Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mother Nature is a B***h Sometimes

Dinah enjoying the nice muddy ground on Thursday, just before the last snow. Look at those feet!

Oh, I am soooooo annoyed. Seamus and I were pumped to try for our first Rally Advanced leg yesterday at the Collie Club of Maine show. We ended up getting dumped with snow yesterday morning -- enough so getting on the road to Portland would have been a bad idea, since this town seems to feel that plowed roads are for sissies -- and so we had to stay home. Eating the entry fee was a pain, but not as much as knowing that we would have shown under a good obedience/rally judge, with all our friends and our instructor there to cheer us on. Seamus and I got our first Rally Novice leg at that show last year, and I was beginning to like the tradition. Now I have to find other trials to enter that aren't happening at the same time as conformation shows. BAH.

Make-Your-Own Yarn Stash

I'm planning to take Dinah to the show next month. I got to chatting about that with an old Beardie buddy in the area who came up to the SPA Knit & Spin event a couple of weekends ago. She's offered to give me a spinning wheel she picked up in a trade a while ago -- she's bringing it to the dog show and tucking it into my vehicle for the drive home. Guess this means I'll be learning to spin next. ( is coming out to visit in June sometime. Although we'll probably spend a lot of the time on the road in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, I'm hoping she'll give me a lesson or two on the spinning wheel before we leave town.)

If All Else Fails, Knit

There's really only one thing to do when the weather cramps your style as badly as yesterday's storm did to me: pull out the needles and knit. I picked up a couple of skeins of lovely handspun, undyed wool in a brown-sugar shade for mittens. Because it's a handspun, the yarn varies in thickness quite a bit, so the knitted fabric is not perfectly even -- but I think it's really attractive, and I love the texture. Sue will like the fact that she can wear them to the barn without having to wash them every single day. (By the way, if you go to visit Sue's blog, you'll see not only some really great photos of the landscape and of her latest quilt, but also the beginning cuff of her first pair of mittens!) It took a bit of searching to find undyed yarn that wasn't white, but when I found some, I had a great time looking at all of the natural shades out there. I really wanted the black tweed Jacob yarn, but there wasn't enough of it to make a pair of mittens... so I went for the brown-sugar yarn instead. Later on, I'll dig the label out of my knitting bag and report back as to the breed of sheep that produced it.

Mitten #1 is almost done. It needs only a thumb (actually, half a thumb) to become complete. With a little luck, I should be well into the second mitten by the time the weekend's over.

Socks are coming along as well. Sock #2 of my blue-and-purple Sockotta pair needs a foot and a toe, and then that pair's done. (With regard to my embarrassingly large sock yarn stash, that's one pair down and 77 to go.) I've even cast on the cuff for a pair of socks for Greg in charcoal-gray Wildfoote yarn. The Trekking socks are still in the bag someplace -- one sock done, one ripped out and needing re-starting. That yarn is so pretty that I can't ignore those socks for too long.

I shipped off the Manos cotton ribbed scarf to Susannah, who is madly in love with it. She says she's put a box in the mail to us, and I wouldn't cry if I doscovered a few more skeins of Manos cotton in there to make her more stuff. The yarn is pure pleasure to work with, and the knitted fabric is so soft you just want to cuddle up with it.

I'd knit Susannah anything she wanted at this point, anyway -- she bought me one of as a belated birthday present. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see what I mean. There's plenty of room in one of those bags to hold many, many skeins of Manos cotton.


sue said...

I am aching to learn how to spin!!!! if you find a teacher I would love to jump on board.... my friend Deb has two sheep and (dare I tell you!!!) throws the fleeces away in the spring when they are sheared because she can't find anyone who wants it!!!! if we learned how, we have free wool!!!!!! There is a spinning group that meets the third Sat of each month somewhere in Kennebunk, though I've yet to track them down!!!! I am SO EXCITED about my mittens!!!! the ones I am doing are coming along slow.... as long as they don't fit the jolly green gaint, I will be happy.... so sorry about the dog show !!!!!

no-blog-rachel said...

Ok, now I'm jealous. Somewhat, anyway. I just placed an order for my first spinning wheel! But I don't live anywhere near free fleece. Oh well. My best friend from grade school raises alpaca, so I plan on buying a bunch of that from here. Not free, but fabulous nonetheless.

I can't wait to get my wheel! Too bad we can't learn together.


Barbara W. Klaser said...

I tried my hand at spinning about a year and a half ago, with a handspindle. I found it very relaxing, and hope to get back to it, with a better spindle. I'm a little afraid to learn on a wheel, not because I don't think I'd enjoy it, but because I'd go through fleece so much quicker and likely wind up with more than I have time to use. I also found the handspindle's portability nice, being able to take it from room to room and basically work on my lap. (Well, sort of.) But I have heard nice things about using a wheel.

Are you going to try spinning some of that looong dog hair? :)