The Week of Unfinished Business

As predicted, work has been increasingly crazy this month and this week in particular was a killer. It was also my dear Fiasco’s birthday, and while he sadly did not receive his birthday socks finished on time, he did receive a pretty good-looking surprise birthday pie, instead.

Birthday pie!

That pie was something of a comedy of errors. The night I planned to make it, the Fiasco was staying over his brother’s house, so I figured I’d have plenty of time to surprise him… until I was stuck finishing something at work until 9 pm. By the time I ran to the grocery store and got home, it was after 10. Then I couldn’t find the pie pan that I knew we owned (I did, eventually). Then I had to go digging through our camp box in the shed for the French press because I don’t know how to use the coffee pot we keep on the counter (whatever, I’m technology averse) and coffee is the main flavoring. And then, when I went to blend everything together, the fancy smoothie maker I own broke, so I had to transfer the sticky concoction over to a normal blender instead. Suffice it to say, I must really love that guy, because the pie wasn’t finished until the wee hours of the morning and I even cleaned up after myself in the kitchen, which is a rare enough occurrence as it is. (All of that, and the pie wasn’t that great! I thought it was too sweet and the crust stuck to the pan. Oh well, he loved it, and it was the surprise that mattered.) Now, onto the WIPWed post I never quite got to write this week…

Stealth Socks:

The Week of Unfinished Business | Woolen Diversions

BMFA STR HW, colorway Grimm. Click for project page.

These socks are a tad further along than shown here, I plan to buckle down on them this weekend and get them on the Fiasco’s feet ASAP. It should be a little easier to finish them now that I’m not trying to be sneaky about it.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

The Week of Unfinished Business | Woolen Diversions

BMFA STR LW, colorway Gran’s Kitchen. Click for project page.

As one might surmise by observing the kinky yarn, a wee bit of frogging has occurred. I undershot the toes by a few rows so rather than live with slightly-too-small socks, I decided to rip ’em back and have another go. If these are going to be my favorite, I want them to really be my favorite! I promise, though, in the near future I should have something to show other than this same sock pattern over and over again…

TdF BME Mind Bullets:

The Week of Unfinished Business | Woolen Diversions

Bee Mice Elf Merino top, colorway Mind Bullets

Despite a lack of photographic evidence, I am still slowly working on my Tour de Fleece spindle spin. This is the second half of the first ounce, but it’s going!

TdF TWF Wensleydale:

The Week of Unfinished Business | Woolen Diversions

Three Waters Farm undyed Wensleydale

I haven’t had much time to spin since my triumphant finished skeins earlier in the week, but I did take a second to get my next (and likely last) TdF spin started. This is some undyed Wensleydale, which is a gorgeously silky longwool. I’ve spun Wensleydale before in a pretty gradient, and am aiming to make a coordinating 2-ply yarn to use in a stripey project of some kind. Check out the length of those fibers! Luscious.

And as for reading:

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Natural beauty indulgences.

I was super duper excited when my pre-ordered copy of The Natural Beauty Solution by Mary Helen Leonard arrived in the mail. Mary writes the blog for From Nature With Love, a Connecticut-based soap-making and skin care ingredient supply store that I purchase some of my Sweet Sheep raw materials from. Her recipes are interesting and informative, and the book focuses on making your own skin care products from fresh ingredients. The book is beautifully photographed, too. I likely won’t be able to adapt many of the recipes for sale since they are designed to be kept refrigerated and used within a week, but I am looking forward to experimenting with my own routine! Next, I was inspired to pick up the copy of No More Dirty Looks that’s been in the queue for a while, to learn more about exactly which components of commercial beauty products are so bad for your skin. Turns out, the answer is most of them. Guys, this book is like a ‘scared straight’ program. It’s making me want to chuck out everything I own that isn’t already all-natural, which at this point isn’t much since I buy a good proportion of whatever beauty products I don’t make myself from Lush. The number of carcinogenic and downright damaging ingredients that are in most products, along with the completely bogus industry regulation (9 ingredients are banned from use in US cosmetics… while there are over 1,000 banned in the UK) are pretty intense. It’s a really great read so far and I look forward to going into more detail as I experiment with some replacement products.

