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February 2023
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Signs of Spring

I came home on Wednesday to see this:

signs of spring

It really does look like spring is finally here in the Bear house. The wool from the Spunky Club is so bright it catches your eye. I haven’t put it away, even though I doubt I’ll get to spinning it for just a little longer yet. I also finally decided to sign up for an Interweave Knits subscription and I thought it rather fitting that both the wool (superwash merino and sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo soft I cannot even tell you) and the magazine got here on the same day.

The first thing I did with Dandy Lion (that’s what the colorway for this month is called) was take it out of it’s plastic baggie and roll it into a wheel. I’ve wanted to do this with some wool ever since I started spinning, but I’ve only spun solid colors, so there hasn’t been much of a point.

Dandy Lion wheel

The colors aren’t quite right in the picture. I took around 20 pictures trying to get the green to appear as acidic and for the yellow to look as bright as they do in person, but neither was working. This is the best representation I could manage. I also wish I could explain to you how incredibly soft this yarn is. Think clouds and baby’s skin and kitten’s fur. I honestly cannot wait to spin it up, but at the same time, I don’t want to touch it, because I’m worried it’ll never look as good. But I promise, as soon as I’m done with the red merino (I’m no longer convinced it’s even remotely related to superwash) I’ll be champing at the bit to spin this up.

The rest of the week didn’t go as well. I know every’s had in their life something they got super excited about only to have it fall through or fizzle out or not live up to their expectations. So it’s no surprise that this happened in work and knitting for me this week. The problem has been my attitude towards the disappointment. I’ve kinda been pulling the blanket over my head and avoiding the issue. I hadn’t even realized that’s what I was doing until today. But let me back up and tell you about the knitting project.

It has to do with the Branching Out scarf I’ve been working on. I finished knitting it as I said I would

Finished Branching Out

I have absolutely no information about the yarn. It’s handspun with an American Wool blend, spun from top bought at Woodland Woolworks. I spun and spun and spun this yarn. I started off with a pound and I think I’ve finally finished off a few ounces of it. I have yards and yards of lace weight 2 ply. This was made from a portion of that. After knitting, as you can see, it’s around 38 inches long.

Soaking Branching Out

Then I gave it a soak.

Pinned Branching Out

Then I pinned it out. The last picture is deliberately obscure. I don’t have a good blocking surface. I have a roll of stuff that’s supposed to line wire shelves, that’s probably about 1/4 inch thick and as long as my ironing board, so I thought, hey, I’ll just use the ironing board since it has the nice lines on it already. Let me tell you, ironing boards do not make good blocking surfaces. The fabric bunches under the stress of trying to pin the wool out. There’s hardly any padding under the fabric either. It would have been ok though if it hadn’t bunched up. I couldn’t get a consistent width on the scarf. The worst part though? It’s not long enough. The scarf was only around 38 inches unblocked. I had no idea it’d grow like that. I’m not showing any pictures of the final product. It isn’t pretty and I’m not happy with it. I can see where it will be pretty though.

Today though is where I realized I’d been behaving like a child. I’d left the scarf pinned out for far longer than it needed to be. It had dried pretty fast. But it wasn’t until tonight that I realized I was putting off unpinning it. I was putting off writing this blog entry. I was avoiding the whole mess because I didn’t know what to do.

Now I do. Now I go to Home Depot tomorrow and try to find a decent blocking surface and some wire to use. At least the blocking surface. I can keep using the pins. Can you imagine though, it took around 70 pins??