Sunday, February 17, 2008

Spring is in the air

I know the weather for folks back east is still deep winter, but in California we're having a brief glimpse of spring that so often appears in late January or early February. Temperatures were close to 70 degrees F last week, and while they're back down to a more seasonable 60ish F the skies are still clear and crisp. If one can get out of the city and suburbs into the more rural areas it is so beautiful this time of year. Mustard flowers are blooming under bare orchard trees; sheep and cows graze on the lush green grass; the air is cool but the sun is so warm. It was a great day today for a drive to enjoy all this bounty, so that's what TW and I did today. We put the top down on the convertible, bundled up, and took off for Tomales Bay for a drive and lunch. My photo of the mustard field was taken while driving so it's a bit blurry, but the glorious colour should come through none the less.

So while the rain is due back in a few days and there's still winter weather to come for e few more months, I feel the urge to focus on spring knitting. I am well on my way with the lace and cable cardigan - this is the body done almost to the armholes; I'm going to finish the pattern repeat I am on and will begin armhole shaping at that point. The sleeves are already done to the point of starting in the caps. One I stop working across the entire body as I am now and just focus on the back and fronts separately the rows will feel like they're flying by. The front will continue straight up the neck, and there will be a seed stitch collar to finish it off - the cardigan will almost be a shirt in style when it's done. Or at least, that's the plan.

At Knit Night last week Giovanna brought a hear-shaped sachet she was working on from an Interweave Knits pattern, using mitred squares knit at a tight gauge to form the heart shape. Very pretty. I've wanted to make this for a long time so she gave me the kick in the pants I needed to try it. I used stash yarns that I had in small bits and pieces to make the mitred squares. This is definitely addictive and I am not sure how many I will end up making before I get sick of them. As can be seen in the photo, one is done and stuffed with rose and lavander petals and a little wool; the second one is almost done; it just needs the last 2 squares to make the points at the top and then finishing. This is a great way to use up small bits of yarn. I believe the original pattern was done in Koigu but my yarns are rayon ribbons, silk noil, cottons, etc.

And I've been spinning - I know have 2 full bobbins of the brown Perendale top that my Dad brought me from New Zealand last year and am ready to ply them up. I'm guessing I'll have about 300 yards out of these 2 bobbins. Next I'll spin some of the white merino top that he also brought me, and once I have enough of both yarns I plan to make a pillow for him using an adaptation of the Intricate Stag Bag from Knitscene's Fall 2007 issue. That should keep me busy for a while, don't you think?

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