Blackberry Sage lotion bar

Blackberry Sage lotion bar

Speaking of natural body care, Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe will be vending at the Meiklem Kiln Works Arts & Wellness Fair TOMORROW, Saturday 7/25 from 10 am – 4 pm in Bozrah, CT. Come say hi, and check out our new summer fragrances, like Blackberry Sage!

Phew! When I don’t write for a while, looks like it all comes out at once. Hope you’re all having good weeks. Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday, despite being a few days delayed.

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WIPWed #100: That’s a Nice Round Number

I’ve reached 100 WIP Wednesday posts, woohoo! Now, that’s not 100 weeks in a row or even 100 weeks of knitting, as there has been plenty more knitting than that, but 100 weeks of cataloging my knits in a systematic way, at least! (You can see all WIPWed posts here, if you’d like.) This week, I have spinning and socks.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

My favorite socks are currently in the toe stage of development, which means they’re almost done! I’m going to wear the bejeezus out of these things come fall. Also, I thought I should illustrate how difficult it is for me to get good blog photos sometimes; I have to fight off kitties for space and light (especially the yarn-hungry Darwin) through the entire photo-taking process.

Stealth Socks:

WIPWed #100

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Grimm. Click for project page.

The secret stealth socks are progressing, but not nearly fast enough. I’m on the heel flap of both but need to put some serious time into them this week.

TdF Merino Mind Bullets:

WIPWed #100

BeeMiceElf Merino top, colorway Mind Bullets. Click for handspun page.

Even though they are a pain in the butt to wind neatly, my favorite part of Turkish spinning is the fat little turtles of yarn you get when you take the cop off the spindle. That’s only about 0.5 oz of fiber, so I have a bit more to go *eye roll*.

TdF Dusky Greens:

WIPWed #100

Three Waters Farm Falkland, colorway Greens at Dusk. Click for handspun page.

As I am on the Three Waters Farm Tour de Fleece team, I figured it was about time I started in on some Three Waters Farm fiber. In one evening (!) I spun up 1/3 of a braid of Falkland wool in lovely green shades. I’m planning to make a 3-ply yarn to coordinate with the pound of Falkland I spun up when I first got my wheel. Now if I just had more time to spin… Work is going to be insane through the end of the month and the first couple of weeks of August will be busy with a vacation and a conference, so chances are my posts will be a bit spotty until later in August. I will do my best but if I disappear for a while, that’s why!

As for reading, I started a new book:

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Definitely worth the read.

Some of you may have already heard of the Whole30 program, and even if you have, this book is worth reading to better understand the reasons behind it. The idea of the program is to stop eating certain unhealthy foods for 30 days and see how your body feels. Then you reintroduce them and observe any changes, so that you can make well-informed decisions about your diet in the future. I love this idea. The book does a good job of summing up the very complicated and unclear science of how food interacts with your body. Admittedly, the authors overuse analogies waaaaaaaaaaay too much, but the science they describe is pretty sound and clearly explained. They define unhealthy foods as those that do one (or more) of four things: 1- have an addictive or unhealthy psychological effect, 2- unbalance your hormones, 3- disrupt your gut health, and 4- induce an immune system response. For the most part, these foods include all grains, dairy, legumes, and seed oils. It essentially encourages a Paleo-style diet of protein, veggies, and fruit. For people struggling with their health or their weight while eating what seem like healthy foods, giving this program a try might be worth it. I haven’t done it quite yet, but the diet I did last year was very much like it and since I’ve been slowly-but-surely regaining some of the weight I had lost (despite calorie-counting, yoga, weight-lifting, and walking regularly) it’s worth a try to see if it can get my metabolism-related hormones back in balance.

Also, if you’ll allow me a moment on my soapbox, I think people should read this book so that they realize that obesity is a real biological problem. It’s not just mental (put down the fork!) or about willpower (get up off the couch!), it involves overcoming real biochemical challenges (genetics, metabolism, stress, hormones, brain chemicals) as well as societal pressures (restaurants, ads, easy junk food, peers) at every turn. And for some people, it’s a lifelong freaking struggle, despite doing everything right. It’s a legitimate disease and as far as I can tell, it’s one of the few left that people feel justified in openly mocking and belittling. Next time you have unkind thoughts about a fat person, take a beat and remember that there’s a pretty good chance they’re working on it and it’s not all their fault.

