Sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted. As you know, I’ve been a tad busy. So, here’s your quick catch up!
All the way back in April (as you obviously know) I had a wonderful, wonderful time visiting your workplace and meeting and speaking so many of your colleagues and co-workers. So many good memories and ideas from that visit! The Navy let me hang around for a few more days so I could do some outreach for them — speaking to a number of groups in academia and youth development. (My favorite was the time I spent with about 60 3rd-8th graders talking about women in technology. Ten year-olds really keep you on your toes!!)
It was great that the trip included Yarnover weekend. Vendors, classes with Chris Bylsma, Mary Scott Huff and Susanna Hansson, and of course, time with you meant for fantastic fun! (For our readers, no, the picture on the lower left is not one of us.) I loved the chance to visit StephenBe’s and to enjoy the sensory overload that is his world.
And then, right after I returned to the DC area, I had the chance to take a class with Brenda Dayne of the Cast-On podcast. She is as lovely as you would expect from her podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to get to know her a bit — witty, smart, funny and engaging. She’d fit right in to any group that you and I put together, that’s for sure.
The class project was the Mrs. Beeton wristers. I went against recommendations on my accent yarn choice (purchased at Yarnover!), but I’m very happy with it. Future versions should include a modification to accomodate the lack of elasticity in the Seduce (rayon, linen, silk and nylon blend). The minor problem is that without the “sproing” the knitted ruffle works up to a depth that is a bit too long. It hides the inner ruffle knitted out of the main yarn, a superwash merino sock yarn. I do love the contrast in texture though…even more so than for the versions of Mrs. Beeton worked with the recommended yarn types. The simple fix will be to modify the ruffle pattern to lose just a few rows and that will be very easy.
Things are definitely popping up all over the farm these days. That gazebo I mentioned is firmly situated across from the house — bedding plants to come. And I’ve got fairy ring mushrooms, knock out roses, peas, melons, corn, wildflowers, onions and spinach coming along very nicely!
Our tenants are doing well too. I thought the chickadee had abandoned her nest in the birdhouse and opened it to make sure. Surprise! She was right there. I quickly snapped a picture and closed it back up. She didn’t twitch a bit and the next day was still sitting her clutch. I was relieved I hadn’t frightened her by the rude intrusion. The eggs above our front windows have hatched (see the tail sticking out?) and the babies are making a mess of things. (That’s okay, we know how to use a scrub brush.) And the purple finch who nested in the holly bush just outside our back door has laid a nice little trio of beautiful blue eggs with little black speckles. I caught this photo while she was out taking advantage of the bird feeders.
I’ve put some time in at the spinning wheel and now have 3 very full bobbins of alpaca/tussah silk singles. I’ll be doing some trial plying of these to see how I want to finish them. I’m hoping two-ply will yield a heavy sock weight or light DK.
The alpaca fleece that I ordered from Morro Fleece Works arrived this past Saturday and it is incredibly lush! I was so glad I had an extra bobbin at the ready and on Sunday I sat down and spun up about 4 1/2 ounces. Like buttah! The roving drafted like an absolute dream — the closest to the zen of spinning that I think I’ve experienced. It’s a semi-worsted spin with a lot of energy. I want to test out how a highly spun and highly plied alpaca behaves in a fabric. I love this color and this fleece so much that I’d really like to use it for the Knitmore SPAKAL, but am smart enough to know I need to figure out the lack of elasticity issue before I knit an entire sweater out of it! (By the way, I’m seriously considering Mishke by Julie Weisenberger. Yes, she seems to have both of our attentions!
Before I say goodbye, I want to share the helmet liner I knit for my trusted assistant. He is heading off to Afghanistan for a year to command an Air Force communications squadron over there. I wanted him to stay warm, a small token of my appreciation for all the hard work he did for me over the last few years. He loved it…can you see the smile? His last day is tomorrow. We’ll all be sorry to see him go. Good luck, Mike!
That’s it — next post will be sooner and shorter. I promise!