February 18th already... Where has the time gone?!
The trips to New Jersey are done now, and I'm grateful. We had a little break in the cold, with temps rising to a balmy 45. Then another huge snowstorm hit, then a little more balmy weather, and now more snow is due.
It's a strangely welcome sense of schizophrenia. The warm spells give us the strength to make it through the next bout of bleakness.
But it's not so good for the garden. Just today I noticed that the crocuses are popping their little heads up an inch or two in a very wet, temporarily thawed soil. They did this last year and promptly rotted, poor guys. I suppose every fall I'll keep planting crocuses until the one fateful year when Ma Weather behaves herself.
On the needles, I've been working on a simple shawl using some of the lace-weight hand-dyed yarn from HandPaintedYarn.com (the worsted merino was reviewed in KR this week). It's the Meadow Flowers Shawl from The Knitter's Stash. Once you set up the pattern, it's blissfully easy—an eight-row repeat, and you knit all the even rows. I wasn't so fond of this particular yarn when I first got it, but it's lovely knit up.
I'm not the only one who's been busy. My dear friend Theresa—a practicing M.D. in her spare time—has finally listed some of her spinning batts on eBay.
She starts with prize-winning fleeces—not just random bags from Big Bubba's Fleece-o-Rama. She does all the washing and prep work herself. Then she dyes them using only natural dyes. (Those of you who've done natural dyeing know what a tedious process this can be.) THEN she blends the fibers and colors together into magical, magical batts.
Did I mention she's also a practicing physician?
How she does it is beyond me. But I've had the privilege of playing with some of her blends over the years (friendship has its perks!) and they are exquisite.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the Ice Fishing Derby this weekend. I have no idea what the rules are, I'm just expecting to see a bunch of guys standing around on the ice. (I'm not a big ice-fishing expert, but the derby takes place on "my" pond, so I'm remotely interested.)