Soapbox done, back to your regularly scheduled knitting! Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesdays.

WIPWed #94: Back In Rotation

It seems that my recent discovery of The Vampire Diaries on Netflix (so much teen drama! so much like a vampires-instead-of-aliens  version of Roswell! so irresistible!) has lead to me getting a bit more knitting time in, so I’ve actually worked on something other than that one pair of socks. Yay for WIPs!

Camelot Monkies:

WIPWed #94: Back In Rotation | Woolen Diversions

Progress, progress! Click for project page.

I’m nearing the finish line on my Monkey socks! The green one was reknit and is now mid-foot, while the pink one has had the gusset begun. This is going to be a totally fun pair of socks, methinks.

Rotted Days:

WIPWed #94: Back In Rotation | Woolen Diversions

Knitting with handspun! Click for project page.

I’m making rather slow process on my handspun Dotted Rays shawl but that’s to be expected with this kind of short row knitting (for me, at least). All the counting of stitches slows me down and prevents this from being good travel knitting, despite all the garter stitch. I’m also not totally in love with the handspun I’m using. It wasn’t plied tightly enough so it’s a bit splitty and not very lively. The fabric it’s making is still nice, though.

Colinton Cowl:

Like the Spinzilla fiber pack that I was sent for review, Louet also sent me a skein of yarn and a pattern to try out. The pattern is Myra, designed by Trudy Van Stralen, a very simple and airy lace cowl. The yarn is a 100% mohair, 2-ply laceweight called Colinton. It’s really lovely, shiny stuff and I adore what the Rav page says about it:

Yes – it’s mohair. But it’s not at all what you were expecting.

That about sums up my thoughts at the moment, I’ll expand more fully when I write my review.

As for spinning, I finally finished some yarn that I’ll show you on Friday (yay!) and as for reading, I started a new book.

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I swear, I’m not always so self-help-y with my reading but I suppose quarterlife crises will do that to a gal. This book is an interesting follow-up to one I began (but haven’t finished) by the same author called “I Could Do Anything, If Only I Knew What It Was”. The most interesting chapter in that book was about people whom the author termed Scanners, who love learning about (and doing) a variety of different things and who feel frustrated in their search for One Career Path. This book expands upon the Scanner idea and is supposed to help such people view their variety of interests as an asset instead of a liability in finding a career. The author points out that scientists are Divers, not Scanners, because they go deeply into topics. However, I think one can be both a scientist and a Scanner (which might just make me a Frustrated Diver, we shall see). I have many more thoughts about this topic, but I’m reserving them for the science-related blog I plan to start one of these days… I’m remaining skeptical about combining all of my interests into a career, though, because I’m mildly terrified of what a knitting-spinning-blogging-lotionmaking-Etsy-ecology-conservation-science-hiking-music-writing-poetry-kids-plants-teaching-beaches-sheep career would look like.

Scanner much? Yeah. Are you a Scanner or a Diver? Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

WIPWed #90: Knit Therapy

You know it’s been a rough week when chocolate has become a food group, am I right?! There’s a particular kind of low-level, constant stress around here that is just plain unpleasant and not healthy. Give me a crisis I can face and just get over already, man. The day-to-day grind is what really wears a girl down. Good thing there’s knitting, huh?

Rotted Days: WIPWed #90: Knit Therapy  | Woolen DiversionsI began this shawl as a special treat after a particularly bad day. I was inspired by April’s handspun version and her #handspunchallenge (the challenge being to actually knit something out of your handspun) over at WithWool. Even though keeping track of short rows tends to irritate me, I really like the look of Stephen West’s Dotted Rays pattern and couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I gave in. I think my BFL handspun is really well balanced by the dark purple contrast (hand-dyed but commercially spun) yarn. On its own, I think the handspun would be a little too… sugary sweet? Sparkly? Floofy? With the deep purple, it becomes just a little more sophisticated. And seeing as I finished these skeins over a year ago, I figured it was high time to knit them up!

Mom’s Flocked Socks:

IMG_2894Mom’s socks are progressing nicely, I’m nearing the point where toes need to happen. Which is good, because I’m also quickly approaching the point where they need to be in the mail. Chances are, she’ll get these a little late, but what’s a day or two, right?

Spinning:

I found this lovely spindle in a destash on Ravelry and couldn’t help myself. I love the blush of pink in the wood of the whorl. It’s a Tibetan style support spintle from TinasAngoras, who apparently doesn’t make this style anymore. The whorl is made from flame box elder and the shaft is made from redheart wood. It’s spins beautifully, I’m working on some sample wool that the kind destash-er included.

Books:

I’m still working on the same books I was reading last week, however, my decluttering efforts mean that I’m destashing couple of bundles of knitting- and spinning-related books.

Send an e-mail to alicia at woolendiversions dot com if you’re interested in any of these. I’d prefer to sell them as bundles ($30 for each set of 4, which includes priority shipping to US) but will split up for $10 each if there’s interest. The knitting-bundle includes A Gathering of Lace, The Knitter’s Life List, Knitting Plus, and Custom Knits while the spinning-related bundle contains Pure Wool, The Ashford Book of Carding, The Field Guide to Fleece, and a handy booklet with DVD about spinning on a Turkish spindle, from Wanda Jenkins.

I’m also destashing extra needles. I have 2 sets of Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles (size 2.00 mm and 2.25 mm), one Knitter’s Pride Karbonz fixed circular in size US 4, an unopened pack of Susan Bates aluminum DPN’s in a variety of sock sizes, one set of Kollage Square metal needles in 2.75 mm, 2 pairs of US 6 fixed circular needles (one Chiagoo and one Clover), and not pictured are two sets of US 9 aluminum fixed circular needles (one 16″ and one longer, 24-32″). Send a note to the same e-mail as above and make me an offer if you’re interested!

I’m also selling a guitar, which is likely a long shot on a knitting blog, but you never know. Crafty people are often musical, plus my car’s about to die and the down payment on a replacement isn’t going to pay itself! I bought it new for $130 in 2008, played it gently for about a year, and it has sat in its case ever since. It comes with a stand, a pick, and a dusty-yet-serviceable, hand-me-down guitar case. As above, make me an offer, and leave a comment if you have any questions!

That’s all from me this week. I better get back to knitting before I try to sell any more of my stuff… Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday!

Fear & Gratitude

I’m joining in today for the last week of A Playful Day’s blog challenge: gratitude.

I chose BRAVE as one of my ‘words for the year’  for 2015 because I have a tendency to get caught up in fear when there are big, unknowable things looming ahead. I’m great in a crisis or when face-to-face with a challenge, but it’s worry about the future, about things I can’t control, or (worse!) decisions that I can control but have yet to make, that wear me down. I was once described by my grad school advisor as ‘a swirling vortex of negativity’ when I was in such a mood and I hate to say it, but he wasn’t wrong.

New project says, “Don’t worry, be happy!” Click for Rav page.

In an attempt to escape such a vortex, I remind myself that I should be thankful for this fear because it means I have something worth losing. Fear is not often associated with gratitude, but the kind of fear I’m talking about is the kind that one is lucky to have. I am not fearing hunger, danger, or imminent death. I’m fearing the abundance of choice, the luxury of different paths ahead, and the beautiful, many-faceted burden of love. Thus, I intend to face the coming months with gratitude, courage, and perhaps just a little less caution so that my life is ruled by joy and acceptance (so hard to do) instead of fear.

WIPWed #89: Doing Some Good | Woolen Diversions

If you’ve seen today’s blog post on Knitty, you may have already read this:

It seemed like a good time to remind you that the lovely ladies of Mason Dixon Knitting raise funds all year round for The Mercy Corps, an international relief and development organization. Buy any of their three blanekt patterns: Mitered Crosses, Cornerstone and A Light in the Window, and all proceeds will be donated. Organizations have been struggling to get on the ground in Nepal to assist; The Mercy Corps were already there when the earthquake struck. There were 90 workers in the country, and cash donations are what they need to be most productive and helpful.

