Saturday, March 10, 2012

Busy Season

With work and the associated travel as crazy as ever, and Men's Spring Knitting Retreat coordination starting up, life gets a bit hectic for me during this time of year.  So, sorry for the brief blog-absence.

Knit and Retreat With Guys
Many of your already know that I coordinate the annual Men's Spring Knitting Retreat in Upstate New York each year.  This year is no exception.  Right now, we're culling the talents of the participants to have them volunteer to lead workshops on various fiber-related skills.

There will also be a visit to a local sheep farm where they breed Cotswold sheep.  There will also be an unofficial visit to a local wool spinning mill.

Suffice it to say, the excitement and anticipation for this event hasn't waned at all for me over the years.  I look forward to this weekend more than any other.

There are still spots open in the East Coast retreat in May, in case you know of anyone who might like to join us this year, and registration for the West Coast Retreat  on Labor Day weekend just opened up as well.

Current Knitting, Crocheting, and Spinning (please note the Oxford comma for Carol's sake)
I ended up finishing up the ends of the Koigu Linen Stitch scarf by just using a simple rolled-up hem.

I first secured all the ends by sewing down a line of zig-zag stitch, so that the fabric would still be somewhat stretchy, and then I folded it over and secured it down with another row of zig-zag stitching, and then I snipped off all the ends.

My sewing isn't so great, but I'm satisfied with how it turned out.

I also started plying up the Optim Merino, and it's creating a soft and lustrous yarn.

The surprising part about the resulting yarn is the slight haze it has.  Soft and fluffy, this yarn will knit up just beautifully.

Finally, I started a new crochet project.  It's a spiral square blanket, done in a Tunisian crochet stitch.

I'm using a ball of Kauni, self-striping yarn, and it's a fun project. Once I finish the ball of yarn, I will probably knit or crochet a border on it in a solid color, but I'm not sure yet.

Current Reading
A number of folks told me I "HAD" to read "The Help" by Kathryn Stocket.

It sounded like a stupid idea for a book and something that only a book club filled with elitist, liberal leaning women would enjoy.  But finally, one of my favorite sources for books said I should read it.

It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.  I was sad to finish it.  It's very well-written, and the story is wonderful.  But mostly, the character definition was superb, and I grew to love or hate every character in it.  The surprise for me, was having some of the history in the book become so real for me.  In the context of the book (and I'm sure, of the time), I read about Jim Crow laws and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a way I never had before.

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