Busy as a Bee

As spring slowly starts to wake-up here, we’re treated too all the glorious signs of spring. My spinning wheel overlooks our Nanking cherry bushes which have bloomed and I’m lucky in that as I spin I get to watch bees as they float from flower to flower. I can’t help but relate to the bees. As the days grow in length, the sun climbs higher in the sky, and the temperatures warm up I’m invigorated and am compelled to flit about, making plans, and trying to make the most of each sunny afternoon. In bursts I’ve started cleaning up the yard and making plans for some improvements. The cleaning products have been inventories and lists for a nice thorough spring clean for the house have been drawn up. I’ve put off mowing the lawn, but that will have to be addressed sooner than later, too.

And then there’s the arena that is my craft. True to form, I’m busy as a bee in that department, too. Let’s start with knitting, shall we?

img_2971My beautiful Veleta top just needs to be seamed. From Louet’s wonderful Spring Collection, this is knit in Louet’s Euroflax Sport. Since machine washing drastically softens the linen, I ran this through my washer on the delicate cycle before pinning it out to dry on the blocking matts. It’s well on it’s way to being soft as butter. I’m hoping to steal an hour or so to sew it up this weekend.

img_2964And I’m past the gusset shaping of my second handspun sock. This has been my during school/at the playground/in the car project, so I haven’t been moving too too quickly on it, but I’m getting there. It’s such a fun knit for me as I watch my handspun labors take shape that I’m honestly in no rush to finish this project.

img_2969And then I have this project waiting in the wings. I had hoped to knit up a sweater with my giant 1100 yard fingering weight skein of handspun from last month for the Laura Aylor SAL + KAL in the Three Waters Farm Ravelry Group, but I’ve accepted that time is not on my side at the moment. The pattern was a little more complex than was realistic for the spring and summer for me so as I’m desperate to participate, I started thinking about what else I could make. After my daughter stole my fingerless mitts on one of our last hikes, I found the adorable Spiced Cocoa mitts and this yarn that I spun a couple months ago. If I make the small, they’ll be a little big for her, but since she’s growing like a weed that’s probably for the best. She’s OKed the project (it’s important to get permission with an 8-year-old diva), so all that’s left to do is wind the yarn and get started.

In my spinning world, I got some very exciting news this week. Akerworks is developing a new Flat Pack Lazy Kate and I was chosen to be one of the testers for it! I invested in some Akerworks Flat Pack Bobbins when my hubby got me the travel bag for my wheel and I’ve been really, really impressed with the quality as well as how much room they save me so when I saw this Kate in the works I jumped on that sign-up sheet & crossed my fingers and toes. They said they are making them to order right now, but that I should see it sometime in the next couple weeks. I’ll be focusing my review and thoughts in the testing thread while I put it through its paces, but rest assured that a full review will be available in due time.

As you can imagine, while I wait for the Kate to arrive I’m on a mission to spin singles for plying!

img_2967I’ve already got this March Top of the Month Club “Spring Spirit” from Three Waters Farm all set for its Navajo plying.

img_2968And yesterday I wrapped up my singles for the January Top of the Month Club (which I put off forever) “Birds in Holly” — it’s destined for a simple 2-ply.

img_2966And I immediately started in on my April Top of the Month Club “Storm Cloud Over Flowers” — this is the first month I had the Silk Club and I’m loving it. I tempted fate a little by pulling out my Very Fast Flyer for this spin. I’ve been what feels like a little slow on the learning curve for this flyer and while this spin definitely has parts that could be more perfect (that aren’t in this photo), the over-twisting issues I had last time and the feeling that I was either a) just holding on for dear life or b) fighting against the wheel — those feelings are all but gone. Not totally, but for the most part I started to feel the right balance and rhythm  with this flyer and that… well, it felt really good. I’ve also been using my little Akerworks Hedgehog Threader as I find it a little easier to use than the Lendrum issued one. Plus, it’s a hedgehog.

img_2965I did a little work on my spindle project today, too. If I hadn’t mentioned it, I picked up these rolag/punis from Naturally Knitty last summer. I love the colors! I’m still pretty slow with my spindles, but I’m certainly practicing!

I’ve also got more than a couple sewing projects that I need to get working on, but let’s not dive down that rabbit hole just now. For now, the sun is shining & warm and this bee’s got some work to do.