July 2010

My mother and I have a long-time understanding about yarn and fiber related gifts. The understanding is that they are never a bad thing, even if there is delayed gratification. As an example, I gave her one mitten one Christmas, plus the yarn for the other one, which I took back to make the second mitten, which she received the next Christmas, and she did not make any complaints, knowing it was par for the course…knitters are unusually optimistic about how many things they can get done simultaneously. So for Christmas this year, my parents gave me a share in a fiber CSA from Hatchtown Farm. The idea was that after they did their spring shearing, I would get a share of the fleece, in yarn form. So needless to say I was excited when I received an email a few weeks ago from the lovely Pam, telling me that my fiber would be in the mail shortly.

Look at what surprised me at the door this weekend – 9 un-dyed skeins of Coopworth wool in what looks like sport weight!

A whole sheep share...with bonus needles!

AND bonus Joint Venture needles!

Sadly, they won’t be running the CSA next year, but this has been a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend that everyone who loves fiber find themselves a CSA. It was nice to get emails about what was going on at “my” farm, and support what they are doing at Hatchtown! I even had a standing invite to come visit and get my hands dirty, or come watch the shearing. And while it was a bit far for me to go, this was such a nice thing that I’m beginning to look around for a more local CSA to support – maybe even an alpaca farm…


…of DNA baby socks.

Curious cat foot included for size comparison.

Note that I had to make it through 2nd, 3rd and 4th sock syndrome to complete these, as these are for a set of twins! It required many episodes of Torchwood. The mother of the twins LOVED them, because they were adorable and geeky – seriously one of the best reactions to a knitted gift ever, she just had pure glee over them, especially the wee little base pair purls I put into the pattern:

zoom in on the base pairs!

The yarn is Crock-o-dye in Sage and Pewter (I think). The pattern is modified from this one, with a DNA top panel designed by me. Stitch pattern forthcoming for those of you geeky enough to want DNA-wear.

I have spent many years knitting, and fairly actively avoiding crochet (except as a provisional cast-on technique). And then I saw this pattern. I queued it on Ravelry, cooed at it for awhile, and then finally decided it was too beautiful to not own it (with the assumption that some of the more garish vivid colors wouldn’t make the cut in my version). So I emailed my sister (an avid crocheter):

You need to show me how to make this.

She was, of course, charmed by my winning ways, and I showed up to visit my family with these in hand:

Icky splitty yarn and size J hook

After a fair amount of foul language and some beer, she and my mother loaned me some crochet cotton and a smaller hook, and we ended up with this:

My first crocheting!

And while I am knitting several items on deadlines, and some things not on deadlines but which clearly should have priority, I can’t seem to stop.

A whole lot of crocheting

Almost as tall as a crochet hook

So…I have not made much progress, but…I’m finished clue 2 finally!
Isn’t it pretty?
yay, beads and lace!
So now that clue 9 (of 9) will be out this week, I’m finally ready for clue 3. Apparently this amount of lace/beadwork really gives my tendons a workout, so it has been slow going. Well, that, and…I may have cast on and worked on some other projects (some of which are super-secret projects and therefore are only partially visible):

memo to me: learn to take better blog pictures.