If you can, do a little good today. I thought this was a wonderful ideas so I purchased the Mitered Crosses blanket pattern and made a cash donation directly to The Mercy Corps, as well. Here’s a list of other verified relief organizations and an interesting article on why sending money is so much more helpful than sending goods or hopping on a plane yourself.

Now, onto this week’s knitting.

Mom’s Flocked Socks:

WIPWed #89: Doing Good | Woolen Diversions

Miss Babs Yummy 3-ply, colorway Autumn Forest. Click for project page.

This yarn was purchased for me by my mom on a trip to Tennessee with the request that I knit her some socks. I’d never worked with Miss Babs Yummy 3-ply before, but I really like it and envision more of it in my future… my beloved Socks that Rock might have a little competition! It’s a nice, substantial sportweight that’s knitting up into a pleasing fabric on 2.50 mm needles. I knit the leg of the first sock in 2013 on Kollage square needles 2.75 mm that I realized I hated working with, so the pair languished. I began working on the second sock just a few days ago in my much-preferred Karbonz DPNs and got similar enough stitch gauge that I decided to ignore the differences in needle size and not frog back the first leg (hey, I’m on a deadline). My row gauge was different, however, so I had to work an extra repeat on one of the legs to get them to seem the same length visually, but unless someone sits and counts the stitches, nobody will be the wiser. Perfection, who needs it? I like progress way better and my Mother’s Day deadline seems a reasonable goal at this point.

#MegaSAL Magrat:

WIPWed #89: Doing Some Good | Woolen Diversions

Nest fiber studios superwash Merino, colorway Magrat.

I’m limping along on my main spindle project. I’ve really only taken this little guy out for social spinning. However, my turtle-speed-progress did not deter me from impulsively acquiring more Nest fiber as soon as I realized she was having an update.

Nest fiber Falkland, one-of-a-kind colorway.

Nest fiber Falkland, one-of-a-kind colorway.

I mean, that stuff is gorgeous, and her prep is wonderful. How could I resist?

MalMarch Nube:

Malabrigo merino Nube, colorway Persia.

Malabrigo merino Nube, colorway Persia.

I’ve spun up the third bobbin of my MalMarch spinning project and have just one more ounce of fiber to card and spin. I have to admit, I’m a little disconcerted about the different volume of singles on each of these bobbins. They are supposedly the same weight of fiber, all carded into rolags similarly. I have no idea why the middle one (the first that I spun) is so full in comparison to the other two. I suspect plying will require a bit of bobbin finagling.

And as far as reading goes, I sped through the rest of An Echo in the Bone and am now on the final book of the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (goodness, I love these melodramatic titles). I’m also perusing I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was and a somewhat shallow straight-talk style book on pregnancy (The Girlfriend’s Guide) NOT because I’m pregnant (attn: friends and family, I’m NOT) but because I’m trying to get a better idea on what to expect physically and mentally and where in my career path having kids might fit best. I’m also spending lots of time on the Kelly Blue Book website looking at cars because my 1998 Dodge Neon has required $2,000 worth of work in the last 6 months alone and it broke down again, so I’m losing patience with its recurring (expensive) issues.

THERE’S NOTHING I LIKE BETTER THAN THINKING ABOUT A ZILLION BIG DECISIONS AT ONCE. /sarcasm

Venting, at least, does some good. 🙂 As does tapping into the hive mind: what’s your favorite cheap, reliable, compact sedan make/model that’s fairly easy to find used?

Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch-Along Wednesday.

Decluttering Like A Boss

I tackled my most difficult #KonMarie decluttering session yet over the weekend. It was, in fact, the whole reason I started cleaning stuff up in the first place: my knitting WIPs and notions. I keep most of my knitting needles, notions, and assorted paraphernalia in 2 small plastic drawers and a basket, all of which were crammed tight and overflowing.

All of my WIPs are kept — honestly, all over the place, but theoretically organized in another set of plastic drawers. I had them sorted by year started (which was super depressing) but then shuffled things around into three categories: socks, shawls, and ‘other’ (encompassing mitts, cowls, scarves, a blanket, etc.). And most importantly, I ruthlessly frogged things that no longer sparked joy.

frogged

Which means I spent many, many minutes ripping back, untangling, and winding yarn back up but man it was worth it. You might be thinking, “Oh my, how can she handle ripping back 5 partially-finished pairs of socks?!” Have no fear, I still have 12 sock WIPs hibernating and 2 that I’m actively working on. I do not lack for sock projects. But at least now I know where they all are, what state they’re in, and where the heck all my needles were hiding. (I will soon be destashing a bunch of needles because I apparently just bought more when I couldn’t find some… woops. My yarn destash is still ongoing.)

I have to admit, decluttering feels really good, and it’s helped me re-focus my knitting efforts. I picked up an old sock WIP that had just one leg done that I’d like to finish by Mother’s Day (one of my Second Quarter goals), and I’m already at the heel on both socks. Turns out, socks are super speedy when you actually work on them. WHO KNEW?!

Speaking of actually working on projects, check out my top 5 ways to procrasti-knit over on Stef’s blog!

WIPWed #88: The Toes Are the Best Part

I love sock toes so much because they mean the end of the sock is near (when knit top-down, anyway) and that means my feet will soon have a lovely new bit of wool to wear. I love them a little bit less when I have to re-knit them over and over, but I could avoid that issue if I planned things out beforehand rather than just winging it. All that is to say, I’m nearly done with my socks!

Tropical Traveller:

WIPWed #88: The Toes Are The Best Part | Woolen Diversions

My camera did not love this colorway today.

I had intended to try out a new-to-me toe from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture book (with measurements and everything!) but when it came to toe time, I was lazy and just started knitting. Which meant I ended up re-knitting a couple of times. In the end, I did 5 plain rows, 3x of decrease row + 2 plain rows, 5x of decrease row + 1 plain row, then a final decrease and kitchener stitch. Things would likely have been much simpler if I just followed someone else’s instructions!

MalMarch Sundry:

WIPWed #88: The Toes Are The Best Part | Woolen Diversions

Loving that houndstooth.

Since the socks were nearing a tricky bit, I picked up my easy shawl again for office/meeting knitting. I’m really digging the slipped garter stitch that’s going on here and I have plans to borrow it for a design that’s been brewing for a while. Hopefully I’ll find time to develop that past the ‘general idea’ stage sooner than later. The shawl is nearly 2/3 done, once those wee balls of yarn are finished I continue with another ball of the indigo colorway until it nearly runs out, then bind off. Getting there!

#MegaSAL Magrat:

WIPWed #88: The Toes Are The Best Part | Woolen Diversions

Blurry, unlovely photo of truly lovely spinning.

Besides my afternoon of spinning on Sunday, I haven’t picked up the spindle much this week. I’ll have to remedy that, if I ever want to finish this yarn! Plus, I went all #KonMarie on my fiber stash and was slightly horrified at seeing everything piled all together like this:

WIPWed #82: The Toes Are the Best Part | Woolen Diversions

The horror!

Yeah, that’s a lot of fiber. I will caveat that photo by saying that nearly all of the Louet North America fiber bagged int he middle was sent to me for blog review or as #Spinzilla prizes (which is incredibly generous of them!) and a good chunk of the rest of it was gifted (namely the huge balls of Romney roving in bags, the box of locks I really need to get around to washing, and several of the braids in the middle). But I can’t deny that all the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Whorl Club, Three Waters Farm, Bee Mice Elf, and Sweet Georgia fiber were my fault. SORRY, NOT SORRY. It’s lovely stuff. But anyhow, I boxed up a bunch of things that no longer ‘sparked joy’ and will be sending them off to a friend in the spinner’s guild if she wants them to experiment with, as she’s a newer spinner. Then, I went all #KonMarie on my yarn stash, too.

So I’m destashing (again). You can find details on my Ravelry trade page but most things are priced at a steep discount, and if you purchase more than one listing you get an extra 10% off. To make the destashing more efficient, I’ve grouped some of the skeins together into bundles (pictured above) that are even more heavily discounted. So if you’re into laceweight, or sock yarn, or Malabrigo, or KnitPicks, or Berroco, or farm yarn — there’s a bundle for you. Either message me through Rav or send an e-mail to alicia at woolendiversions dot com.

