Sunday, January 24, 2010

Handspun Spring Shoots

One of the downsides of living in Iowa (and one of the upsides, when it comes to knitting here, though I do hate to admit it) is that spring is never just around the corner. Someone on Ravelry posted recently that there are only 8 weeks of winter left, meaning that theoretically, it is supposed to end somewhere around the 'first day of spring', which occurs in March. This is like a horrible tease for Iowans, because we won't see breaths of spring until late April or even mid-May.

I am in for two winters this year, since I will be traveling to South America (Uruguay, in fact, to work with Malabrigo Yarns), for June and July. This means that I have already resigned myself to the sad fact that winter is never going to end, and have given up hope of otherwise.

Luckily, there is plenty of knitting to keep me occupied, and I've been busy with it. I've been spinning like crazy for various projects, I have several sweaters on the needles that hopefully will be done and blogged soon, and I have fallen madly, horribly in love with knitting from handspun. Especially handspun in bright, cheery colors. I recently cast on for a Lacy Baktus, which has long been a favorite knit for handspinners.

I think I'm already falling in love with it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So Many Frosty Days


I have to be one of the laziest people ever, some days. Especially when it comes to going out into the cold and doing things that I've been intending to do for days. In most instances, this works out for me pretty well, but a lot of things are sort of time-dependent. Things like freezing fog, or hoarfrost, that we were lucky enough to see on Sunday morning. I made a mental note to go out and take pictures of it then, but never got around to it. Then, it stayed and solidified over Monday, and I intended to go out again, but never got around to it. This morning, my dad came in and informed me that not only did we have the hoarfrost for a third day in a row, which is practically unheard of, but that I should go out and take pictures of it because we'd gotten a light touch of snow overnight and it was really pretty.

So, I finally got around to it, and boy, am I glad, because it was really pretty, and I felt really honored that it had stayed around so long, and a little ashamed that it took me so long to take pictures of it. So, all day there has been this lovely frosty glow outside of the windows, and you'll often see a couple of the cats clustered around a single window in the house, looking out for signs of anything. But, to tell the truth, there's nothing out there. The squirrels, even the winter birds, are all hiding in their nests and roosts and aren't coming out even to get a bit to eat (we have a feeder out and everything.)

I have been sort of snuggling into my little nest, as well, and working on several projects, including a new embroidery. One of my resolutions has been to learn new things, and one of the things I'm starting with is proper embroidery stitches and skills. I have messed a bit with embroidery in the past, but it wasn't anything official or studied, and although I like the idea of being a bit messy and unique, I would like to know how to get the effect if I want it. Much the same as painting, it's easier to bend the rules if you know what you're supposed to be doing to start with.

I should be able to reveal this embroidery - and several others - as kits to be sold in the etsy store starting with the (children's clothing/fashion) line's introduction mid-March or April. I'll talk more about that in upcoming posts.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010

It's a new year, and I think pretty much everyone has set out their list of resolutions, firm and clear - like me, people have signed up for support in knitting, eating right, and exercising. I have always been a person to make resolutions - I am a list maker by nature, so a resolution list is the ultimate kind. Plan out your whole year and measure success against it. But I don't think I've ever actually kept the resolution list anywhere near me, past January. This year, I'm planning to do it differently.

I delayed posting my resolutions to the blog because I've been tentatively reviewing and re-writing and re-listing. One of my resolutions, in fact, is to post to the blog more, and I wanted to find a way to share what I'm doing so that, not only do you all have a fun post to read, but I can tick off and checklist what I've done - a kind of virtual progress map.

So here, without further ado, is the actual 'resolution list':

Replace all hair, body, and beauty products with more eco-friendly ones.

Basically, this is pretty self explanatory, but I want you to know that while for some people eco-friendly means expensive, hard to find, or smells bad, I simply cannot abide by any of those categories. I live in Iowa. Everything is hard to find. I don't like things that smell gross, and I don't want my hair to look like straw. So, as I try different products, I plan on posting them here on the blog, so that you can look at them and try and figure out if what has worked best for me might also work well for you.

Love all the clothes in your closet.

The impossible task. Right now, I have a meager closet of clothing that I feel generally pretty blah about. I have a few pieces I love, a few that I utterly hate but can't replace easily, and more than a few that are totally worn out. I won't even mention the shoes. They're a disaster zone. Last year, I did a huge closet purge that involved donating or tossing a lot of things that weren't flattering. This year, my goal is to make sure that any money I spend on clothing is spent on clothing I love, ages well, and expresses the personal style that I am trying to desperately to find. This means knitting some, buying some, and researching my style icons. I hope to share all of it here, or, at least, as much as humanly possible.

Learn new things.

I am no longer in college, having dropped out indefinitely, and this means that while I would normally be assigned a load of reading, writing, and interesting subjects, I have to do all the searching out and learning and teaching for myself. This goal sort of entails having a reading list, learning new techniques and skills (the list could go on forever of what I'd like to learn), and going to events that maybe wouldn't normally be in my line of direct vision. Examples? I would like to learn how to quilt. I would really like to learn how to play an instrument. I want to know more about the world - animals, culture, and landscape.

Of course, the knitting won't be stopping, and neither will the usual blog posts - in fact, I hope to make the blog posts much more usual. I hope that this journey will be fascinating for you. I plan on having more DIY, more fashion, more reading reviews and blog interviews and maybe even links to strange places, here and there. Expect more cooking and baking (cake decorating is on my learning list), and, as always, pretty pictures.

Because I promise, this is the only blog post you'll read on here without a gorgeous picture, from now forward.