It seems that after I got the Hanji Paper Project, aka “Papyrine”, set in my head and the pattern straightened out, I have no burning desire to start it right away. I’m moving back to spinning in earnest for the wool/silk scarf or shawl, which would have a name too except that I’m not sure what I’m going to be knitting yet. Something Estonian lace-ish though. I really need to get the yarn done so I can start knitting. The deadline is only a little more than a month away – though I have been given a bit of leeway. (Don’t tell anyone else. It’s because I’m special. Heh!)
Tori (my Louet Victoria wheel) has been behaving herself very well on the highest ratio with the lace flyer. This bad winter may have settled down her warped wheel. Hope it stays that way! The fibre (silk and wool of unknown amounts and provenance) looks very nice and smooth but has a few short dense wool bits in it occasionally. They don’t draft easily so I’ve been either removing them, if very small, or stopping and teasing them out before spinning. The silk tends to separate from the wool so I’m spinning some patches that are more one or the other rather than an even blend of both. It looks alright on the bobbin but we’ll see what happens when I ply it. So far I’ve spent about 7 or 8 hours and haven’t even filled one dinky little lace bobbin. It’s that fine! I’m about ready to start on a second bobbin anyway because I have a tendency to spin far too much for lace. (Witness the fact that I’ve already made two shawls with my moorit Shetland and still have some left!) I have absolutely no idea how many yards are on the bobbin so far. It’s too fine to bother measuring at this stage. After I ply it, I’ll count as I wind it into a skein and then decide if I have enough or not. Highly scientific, aren’t I? Not. It’s lovely to be spinning again. I missed it more than I thought.
We had the usual busy weekend because it’s been consistently sunny and, although frosty in the mornings, relatively warm in the afternoons. On Friday after T got home from work we did our usual urban hike to the magazine shop and got a few groceries on the way home. Saturday we worked in the garden pruning and cleaning up some more. Every little bit helps though we aren’t nearly done yet! It’s a pleasure to get up close and personal with the plants and see the new shoots just starting to peek out. Then we went to a Valentine’s Day open house at a new neighbours’ home down the block. They are a very nice younger couple with two smart and active boys, 6 and 4. It was fun to meet a few old neighbours we hadn’t ever run into after all these years in the same place. Amazing how that happens! Unless you have an opportunity like a block party or garage sale or the commonality of kids or dogs, you never connect. Now we know more folks than we did before. Thanks to our brand new neighbours.
Yesterday we went to the garden shop and got most of the seeds I’ll need for the garden this year. Old favourites and a few new things just to try them. You never know what will grow well or not in a given year. It’s always a crapshoot. Witness my poor busted up purple sprouting broccoli. Last year at this time I was harvesting the first side shoots from large plants and this year I’m pulling the tiny squelchy things out and composting the sad remains. I’m going to try a couple of heirloom tomatoes in the greenhouse with the Juliet cherry tomatoes. Since the heirlooms are less disease-resistant it will be interesting to see how well they do. A lot depends on the kind of summer we get this year. I also got a few pretty primulas to brighten up my deck pots. They are now back out on the deck and the winter pansies that survived are starting to perk up and bloom again. Why is it that only the yellow ones have a scent? They smell like apricots or freesias. Yum.
We also went to the home supply place where T got new gutters for the garage and all the little extras to put them up. Then the revamping of our old garage will be complete. Finally. At least it will be once I clean all the mud off our lovely fresh white paint where it splashed up because the gutters weren’t working properly. Homeownership is full of little things you might not consider!
And to bring it back to something crafty, I got a package of 6 interlocking foam mats (including borders) that will work perfectly for pinning out scarves and shawls for blocking. They are dark charcoal coloured and, though one side is nonskid textured, the other is flat. Pins go in easily too. 24 square feet for around $22. I think it was a pretty good deal. Now I can get rid of the motley conglomeration of foam insulation board that I’ve been using.
Before I go back to my spinning, I leave you with the most obvious promise of spring in my garden: