Friday, January 24, 2014

Resolved: Must. Slow. Down.

Must. Slow. Down. And maybe hibernate for a while, as January would encourage? Approaching the seventh decade of my life, I'm swiftly realizing that there's no way I can multi-task anymore. Case in point: last Thursday we were on the verge of a snowstorm, and I rushed around trying to get things done, especially mailing out several parcels and letters before the predicted blizzard. One of them was the monkey hat for Max, and in my haste I put the wrong zipcode on the package. (I discovered this because I paid extra for Tracking, and as I idly studied the receipt saw that the zipcode was for another address in Los Angeles.)

So now it will be interesting to see if the PO corrects my error and delivers to the intended address, or if the package will be returned, or if it will just go missing. I'm trying not to get bent out of shape about this. Worst case scenario is that I knit another cap. HOWEVER, if I'd just done things more slowly I could have avoided this mishap in the first place. GRRRRRRRRRRRR, she said. If any Recovering Type A out there has good suggestions for losing the Multitask Compulsion, please share.

* * *
Last weekend I spent some time at Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI, where the Hook and Needle Guild sponsored knitting workshops, a yarn marketplace, and other alluring events. My friend Linda Perry was there with her Thistledown hand-dyed yarns

and I had the good fortune to meet Barb Parry, author of Adventures in Yarn Farming which chronicles her life with sheep and yarn at Springdelle Farm in western Massachusetts. My photo here doesn't do justice to the beautiful shades of her Foxfire yarn--the lighting in Slater Mill is beyond horrible--but in terms of saturation and depth of color I've seen few indie-dyed fibers that can match this quality. I bought some of her Cormo Alpaca Lace (70% Cormo wool, 30% alpaca) a beautiful coral red she called "Amaryllis." What will become of it, I wonder?

Barbara Parry of Springdelle Farm, Foxfire Fiber and Design, and Adventures in Yarn Farming.
The book itself, which I'm now reading, is one of those lovely chronicles of a life ruled by natural cycles, in the grand Thoreauvian tradition, with many bonuses, such as beautiful photography by Ben Barnhart, recipes for dyeing yarn and cooking food, and a selection of knitting patterns by assorted designers. It's the kind of book that every knitter deserves, and will enjoy increasingly over time.

For anyone wanting to meet the author and get a signed copy of Adventures, you can find her this Saturday (1/25) in Wayland, MA at the Wayland Winter Farmer's Market Fiber Day at Russell's Garden Center, and from February 28-March 2nd at the New England Textile Arts SPA weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Deep freeze

Last week and the week before we were clutched by the Polar Vortex and it was totally f-ing cold.  The only open water hereabouts was in front of the house. Hence the goose party that went on for days. Like any respectable orgy, it was noisy, filthy, and crowded. Then it warmed up, the ice melted, and everyone left.

Meanwhile, chill-averse, house-bound moi was knitting away, fashioning a sock-monkey cap for grandson Max. The pattern, from the recently-reviewed 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops (Sixth & Spring, 2013), definitely had problems. (A word to the wise.) So I had to wing it in the dicey places, and everything turned out fine. If you're not an experienced knitter and are yearning to knit a sock-monkey hat for someone special, I'd suggest trying a different pattern. There are a bunch on Ravelry.

So Max will get his cap, modeled here by Ted, and maybe if the temps out there in LA get below 65F, he will actually wear it. The sizing looks to be about right for a child between six to eighteen months.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hedge Fund

William (right) has a new friend (left), as yet unnamed. 

They are both born of wonderful free patterns, from Purl Soho and Lion Brand

"..I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space...."
Hamlet, II, ii, 254 ff.