Looking around you'd hardly know it's winter in Vermont. I think we've had one measurable snowfall so far, unless you count today, which so far amounts to less than an inch. I tire of the snow pretty quickly, but this is just weird.
Not much going on, other than a lot of knitting and spinning. Finally, after months and months, I finished spinning and knitting the linings to my Northman Mittens, the outsides of which have been done since last February.
My first handspun for the lining (done in July) was much too bulky. It took me until a couple of weeks ago to spin more Romney and angora rabbit fur and maybe some alpaca, though I don't remember exactly, into a fine enough yarn. Success:
I never did get a good finished shot of the outside. In any case, they're pretty, and they're incredibly warm, but they're not real practical. I can drive with them on. But I can't turn on the ignition or even carry my keys into the house without dropping them. These are more for walking in the woods than going to work and back, I guess. Bonus: I had just enough handspun left over to knit one of my co-workers a pair of fingerless mitts, accessories I believe should be standard issue in our igloo of an office.
I also made my husband a dickey, and not just because everyone giggles when you say "dickey." It might not be as fashionable as Cousin Eddie's in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation --
-- but my husband requested it to keep the wind off his neck while working outside.
I got it from Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Around," which is a fun read and I'm glad I used the dickey (snort) pattern as an excuse to buy the book.
I made my baby niece Cori a cute little earflap hat with sock yarn (held double) that my daughter had dyed several years ago. I didn't get a picture of it on the baby, so picture it like it is below, only 10,000 times cuter.
I suddenly got the bug to do more spinning, so I reclaimed a bag of superfine merino I had dyed a long time ago that never sold on my long-neglected Etsy shop:
Then, halfway through spinning, my beautiful, expensive, beloved Majacraft Rose spinning wheel BROKE -- the crankshaft came right out of its socket! Thankfully, I was able to contact Tracy Eichheim of Woolly Designs on New Year's Eve, no less, and he gave me a full photo tutorial on how to fix it with cold-weld metal epoxy. If you are interested in a Majacraft Wheel and superior customer service, I highly recommend him.
Out of fear I waited a week t do the repair, knowing if I lined the treadles up wrong before gluing things together I'd end up with a ruined wheel. But in the end, it came out perfectly, and I came away with 380 yards of buttery soft 2-ply yarn.
I originally thought I wanted to knit gloves (for days when I actually needed the use of my hands and the new mittens wouldn't do), but the yarn's awfully soft and probably not durable enough, so I'm thinking some sort of shawlette/scarf in a garter stitch to highlight the color variations.
If I still want gloves, I can use a bit of this lovely stuff:
This (Milo-approved) fiber is nearly four pounds of roving I bought from a family I met at a Christmas party last month. They raise Romneys. It's beautiful and a lot stronger than the merino would be. I am practically giddy with ideas on what I'm going to spin and how I'm going to dye it. So many possibilities....
It's been pretty quiet, other than my debit card number getting hacked over the weekend -- with only a $9 transaction successfully made against my account. Fortunately, the $600 Dell computer order and the $1,100 charge to an online store were declined and my account is now secure. Sheesh. (Big shout-out to Amazon here, for emailing me to say someone had tried to open a second account using my existing card number. They rejected all the attempted transactions and advised me to freeze the card and call my bank. Good call.)
Among many other Christmas gifts I did get a new telephoto zoom lens for my Canon Rebel DSLR. I haven't used it for much yet but I'm going to get some good shots outside if we get a nice day. We could use maybe a picturesque snowfall. (I know, I know: be careful what you wish for.) If nothing else, it will make for a more exciting blog post!