Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Most of the country is in a serious deep freeze right now. And it’s cold here too, but because of the proximity to Lake Michigan, it’s not as cold as other spots. We have plenty of lake effect snow, which I love. I also love the moderating effect that Lake Michigan has on our winter temperatures. Just two reasons (out of many) why Lake Michigan is my favorite body of water.

I ventured outside only once yesterday: to shovel the front walk and to check the mailbox. Today the temperature has risen to a respectable 8degF, but the wind is so strong that it feels as if it’s whipping the snow into shards of glass. Not comfortable. But I still need to go out to shovel the front walk and to check the mailbox.

When inside, I am warm and can enjoy the view of the winter wonderland surrounding the house. Perfect for spinning.

Last October, my friend, Elizabeth K, helped me get my knitting patterns up on Ravelry. In exchange, I offered to do some spinning for her. She had in mind a sweet vest pattern (the Fibre Company’s “Hiker’s Waistcoat", a free download). I showed her some wool I had in my stash. It’s roving that I’d had carded (by Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill) from Lucy’s 2013 fleece. Lucy is a mixed-breed sheep from Marie Glaesemann’s farm in Duluth, Minnesota. I’ve had the good fortune to get Lucy’s fleece for several years in a row. It’s a beautiful, medium grey, medium strength wool with a bit of shine. And it’s a pleasure to work with.

So, I’m enjoying spinning up a heavy-worsted weight, 2-ply yarn for Elizabeth. Because this yarn will be for a specific project, I am trying especially hard to be consistent in my spinning. I first made sample skeins at two different thicknesses to see which would work best for the vest pattern. After deciding on the thicker of the two samples skeins, I started the full project. Now I’ve finished one complete skein (it’s still drying so I’m not sure how many yards there are), and I’ve started on the second. The pattern requires a total of 900 yards. And I’ll still have plenty of Lucy’s wool left over so that I can make something for myself!

I can’t imagine a better beginning to 2014 than spinning Lucy.

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