Friday, June 19, 2009
Inspired – mildly – by the New York State Fair competition booklet, which really should have many more tatting categories to reflect our huge enthusiasm for tatting! – I decided to finish a mohair-spinning project started when? Last summer, maybe. The goal was to spin enough for a sweater. Some of the spun mohair was markedly differed from other skeins – the ones I spun while Bill was in the hospital look neglected next to the others. But here’s the batch dyed and waiting – for a previous sweater in the queue to get more finished. Said previous sweater is a short-sleeved, slightly fitted cardigan I plan to wear to a summer wedding (if the weather justifies the need for a sweater) otherwise for the sort of garden-party events I hope to host or get invited to that never seem to happen. Anyway, I can dream!
Finishing the spinning and dyeing is part of the way there. I suppose I could always enter the skein competition – but I hope to have a sweater to show instead. There’s 21 ounces of the good stuff – and about 4 ounces of the too-loosely-plied handspun I’ll have to find another use for.
Am I getting de-railed by other projects? I was quilting for a while, trying to use up some part of my stash, and sewing like mad but not apparently getting very far along. And for the past week I’ve been doing something a bit different, about which my patience or attention is close to the end. And of course, there’s also work – which for me is a potpourri of choices and subjects. After three articles on the subject – the third currently in the works – I’ll soon be halfway to being an expert on foreclosures in the Finger Lakes (NY) area. A few nights ago I gave a wine talk on “How to Taste Like a Highbrow” for a library "Women In Wine benefit." I was astonished at the amount of research and re-writing, not to mention rehearsal, I needed before the big event. And fortunately, I had a pleasant, kind audience who said they really liked the talk. Came home and Bill said it had gone magnificently. That’s one worry off my mind for the moment! And a very different talk – one about tatting – to prepare and give next month that should hopefully provoke a lot less anxiety.
But first, there was a very big hat project. In the past eight days, I’ve made 47 little toppers for Seneca Santa. Admittedly, the bulk of most of them were done on the knitting machine, but they had to also be hand-finished, sewn up and in many cases, matched with the gorgeous mittens made by my friend June, who prefers knitting mittens to hats and seems to produce them almost magically. Last Sunday we sorted yarn, hats and mittens. We gave each other a pink challenge (notice a pink theme going on here?) and split up a pound of pink yarn. I got six hats out of it, I know June will probably not get 6 pairs of mittens, but after matching them with some of her other mittens, there are four hats waiting. There’s a gold hat bottom right in the photo – June had one of those mittens knitted before we finished sorting and matching last Sunday. There’s also a pale yellow one matched with a pair of June’s yellow mittens, unseen at the bottom of the pile. I started crocheting multiple strands of vaguely yellow yarn into a hat, then June said the started project looked like a potholder, so I pulled it out and re-did it by knitting it on size 15 needles. Now it’s airy and stretchy.
(Seneca Santa is an area charity providing Christmas gifts and warm winter stuff to needy area children. Last year we saw 269 hat and mitten sets come through the studio; but one of our most prolific mitten-makers died this past May after a long illness, so we think we’re in danger of having a lot fewer sets to give this coming year.)