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White-ish Christmas

We got a little snow last night

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just in time for Christmas.

Now that I’ve got the photo, it is welcome to melt away and give me back my greenery!

Since it’s been mighty cold for the last week, and while the sheeps take it pretty much in stride, I’ve mostly been hanging inside with Tiny Gus, trying to stay toasty and doing some wool-work.

I’ve managed to work up two skeins of My Perfect Green 2-ply

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And also finished the argyle panel for sock #1

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So far so good, I think. I’m kind of enjoying doing the back and forth across the front of the work. It’s given me a chance to try and figure out what technique works best for me right-handed. I’ve done a little picking, and a little throwing, and even a little flicking. I think that flicking (kind of like throwing, but just with the index finger) might be the most natural for me, but picking seems more efficient, so I keep trying to practice it.

Anyway, one down and one more to go!

I’ve also started working on a little sweater for Tiny Gus.

I’m recycling some wool from a bought sweater that I remodeled a couple of years ago to make the little guy a stylish charcoal colored ribbed mock turtleneck.

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And when the cold and snow starts to get to me, I dive into my 2018 David Austin catalog and think colorful, sweet-smelling Spring thoughts

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Hope ewe all had a woolly and wonderful holiday!

Ho Ho Hosiery for the Holidays

Argyle socks are coming along!

I do so love the tidy classic pattern-

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It’s a bit like creating order out of chaos, with all the tangled working strands hanging off the back.

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I am continuing to work only on the front, and my right-handed knitting is getting better I think.
The only technical issue I’m coming across is that my white diagonal line stitches are getting mounted wrong and having to untwist them when I come back across them on the next row. I think it’s only happening when the diagonal is moving opposite direction of the row I’m working. (?)

I suppose I could make the pattern a little simpler by going back in and doing the white lines in duplicate stitch after the fact, but I think they look better when they are knitted in and lay flatter in the pattern.

And so I’ll be working on these for a bit. Perhaps this fussy knitting will help to distract me from the humiliating loss the Seahawks just suffered at the hands of the Rams.

Or maybe not. Ugh.

Cookies Reflecting Life

Springerle-

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And our December pastoral scene-

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It’s actually kind of amazing that there is still green out there. Today was beautiful, almost 50 degrees. Was nice to get to spend a little time out in the sunshine with the sheeps.

The reason that you don’t see Esther above is that she ran up so fast I couldn’t get her in the photo! Pretty sure she thought I had alfalfa pellets 🙂 I’ll make sure to catch her next time.

In knitting news, I am once again feeling a strong urge to argyle.
I remember that it was fussy and slow-going,,, but I am drawn to it like a moth to flame.

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This time out, I am going to do something a little different.
My plan is to knit the argyle part back and forth left to right in my regular left-handed style, and back across the front right to left like a right-hander (continental, I think).

I’ve been practicing my right-handed knitting, and think I can make a go of it. I think that it will be nice to be able to work only on the right side. Hope to get started this week!

Back to the Back to Back!

You might remember that about a year or so ago I was pretty excited about something I’d seen on Slow TV: National Knitting Night.

Well, imagine my surprise and glee to see a little writeup of the Back to Back challenge in the newsletter of my local spinning guild!

Apparently the Back to Back Challenge has captured the imagination of another fleece-loving person in my local area!

So of course I immediately reached out over Ravelry to express my interest 🙂

And Yvonne was kind enough to send me a sample of raw local Romney to work up into a sample.

The rules: no carders or combs. No washing. No electric spinners.

The specs: 2 ply yarn, approximately sport weight.
Sample to be knit up on size 3 needles for 1×1 rib, size 6 for stockinette.

Didn’t get a picture of the fleece, because I launched right into spinning it up.

But here is my plied yarn

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It’s a really different feeling, spinning in the grease. I found that I got the best results from working from the side of the locks.
The more open locks were easier to manage. the tighter ones required a bit of manual picking to permit even drafting.

and here is my knitted sample.

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I got a gauge of about 5.25 stitches/inch, which is pretty darn close to the standard 5.5 generally associated with DK weight.
It’s bias-ing pretty good, and I’m sure that is because I usually add quite a bit of ply twist to my yarns, and since it hasn’t been washed, the wool hasn’t yet relaxed into it’s newly twisty shape.

Knitting in the grease is really interesting. Lots more resistance than regular knitting, due to all the lanolin and stuff.
Might be a little smoother in a slightly warmer room? Or maybe it would be messier the more melty the lanolin gets….

Anyway, I’m really hoping that we can put a local team together to give it a try. Would be a lot of fun!