As for this week’s reading, I’m still working my way through the #KonMarie’s Ode to Tidying and the 7th Outlander book, An Echo in the Bone. I’ve also been listening to Nation by Terry Pratchett. It’s an interesting, non-Discworld novel about an island nation that experiences a huge tidal wave and the one surviving boy who deals with the aftermath. It’s a very different style from his Discworld books, though still fantasy-like.I am enjoying the storyline and I’m seeing some hints of the ideas he developed in his The Long Earth series, as well. I’m going to need some new audiobooks to listen to soon, though. I’ve been waiting for the Divergent series to become available from the library but haven’t had luck yet. What would you recommend for listening?

Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday. Also, I wanted to thank you all for your encouraging comments on my last post. It helped me process things to let off a little steam here, and I appreciate your kindly listening!

Nothing to See Here

Thanks for all your well-wishes regarding my back pain! I have to say, I’m highly amused that so many of you thought I was referring to my knitting when I said I ‘popped a rib’. I’m less amused that after working several inches of tubular bind off on the neckline of my Cypress vest, I realized I did, indeed, mess it up: I dropped a stitch. It’s one stitch, and it will be on the back side of the neckline fabric, but it will be right in front of the sweater, so I’m currently debating the horrendous idea of untinking several inches of tubular bind off (which involves undoing kitchener stitch and catching slipped stitches in the right order) with the merits of just leaving it be and sewing it down later.

Then, when I went to work on my MalMarch Sundry shawl, I realized that I had made a mistake in the slipped garter stitch several rows back, so tinking or laddering down will need to happen there, as well.

Finally, I have not yet tried to spin my MalMarch Nube project as the long draw motions would likely irritate my back. I saw an osteopath yesteday, and while he didn’t want to listen to me about the previous treatment I’d received for the problem and he did an awful lot of mansplaining, whatever trigger point therapy and back-cracking he did must have helped because the pain is about 80% better. (Yay!) Instead, I am now entertaining a wicked sore throat that makes me sound like an elderly, life-long smoker. It’s herbal tea and honey and gargling with salt water all day for me.

So there went the last few days of March and with them went any chance of finishing up either of my Malabrigo March goals or one more First Quarter project. I just can’t win this week. I’ll leave you with this photo of Calypso, which purrrfectly captures how I feel.

A strange mix of stoic and defeated.

April happens to be my least favorite month (I’m always so stressed in April, I have no idea why) but I’m determined to remain hopeful that things will look up soon!

Halted

After the previous post featuring my latest FO* and summarizing my First Quarter Plan progress, I was committed to finishing up my Cypress vest before the end of March, and was all set to do so… until I lifted my arms overhead to fold a blanket and my rib popped out of place.

Halted | Woolen Diversions

Close but no cigar… yet.

That sounds far more gruesome than it actually is, but the pain is highly inconvenient. It’s a pretty common occurrence since the lower ribs are flexible (in order to expand and contract with breath) and sometimes the ligaments holding the ribs in place get loose or what have you and POP — one gets out of place. A couple of years ago I had a back spasm for about a week, which is the first time this particular spot gave me trouble, and it popped out again back in November, as well.  Sharp pain, discomfort sitting and standing, no lifting possible, and difficulty breathing are the oh-so-fun things I got to experience all day yesterday instead of quality knitting time.

Halted | Woolen Diversions

Wee sleeves!

Before that point, however, I had managed to knit both wee sleeves and finish them  with a tubular bind off. This was my first time doing a tubular bind off and boy was it fiddly but I kind of enjoyed it as I have a strange affection for kitchener stitch. It also looks nice and neat. I have just about an inch of knitting left on the neckline before the bindoff and then this vest will be done, done, done. Since my rib/back is currently in the ‘dull ache’ vs the ‘sharp pain’ stage of things, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get to it sooner than later.

One thing I did manage to do this weekend is update some out of stock Sweet Sheep lotion bar scents, including Crisp Pear, Lemon Cake, Turkish Mocha, Sweet Almond, Champagne Fizz, and Honey Beeswax (a spring-time favorite!).

*The socks, btw, do actually fit the Fiasco. His words: “They fit like a glove made for Tyrion Lannister” which means either they’re made of gold, or they’re a tad too snug. But no matter, he’s still wearing them!