Foolish Question

A few days ago, I asked, “Where is Winter?” Well it found us. When we left for grandson’s birthday dinner last night, there were snow flurries. This morning, there was a dusting on all surfaces and a morning temperature of 16f. The high staying in the 20s. Now, I know that isn’t cold in parts of the world, but it is pretty danged cold here. Tonight is a repeat, then we return to more normal 30s and low 40s daytime, 20s to low 30s nightime. I expected to get zero eggs today with it so cold, but the girls surprised me with 4. I have gone out several times today to check so they wouldn’t freeze in the nesting box. The water in the coop was frozen this morning and will be again tomorrow.

This would have been a good day to stay in, but we had yet another appointment to keep this morning and it required a driver for the passenger, so both of us were out in the bitter breeze.

Yesterday afternoon, I finished knitting the carry along hat I cast on a couple days ago. The pattern is Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits, the yarn is my hand spun Tunis dyed red, plied with a Jacob X Finn. I spun this skein as an early wheel project, so it has been sitting in my stash for quite a while and it has never sold. It was a good weight for a hat and enough to make a large slouchy version. It is damp and blocked in the photo.

Knowing there would be waiting room time today, a project that has been in my queue for some time is Tool Box Cowl by Adventure DuJour Designs to use up several collected mini skeins, some of which I spun on the drop spindle. After I finished the hat, I cast on for it and got the garter rib section done and realized that I didn’t have the right needle size for the rest. My interchangeables only go down to a size 3, I have a size 2 fixed circular needle, but it is 16″ long and the cowl has 168 stitches, so too many for such a short needle. While at daughter’s house for cake after the birthday dinner, I borrowed a 24″ and continued on with the Diamond Tweed pattern on the correct size needle. I have finished the first two colors of 6 and am about to work the next Diamond Tweed section that uses color 2 and 3. Color 3 is the blue and teal mini skein in the lower right of the photo.

Color 1 is hand spun Coopworth, Color 2 is a wool/bamboo/silk blend I spun on a drop spindle, Color 3 is a mill spun mini skein that was dyed by a friend that has passed away. Colors 4 and 5 are his yarns also, and Color 5 will be another drop spindle spun mini skein of Merino/Silk/Sari Silk. Each skein has some blue in it.

Yesterday we picked up Saturday’s mail and in it was the yarn I had ordered as the warp for a scarf or cowl. It is Shetland lamb and baby Alpaca that will be used with my spun Romeldale CVM.

The grayer brown is my hand spun. I had hoped that the book I had ordered with rigid heddle information and patterns would beat the yarn here, but the book is still not in. I would have had it sent to the house, but the book seller said it would come in in 2 or 3 days. The book seller I spoke with today said I should never have been told that, that it usually takes about a week and with their membership, which we have, it could have been shipped directly to me with no shipping charges and likely would have arrived sooner. Oh well! It will come in when it comes and I will plan out the use of the yarns above.

The hat will definitely go in my shop. The cowl is probably mine. The undecided cowl/scarf/small wrap with the yarn above will likely go in the shop, brown is not my color against my face. I guess my inventory is being rebuilt for the online shop and next fall and winter’s markets.

The Crud

Being a pair of over 70’s, one with a compromised immune system of unknown reason, we always get flu shots and have both gotten the old and the new pneumonia shots. As a young Air Force officer, hubby was stationed in Missouri and contracted what might have been histoplasmosis, but because they couldn’t culture it, he ended up having a thoracotomy from the back instead of the chest and a partial lung lobe removed. As a result, if he ever gets an upper respiratory infection, he will begin to get better then it settles in his lungs and usually becomes bronchitis.

Three weeks ago, he began to have cold symptoms, then a full blown cold, then started feeling better by earlier in the week. By Thursday, we were in the doctor’s office and he ended up on antibiotics. I had tiptoed around, washing my hands frequently, keeping surfaces wiped down with cleaner, washing dishes in the dishwasher on hot and doing everything but wearing a hazmat suit and respirator mask, but by Wednesday, I knew I hadn’t avoided it. In my case, upper respiratory infections generally go to my sinuses, but usually not as bad as his and shorter lived.

Saturdays in our house begin with breakfast out and then the farmers market, but we had a winter weather advisory and I really didn’t need anything available this time of year at the market, so we decided to change our routine. When I got up, it was in the low 30’s and there was a trace of tiny ice pellets on the back deck. It wasn’t doing anything when I went out to do morning chicken chores and let them out. Since the weather wasn’t looking too bad, we drove in and got fast food and came home, built fires in the basement woodstove and the living room fireplace and hunkered down indoors to see what the weather would bring. The temperature has climbed slowly during the day to the upper 30s and it has rained and rained and we have kept the fires burning, it was so gloomy out. The weather forecast shows today’s high will be around midnight tonight hitting about 41, then turning downward all day tomorrow to a low tomorrow night of 16. At least the precipitation is supposed to end before the temperature falls and we have several days of real winter temperatures.

Because of having caught his crud and the weather being crud, today has been a sit and knit, drinks lots of hot tea and a quick stir fry dinner with leftover rice. I turned mine into a big bowl of miso soup. I figure I might drown the crud.

Organized Disorganization – 1/17/2020

After the holiday markets and many months of knitting up my hand spun yarn, my yarn stock was low. When spinning in Colonial costume, I generally spin washed Jacob fleece, spinning from locks, combing or carding it to spin, but not using processed batts, top, or roving. I took advantage of lower stock and less stress to get things made to clean up my fiber area, see post , but didn’t return to spinning then as I had been given a rigid heddle loom for Christmas and the announcement of the imminent birth of our 8th grandchild. I immediately bought cotton yarn and wove a baby blanket for him as I knew I couldn’t get a blanket knit fast enough. He was born on January 5th, the same day I mailed the blanket and it arrived the day he came home.

I had begun knitting fingerless mitts for myself as every pair I knit ended up being sold except one pair that were too small for me. Hats and fingerless mitts make good carry along projects and I worked on them in waiting rooms whilst hubby was having some medical imaging testing done on several days. They were finished, but wanting them to be long enough to be warm, I had made them too long to be functional, so I set them aside for a few days and returned to my spinning. I had bought 4 ounces of Romeldale CVM roving from a friend, a second 4 ounces, the first having been turned into yarn for the mitts that didn’t fit and the too long ones, and I returned to finish spinning it. While that skein was being washed, I looked to see what else I had besides the Jacob. In my stash of fiber was some roving that I could identify as Coopworth from another friend and spun it. With woven cowls and scarves in mind.

Two days ago, I ripped back the mitts to a more appropriate length, picked up the stitches and knit on new ribbing to make them useful, just in time for this weekend’s winter weather advisory. Then needing a carry with me project, I pulled a skein of yarn that I spun several years ago that has never sold and started a hat.

And I went to my newly organized stash to pull out more fiber to spin. This is where the disorganized part comes in. The fiber is all neatly bagged in bins, but I failed to put any identifying information in the bags, so other than a braid I got at the spinner’s Christmas party and the Jacob that I washed and bagged, I have almost no idea what I have.

There is still a little of the merino that a friend and I sent for processing, and a small ball of Cormo that was gifted to me, but there are bags that I can’t identify.

I am spinning the gray brown and I think, maybe, it is Coopworth from a friend. The creamy gray is a mystery. It feels like it might have alpaca in it, but I have no idea when I purchased it or from where. I don’t think I will dig deeper into the bins until I finish these two, knowing that there is a pound of fiber on it’s way to me in the mail. I think I will label them. I guess that is a good idea, my memory just isn’t serving me well today.