Sunday morning

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Not where I am right now

I’m up early today and sitting out on the deck listening to the birds and watching lovesick squirrels chase each other around the trees. A collection of old rusty rain gutters are leaning over the fence from our neighbor’s yard and the peaches on the tree next to them are the size of ping-pong balls and sparser than I remember them being the last few summers.

I got a few plants again this year; the best thing I can say is that none of them seem to be dead yet. Apparently plants like sunshine? And being watered regularly? I’d like to have a real garden someday, but it won’t happen at this place.

I’m thinking about sewing projects and what I’d like to make for the summer and fall. Another Washi Dress or two, at least one of those Simplicity dresses I fit on myself in Liesl’s workshop. I’m out of range of our wifi out here and don’t feel like checking. I sorted fabric yesterday and rehoused it. There isn’t much of it, relatively–a small plastic bin of old sheets and pillowcases and black and charcoal prints for a quilt idea I’ve been noodling around with; a small bin of [the alarm on my phone went off just now; there’s something so ensmuggening about being up with coffee before one’s alarm] leftover fabric from completed projects, nothing big enough for a whole garment on its own, plus muslins [what do you do with completed muslins? I’m tempted to take them to the fabric recycler at the greenmarket today, but feel like I should keep them for reference or something]; and one small bin of fabric that’s enough to use for garments, whether it’s earmarked for anything yet or not. I don’t want to start hoarding/stashing/stockpiling fabric. I want everything that comes in to be assigned to a project and used quickly. I’d like to be smart about sewing.

That cabled sweater I just finished needs to be ripped out. I probably should have taken a picture, but I got started on that last night. I’d done a sizable gauge swatch before I started and figured out all of my numbers to account for the fact that the fabric would grow a fair bit in width but not much in length after it was washed. Turns out: not so much. The garment behaved exactly the opposite as the swatch and left me with too-tight sleeves and a too-long armscye and neckline that was just plain peculiar. It happens sometimes and it’s inexplicable and discouraging and there’s nothing to be done about it except start over.  It’s lovely yarn; I’ll enjoy working with it again, I guess.

These squirrels must have been this spring’s crop of babies. They’re awfully scrawny compared to the well-fed monsters that I usually see waddling around the neighborhood, the ones that are barely able to scramble up a tree when the landlady’s cats are in the yard. And too energetic. Squirrel life seems like it’d be pretty easy around here; it breeds lethargy.

Knitting update

20140616-090411.jpgBefore I get further in my current spinning project, I wanted to pause and see what kind of fabric the yarn I’m making is producing. I made sample skeins of (from left to right) two plies of the Gotland fleece, one ply Gotland/one Gotland blended with mohair top, and one where both plies are Gotland and mohair and swatched them each on #9 needles. I went into this experiment fully expecting to love the one with the most mohair content the best, but it was actually my least favorite; it’s too heavy and dense and I think the colors got muddied. Both of the other swatches are really lovely though; it’s impossible to choose a favorite. I think I’ll probably spin singles of Gotland/mohair until the mohair runs out, ply it all with Gotland singles, and then ply whatever’s left of the Gotland with itself. It’s a decent-sized fleece; I may end up with a sweater’s worth of each.

While those projects are just barely in the planning stage, though, this cabled cardigan is in the home stretch. I just need to do the front bands, weave in the ends, and block it. And find buttons, but considering that I won’t be able to wear it for at least four months, there’s no real rush on that end.
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And, lastly, I am thrilled and honored to announced that my wedding dress won both the knit/crochet category and Best in Show at the Crafty Awards.