Follow Your Arrow

My Ysolda mystery shawl is finished and blocked.

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It’s not as asymmetric as I thought it would be but it’s a very wearable shape.

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And it’s a lovely size for wearing instead of cardigan.

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I used Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply, in “Cherry”, and it took 168g. I love the colour, it’s so gloriously rich and deep.

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Meanwhile, I’ve finished my first bobbin of singles for the Stitched Together spinalong. I’m really pleased with how finely and evenly I’ve managed to spin!

STSAL first bobbin

Spot the difference

Today we had a dress-down day at work for Sport Relief. Though I’m not sure there’s really that much difference between my dressed-down and normal work outfits, to the casual observer…

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I’m feeling very ambivalent about these boots at the moment. I’m not quite sure why, as they’re perfectly nice boots, though they’re a bit too warm to wear with handknitted socks in a warm office all day and by mid-afternoon I was wishing I could take them off as I would at home. I think they do tend to get a bit uncomfortable worn with wool socks for several hours at a stretch, so that might well be part of it. I don’t seem to have the same problem wearing my smart boots with tights all day, but I don’t know whether the difference is down to the boots or if handknitted socks are just too warm to wear inside boots indoors (which seems like it might well be possible). Or if I just really want to still be wearing Doc Martens outside work and these are just a bit too dull and conservative in style…

Heathers

Lady Heather shawl and heathery tweed skirt :-)

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I keep wondering about sewing buttons on the shawl so I can wear it as a shrug or cardigan, but I am not very good at sewing on buttons, and I love it as a wrap anyway.

Primavera

After last year, when we didn’t really have much in the way of spring, it’s lovely to have properly spring-like weather in March. It’s been really warm in the sunshine, and there are daffodils everywhere and trees starting to come into leaf and the ducks going completely mental on the canal (seriously. More mental than normal, and given ducks that’s pretty darn mental). So, in celebration, today I wore a dress covered in flowers and shoes instead of boots (also, I am really bored of boots now).

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Though this spring-like weather does make my heart sink a bit as I contemplate the annual ordeal that is getting my legs from their hairy winter state (I think the last time I shaved them was probably the 11th of September, as I know that was the day we had the HMRC audit and I wore sheer tights) to something that will be socially acceptable without tights. This is not an easy process, and I always end up feeling like a bad feminist for having internalised socially-constructed standards of beauty to the extent that I can’t accept my own hairy legs. Although even if I didn’t mind how they looked (and maybe if I gave them a chance I wouldn’t) I work in an office and dress fairly smartly for work and I suspect that while not wearing makeup or high heels, or indeed going bare-legged in summer, don’t pose problems, bare-legged and unshaven might not be so easily accepted…

Spinning Sunday

Today has mostly been about spinning, though I have also knitted some more of the border of my Ysolda mystery shawl.

I finished spinning up my 25g sample of Black Welsh and plied it with some of the singles from my merino/Shetland Hilltop Cloud batt.

Merino/Shetland and Black Welsh

The merino/Shetland was obvoiusly lighter than the Black Welsh, as I ended up with 42g of yarn which clocked in at a whopping 78 metres. After a less-than successful attempt at Navajo plying the remaining merino/silk I wound it off into a plying bracelet and ended up with 32m/15g of yarn from that.

Merino/Shetland 2-ply

I’d like to use the two together in some way, maybe with the lighter merino/Shetland as an edging and the thicker yarn for the main piece, though I’m not quite sure what that piece should be given that I only have 110m of yarn and that isn’t going to go very far.

And then I decided to start my project for the Stitched Together spin-along which is happening in March and April, mostly because I was a bit worried that if I waited until next weekend to start I might not be able to resist buying some fibre especially for the challenge and I really need to work with what I’ve got before the stash takes over the house. I picked some merino/Shetland/soysilk roving, also from Hilltop Cloud, which I ordered from a potluck sale she had a few months ago as a way to get some cheap fibre to practice on, because I’m still a bit scared of completely messing up and ruining expensive fibre.

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I split the roving into two and will make a 2-ply yarn, mostly because I only have three bobbins and two lazy kate pins on my wheel so can’t really do anything else (I am thinking about getting more bobbins and a free-standing kate so I can try a 3-ply). The fibre is a bit compacted but it’s coming out pretty well so far.

Hilltop Cloud roving

(Also, I have a new phone, and it takes really good pictures – all the yarn pictures in this post were taken with it. That is very exciting!)

Sunny shawl

So, my Pi Shawl, cast on in September to be a reminder of sunshine to me in the winter months, is finished just as spring seems to have come along.

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It took nearly all of my two skeins of heavy laceweight yarn – I obviously judged when to start the edging just right as I only had 3g left at the end. I think it’s about a metre and a half across, so that means the circumference is almost five metres – no wonder the edging felt like it took forever!

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Sadly I don’t think the pictures really do justice to how lovely it is, mostly because it’s not easy to photograph a circular shawl, but I’m very happy with it.

And this weekend I must push on with the Ysolda mystery shawl. Why did I decide to knit two things with sideways edgings at the same time? They just seem to take so much longer…

In the pink

I don’t know if it’s the signs of spring everywhere, or the massive quantities of Vitamin D I’ve been taking for the last ten days, or just natural mood cycling, but I feel so much happier than I did just a few days ago.

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It also struck me, as I was waking home along the canal this evening, listening to the birds singing and looking at the birds and the blossoms, that mindfulness, or something akin to mindfulness, is much easier when I’m feeling happy anyway. The world is full of beauty and wonder and I want to experience it as fully as I can; why would I ever want to lose myself in my own thoughts when there is just so much to occupy my attention? But when I’m feeling depressed, the world loses all its charms and feels cold and grey and unpleasant, and I’d rather hide away from it as much as possible, so I’m much further away from mindfulness. And while meditation is definitely calming, I’m not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg when it comes to the relationship between mindfulness and depression.