A new level of proficiency has been reached. One that even I didn't know existed.
From 8:00 p.m. last night to noon today, I managed to spin one and a half ounces of the angora/cormo/silk blend into singles and ply ALL FOUR OUNCES. It's not really a shock--until I remember that each of the one ounce batts took me at least three hours to spin. One skein is almost dry (193 yds), and the other two (213 yds & 54 yds--for an oversized swatch) are waiting for a Wash N' Whack later this evening.
I would be lying to you, though, if I told you I allowed myself more than 15 minutes this morning for personal hygiene. (A shift in priorities....)
I am so pleased.
The rest of my day was spent blinking repeatedly in an effort to stay awake, and making these.
As I've said before, I've almost no interest in knitting with my own handspun (I know, I know--it seems a bit wasteful). I am quite proud of what's been flying off the wheel lately, so I figure these yarns are better spent in someone else's stash--or heaven forbid, knit up into something useful.
It's true--I have no knitting to share with you this afternoon.
But after weeding through some pictures on various memory cards, I thought you might enjoy a funny (but true!) story.
Three winters ago. Behind that orange velvet couch (not retro!) was a mini bedroom. Behind that weird bump in the wall was the original chimney. And the kitchen--long and very narrow. Plus, we kinda wanted to get that washer out of there.
One night last winter, after several beers, we decided to finally tackle that remodel job. You know, the entire downstairs. While we were living in it. This event was spurred, of course, by the event of our furnace calling it quits. On February 6th. (Hence the brewskis). Did I mention there was no insulation in the lower level of our home at that time?
Halfway through the process. No bedroom. No walls, into or out of, the kitchen. And still, NO HEAT. (Really.) That miter saw? Yeah, that was only there for about five months. The disconnected stove? Well, it's plugged in now, but we hardly notice that one.
Done. And look at how happy he is.
Words to the wise: If you'd like to get to know your partner a little better, try taking up a hobby together. Like chess. Or dancing. Or wine tasting. Avoid home remodeling. If you must, remodel a home in the spring, summer or fall. And if you can't avoid a winter remodel, try to make accommodations to live somewhere else while you're doing the job. And if you must live in the home you're remodeling while you're doing the job, try to get someone else to do the job. As in, not your partner. And if your partner insists on doing the job--as they most likely will--try not to tackle all of this during the first winter you purchased a business in Northern Michigan.
Even though they look like hairy lumps of nothing, they're fabulous scrubbers for the bath. This is a great project for kids--yet another fun class we'll be adding to the lineup here at the shop.
Look what the postmaster handed me yesterday. (Well, they were inside the box.)
Shawl pins handcrafted by Florida artisan Carol Parsons, $28.50, assorted colors available.
And the perfect Up North gift, designed by my friend and neighbor, Liz Saile:
These stitch markers, made by Liz with sterling silver and Petoskey stone, come in sets of five (the fifth is a smidge different to signify the beginning of round--clever, huh?) and fit needles up to US 6. She's working on a larger ring size that will accommodate up to size US 11. I LOVE them.
My Briar Rose sweater is zipping along, I'm happy to say. And happier still that the yarn is not pooling! I am one of those knitters--the crazies that fall into the So Annoyed By Random Pooling We'd Rather Rip Out An Entire Sweater And Start Over With A Different Gauge Just To Avoid It camp. It's just what I do.
Here's to a great springy weekend filled with knitting and spinning and Girl Scout cookies.
I can't imagine anyone else enjoying that divine combination as much as I will.
I am a competitive person. I like to be right. I like to win. I have this crazy need to be pretty awesome at everything I do. If I'm going to do something, I have to know that I'm going to triumph--or I'd rather not do it at all.
It takes lots of personal pep talks and really good friends (you!) to keep me on a positive path. As much as I love what I do, what I really love is the idea of what I do. And as much as I love this place, what I really love is the shop that I can see in my mind.
The thing is, the space between those places is kinda far apart.
I've been a bit twitchy lately. There are mountainous projects that I want--no, need--to tackle. The website. A class schedule. New products (knitting and non) to introduce to Inish Knits. Staking my claim as the best knit shop in Northern Michigan.
Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with all the tasks to master--and the perfectionism to overcome--thatI do nothing. Because you can't fail if you never try, right?
It's a just a little much for one brain to make space for.
So, how's this for ironic? This morning I stumbled across a Thanksgiving card I received from Schacht Spindle Co. the first holiday season I spent at Inish Knits. The quote from the card was so well-placed in the Timeline of Life that I had to cut it out and paste it right on my computer, where I can see it and reflect on this idea every day.
And right there next to the quote is this little gem.
As much as I hate being an insomniac, I love getting half the back of a brand new sweater* done in one night.
On size 5s.
Please try not to suggest that it's all the unfinished projects I'm working on that are causing the sleepless nights. I have a perfectly clear conscience about them all. We're just getting to that time of the month. (And no, I'm not awake because the moon's so bright. I'm awake because the moon is so full. Trust me--I've tried wearing a sleeping mask. Makes no difference whatsoever.)
*Briar Rose Legend, 100% merino wool. I'm knitting the Fitted V-Neck from Louisa Harding's Modern Classics. What?
Since I can't be bothered to finish anything lately, I'm happy to share the goodies my friends have been whipping up.
Meet my newest, favoritest lil' guys.
And look at this cutie patootie packaging!
Introducing Piddies for Inish Knits....handcrafted by Dana in Salt Lake City. I want to keep all three of them, but really, since I have no baby toes at home, what would be the point? (But a PERFECT gift for all my friends who do....) These three pairs are available now (3-6 month size), and I'll have several more in the shop around the first week of June.
Soon-To-Be-Given-A-Nautical-Name pillow series, designed for Inish Knits by local dyer extraordinaire, Elizabeth.
And some fabulous new jewelry from A. Designs. Just to mix it up.
It's not that I'm not inspired. There are endless sources of jaw-dropping color and texture at my disposal all day, every day. I would even go so far as to say I'm over-stimulated. (Or maybe that's a cop-out.)
All I'm asking is for the chance to clear my mind, so that some project, some knitting, something has the opportunity to jump in there and take control.
Just thought I'd prove how much fun my Saturday nights are.
And some wooly journals.
About the knitting....I think I have ventured into a very, very dangerous place. I can't stop starting. Nothing is satisfying me right now. And I'm not even sure what sort of itch I'm trying to scratch.
On Saturday, I started--but have not finished--a mini sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I guess the "Under Two Hour" gift just wasn't quick enough.
Today, I started this.
Yup. Nondescript brown blob. Destined to be a linen/cotton Farmer's Market bag for the shop. I've been working on it for about an hour, but I think I'm going to set it aside for something else tonight.
Not these. I mean, yeah. I finished sock #1 on Saturday and started sock #2 yesterday--which means they're practically finished--but I doubt I'll work on them tonight. It will be something else, I'm sure.
It might be a pair of baby booties. Or a scarf. Or, heaven forbid, a new sweater. Who knows? The point is, I have almost 20 projects on my needles right now and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if by tomorrow morning I've got a new best friend.
I know it's not the first time this has been said--and it certainly won't be the last--but I have a serious problem.