Winter Blahs

Sheesh, it's been a while....January just kind of ran away from me, and February is beginning to do the same. Winter makes it tough to get motivated, I find....and we've been having a lot of winter lately. I'm sure if I didn't have to shovel the driveway on an almost daily basis, I would have more time to get things done, right? But I'm trying to get caught up a bit on life this weekend, and that includes blogging.

So, to begin with--knitting. There hasn't been that much of it this month, mainly because of time constraints, but also because I've been doing a bit more spinning. But here are photos of what I have to show you:

Those are the January Sockamania "New Year" socks. I once again failed to finished by the end of the month, which means I will be starting the February pattern late and probably won't finish that on time, either. :-) My hope is that with 2 weeks off in March I can get back on track with the sock-a-month thing! :-) I just drew the yarn for my February socks out of my sock yarn bin and pulled this one:
That was my last installment of the Middle Earth sock club yarn, an alpaca/merino blend called "Balrog." I think the colours will work well with Anni's February Valentine pattern. I had a lot of pink/red/coral/purple colours in the sock bin, so I figured I'd just reach in and pull one, which also means I'm complying with my commitment to the Socks from Stash Club.

My other current WIP is the Hemlock Ring Blanket.
I bought the yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Chino) in late Novemeber in Michigan, and cast on right after Christmas. It was going really well, but then I set it aside for portable sock knitting for the few moments I've had time to knit this month. I came back to it this weekend and it's still going well. I'm now at the point where the rounds are quite large, so they're taking a lot longer to knit, though! I have emailed the designer to see if it would be possible for me to sell this in the school's charity auction in a few weeks. I would like to contribute something, but am not sure I have time to design a project of my own and get it made in 2-3 weeks! I had been playing with some handspun silk to see if I could do a lacy scarf, but wasn't thrilled with the results, so have put that on hold.

On the handspun note, here are my recent spinning creations:
From left to right, that's mystery fibre in a single (my aunt, who gave it to me, said she thought it was merino but it clearly isn't. Maybe a blend of merino and mohair? Something more coarse and fuzzy than merino is in there, for sure!), Tussah silk 2-ply in about a laceweight, and merino 3-ply. The merino was my first serious try at Navajo plying, and I'm REALLY pleased with how even it turned out. There's not a ton of any one of them, but lacy scarves, mittens, etc., are probably in store. I think my next project is the merino-bamboo roving I got for Christmas:
I believe there are 8 ounces of it, which will be my largest quantity of fibre so far, and it's really lovely stuff. I've been holding off on starting until I know what I want to make with it, and until I'm confident in my ability to do it well. Any ideas?

Oh, one picture this week from my students' work. There is another huge stack of scarves in my classroom, but I've also been encouraging kids to knit squares for a baby blanket. Most of them have done better at making real squares this year (I haven't received a single trapezoid, although I'm still get some rectangles!). Here is a photo of the work so far laid out on my rug (not the greatest backdrop, I now realize--can you see past the square pattern on my rug?):
A few more squares and it will be time to sew this together. Fun, fun! :-)

Outside of the knitting world, life has been pretty uneventful. We hope to do some more recruitment visits (returning to a few cities) in March, and maybe be able to make a decision by April. I am actually still enjoying my job this year (even in February! That's unheard of for me in 7 years of teaching!), so I'm starting to push the move-into-London option a bit. But the practice options for Stephen aren't that great there, so we need to do some research into that to see if we can make it work. I'll let you know when I decide.

Whew, that was a lot! And I didn't even write everything....I was thinking about rambling on about politics and the really difficult decision I had to make this week (I voted in the Democrats Abroad online presidential primary! Exciting!). I'll spare you that, though. :-) I guess I should I have blogged more regularly instead of dumping everything into one post. Oops.


Kai said…
That Middlearth Yarn is absolutely gorgeous! And the Hemlock Ring is look great too. Wait until you near the end. 1 row will takes forever to complete! I've watched whole episodes of Frazier and Cheers to one row! :)

Love the handspun and that Merino/Bamboo is so gorgeous.. *drool* I would say a lacey something or other is what's called for... but maybe socks?

The 3 ply looks great.. I want to try Navajo plying sometime this week or next... :)
Kate said…
We're not having any winter here. It's been almost warm enough for a barbecue today, which is ridiculous.

I can think of another Valentines sock pattern which would work well with your Middle Earth yarn, too... *whistles innocently* :-)
knitty_kat said…
I missed you at the Wortley this month - how did those pom-pom socks turn out?
Jinann said…
Love the socks...and the yarn colors are fabulous!

Your spinning looks WONDERFUL! I love the colors. Very cheery for looking at and petting on cold winter days.
Anonymous said…
Gosh, there is a lot going on. =)

Your Hemlock is looking lovely. It's another pattern I'd like to make, but I don't have any appropriate yarn in my stash right now.

I love your spinning. That laceweight is really talking to me! ;)
belaybunny said…
You have been busy - great knits all of them ;) I particularly love the hemlock blanket, I must make it sometime soon!!
belaybunny said…
PS, I've nominated you for an award ;)