I need to get caught up on my blog postings! I *think* about writing on my blog a lot.... I don't get to it as much as I should, though. But here goes:
My knitting: I am starting down the backside of the Hanne Falkenberg Ballerina's first sleeve. I love working on this project, but I got distracted by other things. I have not worked on my white shawl at all because I have mentally "put it away" until I finish something else. Neither have I worked on my Hedgerow Socks because they are kind of boring and I am beginning to realize if I am going to put the effort into putting even the simplest texture stitch into socks, I would like it to show at least a little, and it really doesn't. So I have it circling in a hold pattern because I am pretty sure I am going to rip them out and do a different sock; I just don't know what yet. I love this Classic Elite Alpaca Socks yarn, though! It is wonderful to feel and to work with. Lastly, I *ahem* started a new project. It is the Portuguese Fisherwoman's shawl, designed by Shelagh Smith. I am almost half done it and I will soon post more information and pictures... but I am kinda waiting until I get my next shipment of patterns from Shelagh because as soon as you see this shawl you are going to want to make one. I had 29 copies of it for sale at the spa, and Shelagh lent me a model to wear, which I wore Friday night and Saturday. I kept one copy of the pattern for myself, and sold all the other 28 copies at the Spa. I am using a strand of laceweight Douceur et Soie held together with a strand of French Hill Farm's fabulous "French Twist" hand dyed fingering weight merino (the two together make a worsted weight). I am using utterly wonderful glass circular needles... this is my ultimate happy project! I love working on it so much!
The SPAAAAAAAAAAAA (New England Textile Arts group's annual get together in Freeport, Maine) was fabulous and I love Freeport as a venue for this event. It was relaxed, comfortable, and I hope they keep it there. True, I didn't make as much money at it as I usually do, but only a part of that was due to the fact that people are spread out over 3 hotels. For one thing, because it was new, people spent this year exploring and enjoying their hotel; next year or the year after, their hotel will be more familiar and they will venture out more readily. Also, there was bad weather on Friday, and the economy in general held people back. There is also more shopping competition within walking distance in Freeport than there was in Portland. There is more to see and do, so people didn't tend to hang out in the vending area. So as a vendor, I guess I should be unhappy that I made about half of what I usually make at this show, but since I went into it expecting that, and was correct in my assessment, I am pretty happy. And as a participant, I would be crazy not to love having it in Freeport. It is more open, more comfortable, the service was great, there is a ton of stuff to see and do, and it is closer for me to get to.
Spinning. Ahh yes. I haven't spun much since the Fiber Frolic in the summer, and then only for about a week. At the Spa I bought a lovely new Bosworth Spindle, some soft and fluffy blue fiber (can't remember what is in it -- silk? merino? angora? it is yummy, anyway), some great sock yarns from Dye Dreams, a fabulous NEW enterprise who had their debut at the Spa, at the booth next to us. I also got from them some fiber for making striped socks, and some gorgeous cashmere/silk fiber. So once again, I came home with fiber and a new spindle. Pretty good for someone who doesn't spin. I have decided to do "meditation" spinning every morning for 20 minutes..... for twenty minutes, I spin (currently the cashmere/silk blend on my new Bosworth spindle) and do nothing but focus on the spinning itself. I don't think about my worries or make plans and mental lists for the day ahead or think about anything at all. The point is, to think of nothing... and just spin. Focus on the fiber, on the moment, how the fiber feels in my hand, how the spindle looks. I have always heard that meditation is good for you, and I never was much of a person for simple "just-sitting" meditation. I need something to focus on. Spinning is my answer. With only a couple exceptions, I have successfully kept up my meditation spinning every morning. I have a nice kop of fiber on my spindle and something to look forward to every morning. It is a good thing.
In another spinning note, I am finally spinning on my marvelous Merlin Tree creation, the reproduction antique Quebec production wheel that David Paul made for me. It is fabulous and it makes me want to spin forever! I love it! I am spinning the blue fiber I got from the Spinning Bunny at the Spa. My life is now filled with wonderful spinning. :)
Lastly, I have two fabulous knitting weekends coming up: March 14, 15, & 16 and March 28, 29, & 30. This will be my third year! Hard to believe. There is still plenty of room available at both weekends and I hope you can come! We are going to relax, laugh, knit, spin, eat good food, learn a little, and HAVE FUN! If you have signed up for one of the weekends, please note that I am sending a letter to participants this week, as I did the last two years, explaining any items you might need to bring with you for classes and giving directions to the Lord Camden Inn and Unique One. I am really looking forward to these knitting weekends! It will be great to see you there! Many of the participants have now become my friends and I am always happy to see my circle of knitting friends growing :) (Oh by the way, they got a new waffle machine in the breakfast room at the LCI and it is even more fabulous than before! Yummy!)
I guess that is enough for now.... have a great day, and happy knitting! :)