Posted this to the Fiber Arts Blog at the Times Union this morning, and since I haven't posted anything here in a while, it seemed like a fitting thing to repeat here.
Hello, my name is Aaron and I am a knitter and spinner...
Oh wait, you probably already knew that. It seems like forever since I’ve posted so I feel a bit like a newcomer and that I need to introduce myself. But I do apologize for my absence the last few weeks. I knew that my decision to return to school and pursue a degree, even just part time, would mean cutting into a lot of other things. When I have a class going, it involves a good deal of reading, writing papers, and working on various assignments which cuts into the time I would normally spend writing about more interesting stuff like knitting or spinning. Now that my most recent class is done, and until my next class starts (and I do need to find out about that), I’m back on the blog!
So, how is everyone enjoying winter? (yes, that’s a serious question) We’ve definitely got a good amount of snow now, and some people have told me I’m partially to blame for that. With each storm that’s been forecast I’ve sort of taunted Mother Nature and Old Man Winter with Facebook status updates that usually end with “bring it on”, and they’ve certainly brought it!
But that’s okay. I don’t really mind the snow, and since it’s too cold and/or snowy to go out, I can get a lot of other things done. In fact, I think I've hit my fibery projects with a good amount of energy and focus that I don’t seem to be able to find when I’m not in the middle of a class and I have more free time on my hands.
I FINALLY finished up my Wine Country sweater that I started in September after I had finished another class. All of the primary knitting had been done since early December. It just took me a while to muster up the motivation to seam it together.
This is made with Bartlett’s 2 ply worsted which is one of my favorite yarns. It’s not particularly soft but it’s thick and extremely warm and the wool is sourced from local sheep farms and spun right here in the USA! Check out their Inside The Mill page and watch the videos of the carding machine, the mule spinner, and the plying and skeining operations. Fascinating!
The only knitting projects I started (and finished) since mid-December are three hats. One is a felted hat that I made for my friend Judi who writes for the Holistic Health blog.
Another is from the Norweigan Handknits book that I made for another friend (that I met thru Judi) who has an Alpaca farm near Chicago. The yarn came from his alpacas, and matches the Mitten Day mittens that I made for him from the same book, and the same yarn.
I’ve been quite busy on both of my spinning wheels too. I had completed the actual spinning and plying on some of these before winter and before class. It was only in the last couple of months that I had the opportunity to "finish" them (wash and thwack) and take pictures. The red/fawn is from Spunky Eclectic, the multi-colored yarn is from Mosaic Moon, the black is baby alpaca from Ideuma Creek, and the purple/gold is from Spinners Hill.
Having more than one wheel means I can keep multiple spinning projects going too. There’s almost as much spinning WIP’s as knitting WIP’s. Below is llama from Teri Conroy of Wunsapana Farm and the Farmlife blog, some sample fiber that I got at the Men’s Knitting Retreat, and purple rambouillet from A Touch Of Twist.
I’ve even tried needle felting, and managed to create a cute little likeness of a sheep. He now sits on my desk at work to keep me company. Isn’t he cute?
Having so much stuff to keep my busy makes the time sort of fly right by. I suppose that’s my trick for making it through winter with some amount of sanity left. We’re already well into February now, and spring is on its way. The groundhog even said so this year!
So what’s everyone else working on? How are you making it through this cold and snowy winter?