(originally posted May 26th, 2020)
Well. What is there really to say about it? The world has changed so much with the onset of the global pandemic, and not. I watch the news and grieve for the number of lives lost when I can. I play with the dogs and wander the woods when I cannot. This work that I do has been a calming and reliable anchor in these difficult times. To that end, I have been up to quite a bit of it, and I thought I'd try sharing one of my current projects.
Introducing Alfred, at least in the form that I have known him. This gorgeous Romney wool was a gift from a very generous friend and I've been spinning it up for a sweater. In the past my opinion on Romney has been fairly neutral, but Alfred here is so beautifully prepped for me that I'm definitely warming to it.
I'd had in mind a worsted spun yarn, thinking about the drape of this longish stapled fiber, the carded prep had other things in m ind. I've ended up spinning it long draw and plying it into a two ply fingering weight yarn. At this point I'm about half way through what has been a most meditative spin. I've plied to clear the bobbins to begin again. I had been worried that spinning so much yardage would become a bit of a slog, and I'm happy to say that hasn't been the case. There will be more sweater spins in my future.
Now that I have some of the yarn done I'll be knitting up a swatch here soon. I'm honestly torn between the idea of finding the perfect pattern and attempting to design one on my own. In my mind I end up with a long drapey cardigan with a ribbon backed button band and basic all over lace for the body. If I knit it up as a raglan the fit should come out perfectly. Then again - I've knit exactly two cardigans to date and had issues with the button band on one, and the other didn't have one. Time will tell if bravery or a need to look to the expertise of experienced designers will win out. Who knows? Maybe I'll modify a pattern instead. That sounds like a happy medium.
The reminder of connection this project has brought with it has been so helpful as we're spending so much time in isolation. I love that about fiber work - it so often comes with a story. This wool is from Montana - my home - raised by a Montana rancher and then brought by woman who was an instagram connection turned friend to the Yarn & Yoga retreat last October and shared out between all the women who attended with such generosity. It's a connection with the land, with the rancher, with a very special event, with other spinners, with my friend, as each inch passes through my hands and takes up twist to become yarn, to eventually become a sweater, to keep me warm and loved. How beautiful.
What are you working on that is helping you stay connected? Really, please share, I'd love to know. In the mean time I suggest that we all take a queue from Smooshie (the queen cat of our household) make sure to let yourself rest.