Monday, May 24

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with double-knit.

Spinning and Knitting
Lately, I have been taking stock of my yarn stash and getting a good feel for what it will all grow up to be. I am one of those people who like to plan ahead, more because I can do so in my leisure activities but not very much in my job (homemaking tends to run around everyone else's schedule since the job is primarily to take care of them). And this is part of my job, too--I knit things for the people in my household. Also for extended fambly and for those who seem to need it, and for a charity of baby-blanket-ing run by a woman of my church. It is important to keep one's family warm and serves not only the practical goal of physical warmth: it is impressive to the general public since it basically serves as a sign saying "SOMEONE LOVES ME THIS MUCH". I happen to know personally that when one is lonely or self-doubting or just plain misunderstood, there is very little better than the tangible (if somewhat lopsided) reminder of love and care that others have for you.

Anyway, my stash falls into approximately three sections: sock yarn, handspun, and Other. I always have a sock project in the works and so use that up pretty steadily and don't feel the least pang of guilt on that account. My other yarn is sort of a collection of yarns from various places and times--some of it gifted to me and some of it purposed for some projects I haven't yet begun; this is fun yarn since it tends to be of a greater variety than my sock yarn. Some of it ends up as hats, some of it shawls, some armwarmers; I am getting together a more rigorous schedule for these projects to be completed too as I have some particularly lovely yarn.

The handspun is most problematic since I am only a beginning spinner right now and have spent most of my time trying out different fibers, rather than spinning up substantial amounts of a few types of fibers. However, I am discovering that although the yarn may be odd, slubby, nebby, over-twisted and uneven, the fabric made when the yarn is knitted, washed and blocked somehow evens out a bit and makes the mistakes smaller and less noticeable. Like these pictures--you'd be astonished if you'd seen what the skeins of yarn looked like that made these.

Some of my first laceweight yarn I am knitting into an Estonian lace scarf by one of my favorite designers: it shall be pretty and delicate and possibly good enough for the county fair:) The design looks like little ferns and lilies of the valley, but you have to look pretty close; the whole thing is rather wispy and soft.

Oh, and the first picture with the colorful roving was a sample of recycled sari silk--very interesting to spin, but a pain to work with otherwise. I am gifting the yarn to my mother who is curious to try and crochet with it.

Reading
I have just finished the audiobooks of ├że Clowde of Unknowyng and Interior Castles and find myself even more interested in contemplative prayer. My doctors used to recommend calming exercises to keep my asthma at bay (it exacerbated my allergies and made my frequent bouts of pneumonia panicky and hellish). While I had trouble focusing on my breathing (or lack thereof) then, I am now enjoying ever so much more the practice of being still and listening. It feels so good to feel healthy.

I also had the chance to visit a university library today and am excited to have found a reference to half-fingered gloves for knitterly maidens as far back as the 12th century. This makes me happy.

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