a little more vibrant than I expected, but will make nice socks, patterns to be determined. In the middle, Shimmer in the Hush colorway. Man, I love everything about this yarn. This is destined to be shawl #10, a Free and Easy Pie Wedge Shawl. The thought of a shawl done entirely in garter stitch is a little daunting, but Li has done several and raves about them, so I'm going to give it a try. I am so dying to cast this one on right this very minute, but I have some birthday socks that need to be done by Friday, so I will practice self control.
The white is Lace Weight Bare. This will probably be the Snowflakes in Cedarwoods shawl by Anne Hanson. I've had this lovely pattern in my file for quite a while and think it's time to give it a whirl. So, with all of this yarn, the projects I already have started, including my son's sweater and Christmas sweaters for the girls, my knitting dance card should be filled for the next 6 months or so. Of course, that doesn't include any yarn that I might spin! Retirement is certainly not boring!
Bill's mom's memorial service is this weekend, and the entire family will be in town – I think we counted about 42, so this will be a busy time. I know it will be bittersweet as we say goodbye, but will also be a wonderful time of remembering and looking ahead to great family times in the future.