Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spinning through Adversity

I had a bad bronchitis/flu this week, which pretty well incapacitated me for an entire week. I'm still not quite "right" yet, but at least I'm a bit more "alive" than I was a week ago, and ready to go back to work tomorrow. In between all the sleeping I had to do to recover from this thing, I got some spinning done. Quite a lot of spinning, actually.This one is "Breaking Waves," a Coopworth/Alpaca/Silk blend from Feeling Sheepish, a fellow vendor on Etsy. This is 0.9 ounces of 2-ply gorgeousness, spindle-spun and plied for a total of 118 yards! I still have a 1.3 ounce batt left to spin, and if the yardage is comparable -- can't see why it wouldn't be -- I ought to be able to get a nice, lacy, something special out of it.
This is a nice Coopworth, dark brown/almost black with colored wool nupps and a wee hint of glitz, from Wild Hare Studios. This is more of a worsted weight, 2-ply, spun and plied on my Schacht. I have approximately 8 ounces of this, but haven't measured the yardage. Should be enough for a nice, long scarf, though. It's soft and lovely, and I enjoyed spinning it.
This one is two different rovings, spun as separate singles and plied together to make a heavy DK/light worsted weight yarn. The colored roving, "Thistle," is a blend of Coopworth and Alpaca, and came from Fibers 4 Ewe. The variegated gray strand was spun from a gorgeous Cotswold roving. I have about 474 yards of this stuff. It is nice and bouncy and lively, and I'm thinking it may appear as stripes in a sweater sometime soon. I just need to find the right background color. I do have megatons of the gray Cotswold, which I could use in its original color, or overdye with a dark green. Hmmm...have to think about that...
This one is my big brag skein. It is one of Enchanted Knoll Farm's "Vardo" batts. It weighs 1.9 ounces, and every bit was spindle spun and plied. This is a true laceweight, methinks, as in its present 2-ply form, it yielded 318 yards! I don't think I have ever managed to spin quite that fine before, and am quite excited about it. Now, what shall it be? Time will tell. I have another skein of this in my stash, and though I don't think its quite as fine-gauge as this one, it might be. I have to check.

So, I don't feel quite as awful about losing a week as I might have, looking at this luscious pile of yarn!

I have half a skein left from Grant's hat, so am making a matching cowl for myself. That way, I can always remember what the finished project looked like, without duplicating it exactly. If you happen to be on Ravelry, look for madangel and take a peek in my projects to see a pic of "The Hart Hat" perched upon Mr. Hart's noggin. I was thrilled beyond belief when I saw it last week. First time I have ever seen my work upon the artist it was designated for. It's easier to get a photo of a hat from a non-knitter than it is to get one of his feet; hence I have no pics of any of the socks I've made for Larry Kirwan actually on Larry Kirwan. Maybe I need to make Larry a hat, too? But I think he rarely wears a hat, and I do owe him a pair of socks again one of these days.

Still waiting to hear if a) Grant wants socks, and b) what size his feet are if he does.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Random Act of Knitting

Hoping the intended recipient would not think I was out of my mind, or stalking him, or God only knows what other sort of weirdness I might be capable of, I mailed this hat on February 25th.
The yarn is a gorgeous, hand-dyed superwash merino from String Theory in Blue Hill, Maine. The colorway is called "Cedar," and it was an absolute pleasure to knit with.
The pattern is one I found on Ravelry: Windschief by Stephen West. I love the swath of diagonal ribbing, because it makes me think of the way a fella's hair might blow back in the wind as he drives along with the car top down.
The evergreen colors called to mind a beautiful song by Grant Hart, "Evergreen Memorial Drive." The link will actually take you to a video of two songs, the first being "2541," which is also a nice song, but "Evergreen" is the one that kept running through my head while I worked on this.

I probably went on far too long in the letter I enclosed with the hat, and I had more than one "my God, what was I thinking" moment in the last couple of weeks. And then, on Friday, a letter!

"I knew before the box was opened that it contained a hat. It was on my head in 2 seconds, flat. I was in need of a spring hat...the textured section is very foxy indeed..."

His full response was somewhat longer than that, and I will treasure it always, along with his music.

And I have the joy of knowing I was able to give a small comfort to yet another musician who has given me so much over the course of many years.

Socks for Larry Kirwan.

A hat for Grant Hart.

Larry is due for another pair of socks. It has been about a year since the last pair. Oops! I'd better get cracking on that sometime soon.

And see if I can get Grant to tell me how big his feet are...