X Marks the Spot

My family is very seasonally driven. Not unlike the Canada Geese who migrate in their long undulating Vs, we have certain places where we head certain times of year. Sometimes it’s to get a glimpse of a newly arrived migrant, sometimes it’s to take advantage of a breezy spot on a hot day, and sometimes it’s to see eagles fishing in between ice flows below a dam. And then there are times when it’s to see a stream cutting through its gorge during spring runoff. It’s for this very reason that Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is becoming an annual event for us — I even wrote about it here almost exactly a year ago.

This year, it was a little less snow and a little more mud.

img_2512We captured video last year of our girl struggling on a trail and it’s become the quintessential video of her. In it, with boots so heavy with mud that they kept falling off, she digs in and makes her way up a steep hill equal parts frustrated with us for not helping her more and determined to make it herself. We play it back for her sometimes when she’s telling us ‘she can’t’ to remind her that ‘she can’ — she’s awfully strong and tenacious.

This year, she bee-lined for the same spot and even though it was muddier, she tamed that trail like no one’s business. On the way up it was slick, but she found a small, sturdy stick to use kind of like one would use an ice ax when ice climbing, but for mud.

img_2509As a mum, my first thought was that she’d fall on it and poke out her eye, but she handled it — and herself — with strength and confidence and agility. She trekked up and down that same trail not once, but three times.

img_2500And she was Darn Proud.

While I waited at the head of the trail, I snapped the requisite Big Blue photo…

img_2498I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my soul is made of Big Water.

We made our way down to the beach and had a picnic. The weather was perfect for it. Warm, but not hot. Breezy, but not a gale. Perfect. Then we played for a good long while.

img_2526I combed the beach for good skipping stones…

img_2517And found one that reminded me an awful lot of friends on Martha’s Vineyard.

I built a cairn.

img_2521Because when there are rocks, it’s what I do.

img_2530And I skipped stones & we played ‘Battleship’ (where you toss driftwood into the water and then try to hit it with a rock) until my arms were sore.

As we walked back to the car, I noticed something in the sky…

img_2502And I thought to myself that sometimes X does mark the spot.

With sore arms, muddy boots, and smiles, we made our way home.

The next day, inspired & feeling like I should follow the lead of my brave daughter, I decided to finally change the footman connectors on my spinning wheel.

img_2488They were original to the wheel and — like the drive bands for Lendrums — the plastic dries out and gets stiff. I’d been worried I’d mess it up the repair, but I’m happy to report the wheel is spinning like new again and it feels incredible. Sometimes you do just have to trust yourself, be brave, and go for it.

Elated with the excellent feel of my wheel, I’ve been spinning like a madwoman.

img_2533And last night I finished up the second braid of my current spin. One more to go and then I’ll be plying. The combination of my tuned up wheel & my impatience to see this finished project has really had me spinning away. I’ve definitely been stealing all the spare moments I have for it. After finishing up braid #2, I even stayed up late last night to prep the last braid of fiber so I’d be ready to start spinning asap.

img_2534Yes, indeed. I think sometimes X does mark the spot.

Snow, Yarn, Mud, Snow, Fiber, Mud, Snow

With the arrival of March, so starts the dance between winter & spring here. It snows. It’s warm and the snow melts. It snows. It’s warm and the snow melts. Physically, this is one of the hardest times of year for me. Preceding every¬† weather & pressure change, there are always aches and pains that really assault my poor hip and make it a delicate balance between needing to stay active & limber and needing to rest. Even with the two respectable snowfalls this week, the kiddos and I have soldiered on with our daily walks. We also took a very beautiful (and brisk!) walk with Mr. Knitting Sarah on his day off.

img_2441I simply love the stark colors. Through a wood and alongside a fast-moving, spring meltwater fueled river, it looked like a warm-ish spring day. In reality, the wind seemed to be sucking up the cold from the snow and the water and throwing it not just directly at us, but through us. Brrrrrrrr. It was still nice to be out and about though and we were rewarded with the songs of a few Chickadees and glimpse at an adorable Brown Creeper.

On my needles, I made a slightly manic dash into my brioche project, the Askews Me Shawl in Spun Right Round Squish DK. I was a little nervous about my planned color changes, so I really pushed through to the first one.

img_2473I have no idea what I was nervous about. This project is exceeding all my expectations. Period.

On my wheel, I had a really nice stretch during one of Mr Knitting Sarah’s days off where he took over the kids’ school day and I was able to spin.

img_2475And this morning I finished up my 4oz braid of Three Waters Farm Dirty Girl Redux. It took a little while to really get a good feel for the silk blend as I just haven’t done much with blends lately, but I definitely regained my comfort level before long. I’m constantly aware that I’m mighty short on time for the combo spin I have planned for this month, so I’ve been trying to squeeze in extra time for this project whenever I can. I’ll be prepping and hopefully starting the next 4oz after I shovel our latest snowfall. I could have the kids do the shoveling — they’d gladly handle it, but it’s Saturday and I’m just letting them play.

It was a pretty sweet week for yarn & fiber mail, too. First, I received my Three Waters Farm Top of the Month installment.

img_2447A gorgeous braid of Falkland in a colorway named “Spring Spirit”, I snapped a photo and then closed the box because I need to focus on my current spin in progress. You can bet your life that I’m thinking about this one though. I also just changed over my subscription to the Top of the Month from the wools to the wool-silk blends. Since the colors each month are pretty of-the-moment, I think the spring & summer colorways will pair nicely with some lighter, silk-blend spinning. The idea is to switch back to pure wools when autumn rolls back around. Plans are subject to change, but in my head at this moment it seems like solid planning.

I also got a special treat for Louet this week…

img_2464Louet is always so good to me! They asked if I’d have interest in working on any designs from their new Spring 2016 Collection and — of course — I could not resist the chance to work up a new piece in the lovely Euroflax yarn. It was actually a really hard choice for me, but in the end I decided on the Veleta tunic by Susanna IC. I’ve been a fan of Susanna’s work for years and it’s been far too long since I’ve knit one of her designs. Plus, look at how cute & unique that tunic is! I opted to knit it in Heron Grey — partly because I have a thing for colors named for birds, but mostly because I have a thing for a good steely blue-grey. The basic Cream will be the lace detail. I have to get through a couple bits and bobs before I can start this, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fabulous addition to my summer wardrobe.

Well, the kiddos are happily playing outside, so I’d better get out there and finish up our shoveling. I’ve got a lot of chores to finish up today, but here’s hoping I can make some time to get some fiber prepped and knitting done, too. I hope you can find some time for your fiber arts project this lovely Saturday, too!