Sometimes, after several socks not allowing you to knit them, one comes along to give you a kiss and make your day. This sock has done just that. It's the gartered rib sock from Sensational Knitted Socks. I love that book, as do many other brilliant boy sock knitters that I've had the privilege to know.
That monkey you see is just something Mike drew nearly eons ago when I was sad and he called me a monkey to cheer me up. I replied that if I was going to be a monkey, it would have to be an octomonkey. I meant a monkey with eight legs, he thought a monkey with eight tails. I think he might have made the better choice.
A week or two ago Mike and I learned how to spin with a drop spindle. I show you these bits I've done so that you will be amazed at my improvement when I show you how terrible my first bit of spinning was.
We took the class at Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins. Maggie was our teacher and I have to admit that I am very lucky to have such an amazing yarn shop to patronize. I'm convinced Maggie will have me spinning on a wheel by the end of the year. That is, of course, if I can manage to get into one of their classes. They're really popular, and I'm not as fast as you might think.
Now for the terrible photos of what Mike and I put out during class. You'll kindly notice that, as I suspected before the class, Mike's yarn was far more impressive than mine. Maggie barely talked to him the whole class. He picked it up like a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk.
If you still can't pick his out, it's the baby skein/hank with all of the blue in it. She gave us two different bits of roving to try our hands at roving that had been carded differently. I'm fairly certain these words I'm using are the right ones. I worry about using them, since I'm not sure if I'm making it all up. Mine was so inconsistent and out of control. When she showed us how to ply it, I nearly fell on the floor giggling at the thought of bothering to ply the junk I had created. But I'll have you know, I was unbelievably proud of this crap. I plan on knitting it up into some tiny small bit of crap. There's something truly amazing about the moment when you realize that you're making yarn. Each drafting motion is exhilirating. This was even true when I was spinning this junk, this wonderful junk. Now scroll back up and note how much I've improved.
Maggie told us that if we attempted spinning the next morning we would be better than we were that night. So I went into work early and stood around in the cafe (there's a cafe inside our office) and I went at it. Maggie was right. I should not have been surprised. She seems like a lady that has learned a few things and knows what she's talking about. I've improved with each go at it. Soon I'll be able to spin with confidence. I'm looking forward to the confidence.
I bought this beautiful roving after class. It's not as beautiful as some of the stuff I wanted to try, but I tried some of the blue during class, which is the same stuff as the grey, and I don't think that I'm ready for the combed stuff, which was creepy and shiny and enchanting. I will practice more and then work up to exciting thing like alpaca and such. My plans for this stuff is to spin it on my "maggie" maple spindle, which is hand made, and then to hand knit some mittens for my hands. Do you see the wonder? Hands!
You may not be able to tell this is a shirt, but it is. I bought it because it makes me want to knit knee or thigh high socks/stockings with tons of color work which will result in a beautiful forest clearing image like this. The shirt is from Threadless and is titled "Can't See the Forest for the Socks." They also have this wonderful shirt, which I've ordered, but not yet received. You should buy one, too. It's perfect. A sheep made of balls of yarn. It was meant to be.
And last, but not least, the plants. We have a tulip. I keep trying to name it, but the range of names has been so wide I can't even begin to list them. It is our only tulip. I am proud of it. We didn't plant it, but we haven't killed it and we're not as stupid as our neighbors that mowed all 28 of their tulips along with their grass. Mind you, their tulips are in a flower bed, not in their lawn. I am just as amazed as you.
And here you see there is a bush that miraculously appeared in our yard. It was not there this morning. I swear it. This morning it was just some sticks, a naked sad bush that looked exactly like the other naked sad bushes next to it. When I came home from work it had completely changed. I love it. I have named it Neil after Neil Jordan, who is obsessed with rapid transformation. Although, I've never heard him admit it.
And then there is the weed. Our most impressive plant of all. I'm hoping that it grows at least another foot before our landlord comes buy and pulls it out himself. He probably wouldn't mind, but it's in the front flower bed and he's mildly prominent in the community. What would they think of him if his tenants cultivated a weed and regularly stood outside taking photos of it? Nothing good, I'm sure. I think he's already lost points for the amount of yarn I get shipped to the house. Our mail lady is growing increasingly frustrated with all of my packages. Maybe I'll let up when she stops making fun of my name to my face. Maybe.