A Year for me?

When I resumed knitting about 16 years ago, it was because the first grandchild was expected and I learned a lot knitting soakers, shirts, socks, and other baby items. I have knit several adult sweaters and vests along the way, a few for me, a few for family. Hats, fingerless mitts, some mittens, a few scarves for family and a few for me, but then most of my handspun yarn and nearly all of my knitting has gone to my shop for sale. The inability to have craft shows and slow business in the online shop have meant that the stock isn’t moving and more doesn’t need to be added, but spinning on my spindles is soothing, destressing, “serene” as the spindle maker’s wife posts.

I spin about 4 ounces of fiber a month, that is one skein of yarn, a dozen or so in a year and I don’t need to add more to the supply, but I need the craft and activity, so the year long challenge to spin 12 different breeds of sheep wool, one per month, on Jenkins Turkish spindles and making a blanket from them is just what I needed. I can spin and use the wool spun on something for the house, for us. There will probably be a bit extra spun and used for hats or fingerless mitts for family, the shop, or me, but most of the effort will go to the blanket. It isn’t going to be a heavy, weigh you down blanket, the yarn is going to be fairly fine, but being wool, it will be comfortable to provide a layer when an extra one is needed on the bed, or laid over a snoozing body in a chair.

The gray square and the colorful square are about 10″ each, the gray one doesn’t count as it wasn’t spun this year, but it will be part of the finished blanket. The colorful square and the green above are a single breed and fiber that hubby gave me for Christmas. I am going for a log cabin type blanket.

What a great and fun way to keep up my spinning and knitting.


“Make America Great Again.” A statement made to win an election. America was great because of Democracy. It was what made us a world leader, a country to emulate, to count on. A country where repressed people could apply to become part of our great nation.

“Make America Great Again” was the cry of an unhinged man who wanted to be an autocrat, a phrase that meant “make America white again,” to stop immigration from any country that wasn’t “white,” to destroy the progress that had been made with civil liberties and rights of all Americans. To undermine the progress that has been made in race relations, in rights of Americans who are in the LBGQIA+ communities. To despoil the lands of the Native Americans, to reduce and despoil our National Parks in the name of dollars. The promises made were not kept, they couldn’t be. This is not democracy and doesn’t represent the majority.

A cry from a man whose goal was to line his own pockets with gold at the expense of the country he was supposed to lead. A cry from a man who doesn’t recognize the truth or doesn’t care. A man who abdicated his duties from the beginning.

What happened yesterday at his instigation, an insurrection, the violation of the symbol of our Democracy and the disruption of the Democratic process was unconscionable at the least. A criminal act by thousands of people who call themselves Americans. This doesn’t “Make American Great Again,” it makes us an international fool, it shows our weaknesses. And never during or after these actions could he stand up and tell them to stand down, that he lost a fair and honest election, that the people spoke, the courts upheld, and Congress was trying to certify.

I remain horrified by the turn our country has taken in the past 4 years, I hope our leaders can come together and work to heal, but to have 100 representatives still argue against certification after the coup attempt by people carrying Confederate flags, Trump flags, the black and white desecration of the American flag, breaking down doors and breaking windows to illegally enter the Capitol building, damaging offices of our elected official is not hopeful.

We don’t have to agree with our neighbors to remain civil with them. Violence is not the answer. We need to heal, to find peace, to find compromise. To attempt to rebuild our nation and hope that the damage that has been done in the past four years doesn’t destroy us as a nation.

I was shaken badly by this and fear for the America my children and grandchildren may be facing. Healing for our nation is not in the hands of one man, it has to come from all of us.

Challenges begun

As the ball dropped beginning 2021, I started spinning my Christmas gift fiber to be the first official block of the Breed Blanket Project 2021 challenge. The fiber was two ounces each of two colors of a very soft BFL wool. It only takes less than an ounce to do a square so the first ounce was spun, washed, dried, and is now being knit onto the test square of Jacob wool that I spun in November and December and plied in the late days of December. Because I want a larger blanket than a dozen 10 inch squares would make, I am going to be making two or even three squares each month of the fiber selected for the month. The other two ounces of the Christmas gift is the teal still being spun. There is another ounce of each of them that can become additional squares or a hat or fingerless mitts. I love the colors of both and they are gorgeous together.

I am glad to have this challenge to keep me occupied until such a time as we can finally get a vaccine and feel somewhat safer about going out into the region for essentials and family connections. Our county of only about 15000 people has reported 652 cases of COVID, and 95 of them have occurred since December 31. The village store keeps their newspapers right at the door and my routine on days we get a paper is to take one step in with exact change, take a paper, put the money on the counter and flee without ever letting the door close. Yesterday, three customers and a vendor all left the store just as we arrived and none of them were masked. The resistance to such a simply safely measure is so strong here. I’m sure that we will see even more of a surge as the holiday gatherings that surely happened all over the county spread it. So far the hospitalization and death rates here have been fairly low which surprises me as the population is older and if the products carried by and brought out of the village store is any indication, a lot of smoking and drinking is done by the population. This is just another challenge to our new year.

Our country is facing the worst challenge with COVID and with the political climate when our “leaders” take to social media and the airwave encouraging violence to over throw a legitimate, fair election. Our Democracy is threatened, our country is fractured and it is frightening. We are not a third world country. What happened to civility. Did none of these people pay attention in Civics and Government classes? We have a Constitution, but it is being ignored by so many politicians. We have a President who envisions himself a Dictator and has a cult following that is armed and dangerous. I hope the next few days are not as contentious as they are playing out to be, I hope no one is harmed, and I hope that all the players who are encouraging the rabble are properly punished.