No such thing

My initial thought to the above picture:

“It is the wrong time of year for cotton candy!”

Then my mind tells me- No, silly, that’s wool.

What is normal? Finding a new normal is just as challenging as trying to keep things normal. Maybe there is no such thing.

Today I spent several hours picking through some wool that I dyed the other day. That is not really a usual activity for me. Doing this chore during the summer time makes more sense. Having soaked it in vinegar before dying did help as the matter was easier to pick out and fell apart readily. Dirty jobs really are meant for outside. This chore is considered so for the back breading position I find myself in keeps me bent over even when the job is done.

It was just the thing for my dry hands though. The oil in the wool moistures the parched skin. So I think I will try another hour at it this afternoon. Let my back straighten up some first.

Nearly finished with the prayer shawls for my mother. She wanted them out of fishermen’s wool. The project is beautiful and made me think on the wool spinning that i have neglected for so long. Maybe this is the week to figure out that skill again. Finding the rhythm is the hardest part. If I could only remember whose concertos were the best for the long steady strides. It will probably be the cellist that is best.

The hour spent picking kept me from heading into the office. The room is so inviting now that it is all cleaned up. It is also much warmer than any other room as only the window wall has outside exposure. Nice reprieve from the wool sweaters that I have been wearing the last month. Will the cold ever leave us?

When will the normal temperatures return? we are below normal by nearly 30 degrees this time of year. The old normal was two weeks of a cold snap in January. This year the cold snap is more like a drum beat that won’t stop. Part of me wishes they would not tell us what the normal temps are then we wouldn’t be so tired of the cold.

The best anecdote to the cold for me is a wool garment. Wool socks. Wool sweaters. Wool mittens. Wool hats. For all those that can’t do the wool, my apologies. Try some fake fleece item. They are at lease soft.

March is just around the corner. Actually it is only days away. Normally all of my snomen display gets put away about now. Because there are afew snow globes with water in them, I cannot put them away until after the chance of freezing goes away. They normally get put back into the old house. There is no heat over there. So this year maybe I will stash them in the empty bedroom closet. Just because I am so tired of the cold, it is time for spring. Out with the snowmen, in with Easter!

There is no such thing as normalcy. While I may attempt to keep things a certain way in my life, capturing the usual just seems evasive this year. Haven’t even got to plant in the greenhouse yet. It is just too cold!

Foolish ideas for this time of year would be planting potatoes in the snow. Thank goodness Easter is two months aways yet. But since my mind thinks of things in terms of farming or gardening, this proverb did come to mind on this 26th day of February. Proverbs 26:1 “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.” Spring has another month before it’s true arrival. So we will let winter continue on it’s snowy path. Normal days of winter might exist also.

If it’s string

Then it must be yarn

Today I sat on the deck carding some very dirty wool. This is the preparation to spinning the wool into singles-yarmn.  I found it quite fascinating to be the daily WordPress prompt for today. I spend the majority of my time thinking about yarn. 

Last night I searched for an hour trying to find a specific pattern for some woolyhat was ready for a shawl. It took me over three hours into the day this morning to remember that I wanted to try that pattern. Here’s how the rough-spun looks after a days work.

My fascination with yarn began as a child when my grandmother taught me how to crochet. It seems that she taught quite a few of her grandchildren. I have a sister that crochets and knits and a cousin or two that enjoy the craft.  

But it wasn’t until my adulthood shepherd days that I began to crave wool.  It was given to me as gifts and soon I began purchasing the expensive stuff on my own. Thus the desire for a spinning wheel. 

I am blessed to have married into a family of gift-gives and soon was overwhelmed with an Ashford travelier. It is beautifully made of wood and I enjoyed finishing the wheel with some nice poly-red oak finish.  Finishing wood is another story to tell.

My first project became a hat and fingerless gloves. While my first fully carded wool from self to finish became a hat that I gave away to one of my sisters.  I made another for myself soon after.  With our bitter Dakota winter winds a woo garment or two is a nescessity.  The hat or the turtle is the easiest project for homespun yarn as my spinning hasn’t been perfected yet and those objects call for the smaller amounts of yarn that my efforts produce. 

There are many crafts that involve the use of string. But in my humble opinion if it’s string that it must be yarn. Although I  have even learned to crochet with doily thread, but I never do just that. The tiny detail requires rest time for the eyes. Having some bulky yarn handy to do an easy crochet project gives relief to the eyes but keeps the fidgeting fingers pussy  My daughter once said that I was a “lazy”crocheter.  So I proved her wrong by challenging myself with new patterns every once in awhile. 

My ball of string is endless on this topic.  It’s like the beginning chain stitch that knows no other, going on until one runs out of the skein. That won’t happen anytime soon. As long as I have wool, the tools to spin some yarn, and the ability to look up new patterns the craft lives on.