Sunday was The Perfect Day. Got some housecleaning done, got some orders done, got some stuff I wanted to work on done. It was great. And, it started out with this really impressive sky, which I managed to take a not-nearly-so-impressive picture of:

Then on monday the sky was so incredibly gorgeous it literally stopped me in my tracks on the way to the coop. I actually grabbed my chest; it was like appallingly  bad acting. That day instead of trying to take a picture, I thought “sorry guys, I’m just going to sit here and enjoy this one myself”.  So I did.

I am totally ashamed that I still have not finished the sock pattern. This is incredibly lame of me. If I could just sit down and bloody well do it… but I swear, it’s making me blind. It’s my own fault, I did so well starting out the knitting journal, I wrote out the whole cable pattern so that it could be charted, and… well, that was about as far as it got. Which, you would think, would be a lot. But no, because I got all fancy and threw in needle downsizing and calf shaping and all that, it has to actually be written out, and of course I didn’t make notes at the time, because it all seemed so straightforward. Well, it is. I have no problem remembering what I did and where. It’s the writing it out that is giving me flashbacks to a symbolic logic course I once suffered through. So, I’m doing just about anything I can think of to avoid working on it.

That isn’t hard, because what I can think of is spinning. Holy sheep dip, Batman, is that ever cool! And I can’t say you didn’t warn me, because you did, but addictive? It’s like what I imagine crack would be like, if – um – crack was anything like twisting fibre into string. I now believe that my husband is wrong, knitting is not a virus, it’s a gateway drug. Some people, they have a knitting habit, and they never take up anything more dangerous, unless maybe they do a little crochet now and then – you know, at parties. But if you’re a habitual knitter, you’re going to be keeping company with other fibre users, and some of them are into the hard stuff. And you know, between peer pressure and simple curiosity… you think ‘oh, I’ll just try it once. I’ve got that clump of wool my in-laws found on a hedge, but I’m not going to do it regularly or anything, that would be crazy!’

Yeah, and in less than a month you’re hanging around pastures trying to trade food and your own strong back for fleece. It’s sick. I’m eyeballing the crops across the street wondering if they’d miss a few plants, and how long do you have to ferment the soy exactly before you can extract the fibres?

Just now – just now – my husband said he was going out for a cigarette, and did I want to join him? So I saved this and stepped out for a minute – next thing I know, I’m sitting on the porch and – you guessed it – spinning! What the heck?

I’m really feeling good right now though, because last night I finished this: My First Yarn.

It is actually the second attempt at spinning, (everyone remembers the funny first attempt, four metres of something thick enough to hold up a bridge?) but it’s the first that I’ve actually plyed (spelling?) into yarn. And while it’s still thick, it is at least a feasible thickness. This could reasonably be made into something, and the weight of it would not crush a man. (Well, it could be made into something if we pretended there were more than 19 yards of it, which there aren’t. But it happened once, it can happen again!) Meantime what is on the spindle now is thinner again, so progress is still being made. (Yes, it would be more logical to make enough of one yarn to actually be usable.  I address this below.)

For the record: cat brushes work just fine for carding. Tedious, yes, but perfectly effective if you have a big box of wool and nothing else to hand.
Technically, two coat hangers do also work in place of a niddy-noddy, but not without lot of clanging and cursing, and I’ll be looking into what other dowel I’ve got hanging around before I try that again!

The problem now is the effect this is going to have on the Incredible Yarn Stash. In the first place, while I am spinning I am not knitting. I have a sock-in-progress that is rapidly drifting downstream into the land of UFO, because all the times when I would ordinarily be picking it up and knitting a round or two, I’m picking up the wool instead. Also, I have mentioned before how the reason I do the things I do is that I find the transformations so incredibly cool? Well apparently to my brain, “clump of wool into yarn” is much cooler than the more complete transformation of “clump of wool into sweater”. I realize that this is irrational. Presumably it is based on the fact that I like yarn better than I like knitted objects generally. Also, I don’t wear much colour, so I’m much better at appreciating colors in yarn while it is still yarn. Once it is a garment, I just think “mm. Bright.” While it’s still yarn, I think “OOOOhhh, pretty!”
Poor abandoned sock

In other news, a graphics designer for a marketing company is trading me some logo and branding work for a stupid-expensive outfit they want. This is very exciting, and I’m very happy with what they’ve come up with so far – now my part is I have to generate this outfit. Some of it is a kind of a padded bodysuit-thing, so I spent large chunks of yesterday figuring out shapes for that. Also, one of the actresses from Dorian Gray is buying her corset, but for some reason she would prefer a rebuild to the dockyard-prostitute original. Go figure! So I’m putting that together as well.

Oh, and I figured out what to do with the seahorse! Now it is a wallet.

Unfortunately, it claims to be kind of sad and lonely without a matching bag. Also unfortunately, it turns out that a) yes, seahorses DO have skeletons, and b) seahorse skeletons are predictably nifty-looking. This can’t go anywhere good.