Sunday, December 19, 2010

Knit, Design, Write, Repeat

Occasionally I give in to the little voices in my head that tell me I have bitten of more than I can chew .... but not very often. Though they do get my attention, I utilize them in a different way and rather than letting them tell me "I can't", I allow them to challenge me in to how, "I can".
knitting has not been one of my strong points until recently. I know, I know, that sounds really strange, sort of like the fisherman that doesn't know how to swim, but my lack of skill has come from lack of time. Sure, I can knit, just not fast, and not in intricate patterns. But that's about to change.

While vending at The Fiber Festival on New England this past November, I was truly inspired by all of the creativity around me. I had just finished dyeing my new Kaleidoscope yarns and really needed to knit a swatch to show how the colors knit up on the needles. I knit and purled, the woolen spun yarn flowed smooth and wonderfully over the bamboo needles. The colors produced in each row left me excited to see how the next combination would turn out. I added ribbing, and then some seed stitch. WOW! I needed more! The swatch measured about 8 inches long, and I bound off and reached for longer needles. With no pattern, I sat in my hotel room and cast on, guessing the number of stitches, measuring my girth with the length of the needles.
As I continue to knit I am designing as I go. The process seems simplier to me as I keep assuring myself that I can. Writing the pattern down may be a bit of a challenge, but I have experienced friends to call on for assistance. You can follow the progress of this sweater on my facebook page.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

It is time to build up my biceps again. The outside water spicket is once again challenged by the cold air. It is fussy, working only when the sun touches it with it's barely warm winter-time rays. My morning chores are now the basics. Everybody up? All is well? Here is breakfast, see you around 2:00.
During the summer months, I try to accomplish as many tasks as possible before the heat of the day sets in. But when the seasons change, and in the dead of winter, I wait for the "warm" part of the day when the sun comes over the tall pines and warms the barn in the afternoon. That is of course until lambs are born. Then I have no choice but to wrap myself in many layers underneath my stiff, insulated overalls and venture out at all times of the day or night. But that's okay is worth it.

The sheep don't realize how much they are used during the winter months. Our colorful chickens
keep close on cold days, using them as wind blocks and the occasional foot warmers. It is not uncommon to find a hen or two nestled into the warm, thick locks of a pregnant ewe, especially on a very cold night. Seems the rafters of the barn are not the best place to spend the night when the temperatures dip below freezing. Mother Nature does provide for our creatures and if you think about it we humans are quite fortunate to have them and to benefit from their warm, woolly harvest.
Our new bunny Willow came inside for a haircut yesterday and then moved into the basement with our two other bunnies for the winter months while her beautiful fiber grows back. The bunnies move around quite a bit during the year. Inside from the winter cold, back outside in the springtime, up to the big cool barn during the summer heat, and back outside during comfortable autumn weather. Their cages are large but mobile, and I think they enjoy being outside rather than in. Time for some BIG projects! After a season of traveling to shows, taking small, simple, "mindless" projects, I am ready for a challenge. This sweater ( which looks so much better in person ) has been a fun project. I am designing it as I go and having a grand time. I am using two different dye lots of my Kaleidoscope Yarn as well as Charcoal, Turkey Red, and now Licorice and White. I hope to have it done to wear to the Ag Show in January.

So snuggle in my friends, and enjoy the season!