The Smell of Homespun in the Morning

Knitting fulfills two spaces in my creative need cabinet. One is relaxing and the other is challenging. As a result I generally keep (at least) two projects going at once. Either that or I can’t focus for long and am overly willing to drop a project that no longer interests me.  Ah, hobbies.

My relaxing project right now is a plain pair of toe-up socks. They are called toe-up socks because they are knit from the toe up to the cuff instead of in the traditional (European) manner of cuff down to toe. These socks are not lace or patterned in any way. Just knit knit knit in a circle and increase and decrease as needed. Yes, I realize that is a huge simplification of how heels are done.

I finished sewing buttons on my baby surprise jacket last night which had been my challenging project. While it too was knit back and forth with mostly just increases and decreases it still required a lot more counting and conceptualizing.

I had planned to make a cowl next but don’t own the color yarn I want the cowl to be in. I do however own a lot of beautiful homespun that my mother made me. It kicked off a pattern search and I think I’m going to do a two color knit shrug based on Lion Brand’s pattern #60082.

The first step in the new project was to wind the homespun skeins into balls. Since most of my yarn is purchased at Twisted and they are happy to wind yarn for me, I don’t own a yarn winder. I do have a thumb. Two actually, but one is specifically used as the support beam for a hand wound center-pull ball. The how-to for this is on pg 58 of The Knitter’s Life List by Gwen W Steege. To avoid disrupting my husband’s sleep in day just to have him hold a skein while I wound it, I put the open skein around my neck like a lei. The most difficult part turned out to be the kitten (who is 3 yrs old) wanting to help and then going crazy and gnawing on furniture when I wouldn’t let her near the yarn. The smell of homespun wool seems to have the same effect on her that catnip does on my older cat.

Here is a picture of my thumb as a support beam for a hand wound center-pull ball. Getting ready to make a shrug.

Creating a Center Pull Ball of Yarn

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