Dale and I extended our Labor Day weekend by adding on 2 days of leave. It was absolutely wonderful! I made some good progress in a lot of areas…our pantry is much more settled, our library can be used and I am able to find some things in my office/studio. I also got a few hats knit for Warm Hats, Warm Hearts and have one more planned for the drive back to Virginia.
I cast on with my handspun for my Virtual Loungewear, the Saroyan shawlette which we have declared to be our group’s cellblock uniform. The fabric is lovely and light. I dropped down to a size 5 needle from the size 10 recommended in the pattern because the yarn is really a laceweight. I was going to try several needle sizes to see what I liked, but I started with the 5s and loved the result. The gauge is tight enough to make the fabric appear opaque, but it’s open enough to make for a very light, but warm fabric. Because the gauge is, of course, more dense than that of the original I added several increase repeats before starting on the straight section in order to make it wide enough. I’m shooting for about 12 inches wide so it can be a combo-scarf-shawlette. It’s definite potato chip knitting — I want to see what’s going to happen with the next swath of color!
I’ve got my eye on some more spinning too. These gorgeous spindles arrived in the mail yesterday and they are calling to me like crazy. The fact that they came with some lovely samples of fiber doesn’t hurt. Oh, and I found a great little shop up in Lancaster called Labadie Looms. They’ve got handspun yarn, a good deal of locally sourced roving and a bunch of spinning wheels. The lovely owner shared with us that she was a 9th generation handspinner, handweaver and knitter and that the shop has been in existence in some form since 1863. I bought this 1/4 pound of coopworth from her. I had never heard of it before. Have you spun with it yet? She says it’s one of the breeds that was favored by the Pennsylvania Germans who populated this area.
When we left Labadie’s we brought home some cute little sisters to stay with us for a while. Aren’t they adorable? They were made by a local 15 year old. I love how authentic she was with her color choices and design of their headwear. I know I could make similar ones myself, but the fact that their purchase would be encouraging a young woman in her craft made it impossible to say, “no.” The yarn is handspun as well, but I didn’t think to ask if she did the handspinning as well as the knitting.
Labor Day on the farm is really pretty much like any other day. There’s no such thing as a day off, but the work we’re doing here is so much more enjoyable. Dale was having a great time making mulch out of limbs felled during Hurricane Irene. This is a tiny pile so far, but it turned into a much larger one and was the third one of the day. For some reason I kept thinking of Frances McDormand. I did some work in the flower garden…Ruby kept an eye on me. The roses are still bearing well and we’re getting some beautiful berries on many of our plants now.
It did rain for much of the weekend and the week so far. Luckily the house is secure and snug and dry as a bone. It does make me want to snooze though…or just sit and watch the rain chain. I hate to think about tomorrow — it will be back to the grind. But at least it’s only a 2 day work week!