Sock of Destiny?

I was going to get something started this weekend. A sweater, perhaps.

Goodness knows I have enough lovingly hand-spun yarn hanging around to cast on for a large project.

But I am still lacking the mental energy and creative clarity required to cast on for a sweater or vest -anything that will require structure and adherence to a general sizing scheme.

Maybe this is because I’ve already got something invested in the yarn- my time and energy, and I don’t want to waste all that scrumptious wool on a so-so project.

Or maybe I’m just being lazy.

But, I’ve got a pretty good sock thing going right now, so I might ride this for a while- until the clouds part and I can find my way.

So, here is the new time-filling, yarn-using-up sock:

Defaulted Into Another Sock

Don’t get me wrong. I really like this sock. It has a lot of things going for it: the tiny cables, Denise’s special modified-band heel, the sofy, squishy hand-spun romney yarn. I’m enjoying knitting it.

It’s just not what I thought I’d be doing.  This is so often the case. A new sweater adventure seems very grand compared to a lowly sock. But that’s where I’m at.

The sock is my destiny.

For now.

Unmatched Pair= 2 FOs in One.

Though I haven’t been doing an awful lot of knitting lately, I did finally get sock #2 done.

And I continue to be very pleased with my new approach to sock knitting. Knitting sock #2 was really kind of nice because I felt free to mix it up a little, and be more adventurous with my striping scheme. I followed the same general plan as sock #1, so they would be compatible, but I found that each one developed it’s own personality.

Here is the pair, all washed up and ready for the world:

Unmatched Socks

I like each one in a different way, and I think that’s good. I might just follow this path a little longer and see where it leads.

But I do feel the need to embark on another larger project (sweater, vest, shawl, or something). I quick trip to the stash turned up the following candidates who look like they could work together in a constructive and creative way-

New Project Materials?

I do love those blues… The are (left to right): shetland, shetland (double coated type- almost like icelandic) and a merino cross of some sort. All local, and acquired directly from the shepherds ( I think that’s cool). If I can dig up (or spin up) a little more of one of these, I think I’ve got the makings of a vest.

I gotta get something in the works. ‘Tis a hard thing to be between projects!

Blue Monday

That’s what I heard on the radio this morning. Today is supposed to be the pits: the holidays are over, it’s cold & rainy, everyone has realized the extent of their Christmas debt and are already breaking their New Year’s resolutions.

The heck with that. As far as I can tell, today is a pretty darn good day.

I’m off work. It is beautiful and sunny out, though a bit cold. Blue Sky. (Maybe that’s the blue they’re talking about?)

Blue Sky In January!

I’ve got two happy pups to keep me company.

Doggie Butts

I’ve got lots of wool to play with- and thanks to the first item I mentioned, I have time to play with it!

It’s always best if I can do my wool washing and dying when the man is off working or distracted with other activities, so today is my day. I’m washing up some of that lovely dark Romney lamb fleece, and dying some gray yarn and some white fleece from the stash.

It’s a mighty rare day in January that you can dry fleece outside, but that’s what I’m doin’.

Wool Drying Outside

And here are some more of those January blues. Nice , eh?

The Blues

A Denisee Day to Remember

The day started out dark and cold.

We were planning on being out of bed by 6:30 in order to be out the door by 7:30, but the dogs decided I had slept enough by 5:15.

It was an icky winter day, even by PNW standards. Cold, rainy, windy. But regardless, I awoke a happy girl, knowing that today we would be going to Stanwood to learn farm stuff.

And learn we did! About organic soil improvement, pasture weeds, fencing, sheep shearing on a stand, fruit tree pruning, and producing/processing/marketing quality fleece.

And I have pictures!

Here is our lucky contestant for the “sheep shearing on a stand” demo by Eileen Hordyk of Sand Hill Sheep and Wool:

Romney Ram Full Fleece

He was a very cooperative fellow, especially for this being his first time through the shearing experience. Isn’t he handsome critter? Here he is about half-way through the process:

Shearing In Progress

What is really neat about the concept of shearing on a stand is that you can get all the prime fleece off and out of the way first, and then go back and clean up the legs, belly and anything else you’d otherwise have to skirt out later. And it also keeps you from having to flip a sheep on it’s butt and roll it around while you’re clipping- another big plus in my book.

Here is the young gentleman with his entire lamb fleece removed:

All Shorn!

And here is the half of his fleece that I gleefully bought from Eileen:

Birthday Fleece

Between that and the cool books the man got me (including Three Bags Full, by Leonie Swann), this just might qualify as the best birthday yet.