The Flurry Before the Storm

We’ve been hearing about a certain storm system for a week as it’s been slowly marching across the country from California, as the air drops down from the Arctic, and more moisture is drawn up from the Gulf. As with all long-term forecasts, there are too many variables to really be able to tell yet exactly what we’re in for and where our little house is located seems to be precisely where the meteorologists are drawing the line between 6″ of snow/sleet and 12″+ of snow. As is always the case, only time will tell.

Regardless of what actually happens, this kind of system puts a buzz in the air. Getting ready for a potentially big storm is just part of living in this region of the world. Once we catch wind that something big may be headed our way, we all flit about, preparing as best we can. Stocking our shelves, running our errands, filling our gas tanks, packing emergency bags for the car, and keeping shovels & snowblowers at the ready — as with anything, the more you prepare on the front end, the easier it will be to deal with once it hits.

Beyond the practicalities, though, everyone is energized with anticipation. In our house, we check the weather reports a couple times per day. My hubby and I (mostly) playfully bicker about which weather sites are more reliable. And the kids speculate as to wheather it’ll be packing snow or fluffy snow, whether we’ll get enough to build a mega snow fort, and if the sledding hill will be faster. I made a giant batch of waffles so the kids would have an easy warm breakfast, stocked up on warm food & drink like chicken noodle soup and hot chocolate, and I baked a big batch of chocolate chip cookies for — I’ll be honest — no better reason than I thought they’d be a nice treat.

And, course, some of my energy was translated into my craft. I progressed into the lining portion of my Snowfling Mitts

img_2257It’s been slow-going though because I’ve been kind of distracted by my spinning.

I finished up my Three Waters Farm ‘Cool Conundrums’ singles…

img_2256It’s my first real run with my Very Fast Flyer and it’s taking some trial and error to get a good feel for it (as shown by the bursts of over-twisting). I think I’m probably going to do an n-ply, but I’m not 100% sure yet. I’m going to let them rest awhile while I consider my options.

And meanwhile I’ll be enveloped in this…

img_2246Three Waters Farm is the guest dyer for the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Ravelry Group‘s January – March Spin-A-Long and I am excited to be joining in! This group’s SALs are a very neat concept — the dyer introduces a theme and then participants share visual media ideas to give color/illustrate the theme and for which the dyer could base some custom colorways. The dyer then selects a couple images and dyes the custom colorways. And then the group all spins them up!  You can can see the paintings and custom colorways for this installment here — I think what Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm has done is just phenomenal — so much so that I starting spinning almost as soon as the fiber hit my doorstep.

I started with “Color Music” inspired by Georgia O’Keefe’s Music, Pink and Blue No.2 dyed on BFL.

img_2249And pretty quickly I knew it would be a struggle to step away.

img_2251These colors are rich and intense and just incredible.

img_2255And if that wasn’t enough, I swear the BFL is infused with some sort of magic because it is practically drafting itself. This spin is just pure joy. Pure, gorgeous joy.

Should you be so inclined, you can still pre-order any of the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary colorways in the Three Waters Farm Etsy shop. All three exclusive colorways are available on your choice of BFL or Merino/TussahSilk 80/20. I really can’t say enough great things about them!

So as we all wait for what may or may not be a Snowzilla-type storm to hit, I’ve got my flurry before the storm preparations finished. I suppose all that’s left is it stay calm, spin-away, and wait for the snow to start flying.

Snowfling Mitts

It seems so appropriate that I write about my Snowfling Mitts today. Yes, today on March 12, 2014 I awoke once again to snow. Tonight promises record low temps near 0F. It isn’t unprecedented for these parts to be this cold this late in the year, but it has been a l-o-n-g winter. It’s nature though, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So…if you can’t beat ’em, make a new set of pretty mittens!

Snow now seems like an appropriate theme.

detail of snowflakeI’ve been doing a lot of contacting different shops, dyers, and yarn companies about sponsoring a couple giveaways for the Socks with Sarah KAL. Fortunately/unfortunately, there has been no avoiding some personal shopping while attempting to acquire items for this purpose. I’ll talk in more detail about in the next few days, but suffice to say Tanis Fiber Arts is one such shop. I carefully selected a couple skeins of sock yarn and as I was literally about to checkout when on a whim I clicked on the button for kits. And I saw the Snowfling Mitts kit. I had just been talking with a good friend about colorwork mittens and we had been ooohing & ahhhing over these mittens. Somehow one of these kits wound up in my cart and shortly after in my hands.snowfling mittsAnd now they are on my hands. I love that the snowflakes are a classic motif and yet presented in a modern way, just like a real snowfall.

palm side mittThe palm even side has a delicate, simple snowflake pattern.

cuff detailThe cuff has a beautiful arrow pattern and the picot edge is just a perfect touch.

 I followed the pattern exactly except for how I finished the picot edge & attached the gorgeous merino/cashmere/nylon lining…

liningRather than sewing down the picot edge & then attaching the lining, I just did it all at once — tacking down the picot edge while picking up the lining stitches. Isn’t the gold lining beautiful?

This project was two firsts for me. I had never tried a Tanis Fiber Arts pattern before. I found it very well written & easy to follow and the fit of the mitt is perfect. I am already looking ahead at using more patterns from Tanis LaVallee including but not limited to her Smokestack Socks and Business Casual Socks as well as the Fairview Scarf. And please, don’t get me thinking about the Coolbreeze Sweater Kit. I beg you.

The other first was the Tanis Fiber Arts yarn. The kit contained both Yellow Label DK weight yarn for the outer colors and Purple Label Cashmere Sock for the lining. Both were a dream to work with. I could tell from the photos that the Garnet (red) yarn in this kit would be beautiful, but the subtle depth of its rich color really was more than I even imagined. It is truly, truly beautiful.

All in all, these mitts were a joy to knit and are luxurious to wear. Thank goodness the weather has taken another turn toward wintry conditions so I can use them? Yes, that’s my sentiment. It’s March 12th, let it snow a little more. Why not? I have pretty new mittens to wear.

For my Ravelry project page for these mitts, click here.