Thursday, 7 January 2016

Old Year Out and New Year In

We did have our dusting of snow before Christmas, just in time to cut the tree - then a meltdown and the rather astonishing fact of Christmas eve being something like 16C, warm enough to go out without coat and mittens after dark, warm enough to not need the stove on at all. And warm enough to find a few flowers in the garden and have a tiny bouquet on the holiday table, something new in my experience. I mean, really, who expects flowers here in late December? But the lamium was blooming and the hellebore in bud.

The snow came two days later, starting as rain. The ground stayed soft long enough for the sad necessity of the day, burying our older dog. He had some sort of attack Christmas night, and lost most of the use of his back end as well as his desire to eat. We helped him drink, and stretchered him outside and held him up for calls of nature for the day after that (two sweatshirts, two hockey sticks, and two or three people required - not the usual use for one's first-aid training), and he didn't suffer much. Sad to see him go, but glad it was fairly quick and calm for his sake. It felt odd, though, having normal life flow on right afterwards, as I was headed to brunch soon after with friends I see only rarely, and then preparing to return to the city the next day.

And with normal life comes the fibre, in my case. Not that that aspect was absent over the holidays, with a pair of leg warmers to knit and ship, and my brother's special glove liners to knit. Oh, the time we had with those liners. He traced his gloves and measured it all - in centimetres, if you please. Only he left out a few measurements I wanted, and a phone call didn't really help, since I ended up with some numbers that didn't add up. So I waited until he came home on the 23rd, did my own dang measuring, and knitted them up. In laceweight black cashmere. But they turned out well, only I didn't think to take pictures. But the sketch will be handy for another time.

I fought with a lined hat next. I always seem to fight with hats. No matter how carefully I measure head and gauge, they end up too loose or too tight. In this case it was the latter, and I had to rip back most of the hat and redo it, since I had started from the crown. Then the brim was flaring and that had to be fixed. But it is now mostly done. (At least, I know what I need to change next time!)

First project of the new year was another (quicker) hat, for a commission, and now there's a shawl (also commissioned) on the needles. I kind of love the hat, because it matches my normal hairstyle and colour.

But my focus is shifting towards spinning for the rest of the month. Heather of hellomello and I decided last fall we would do a little destashing SAL. New Years' revolutions instead of resolutions. And I'm a little slow off the mark, but I have managed to get a bobbin spun and two plied of Jo's cria/silk blend, and the second bag of the stuff is started. Now I just have to see about getting set up on Instagram to share my progress ;)

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