a friendly snail

IMGP3225Sometimes, as winter is fading, you feel the need for hats and mittens and scarves and sweaters lessening just a bit. And, for some of us, being on the backside of winter means your brain may feel a little sluggish and dull and desperately in need of some sunshine and color. And maybe a little mental stimulus, too. And you might also feel the seasonal spring work creeping in and you face the reality that those long winter evenings spent by the fire with a knitting project will soon be a distant memory…

Well. As you might have guessed, I might just be describing my personal reality right now. Kind of over winter, but not yet ready to face spring. Kind of over knitting hats (and how many hats does each family member need anyways?), but not at all ready to put the knitting needles away. And even though I am a great lover of neutral colors, I am kind of over gray right now, too.

So to give myself a challenge, and a fun burst of color, I wiped the dust off a book that has been on my shelf for years… Apparently waiting patiently for just the right opportunity to reach out a grab me by the collar: “Amigurumi Knits” by Hansi Signh. I will not encourage everyone to try amigurimi knitting. Mercy. (I got my mental challenge!) However, I am a wierdo virgo and meticulous shit strikes some deep and resonating chord with me. Plus, isn’t it just downright humorous that someone figured out how to get from sheep to snail with sticks and wool?IMGP3212 


the whole process.

It started out looking like this…IMGP0394And slowly but surely, became this…IMGP2305From sheep to baby blanket… It’s the first time I’ve ever accomplished the whole process from start to finish in many many years of wanting it to happen! 

(The pattern is Concentric Squares Baby Blanket by Fiber Fiend, http://www.fiberfiend.com)

In between the beginning and the end, there was a whole slew of processes. If you’ve been following along with our stories in this space for some time now, you may recall the tending and shepherding of the sheep all through the cold winter months. Or even before that, my family’s trip to Pennsylvania to fetch my flock of Shetlands and then being crammed in the truck like sardines for the long haul. Then spring arrived and shearing needed to happen. Remember when the Hill and Hollow crew came to save the day with their electric sheep shears? And remember not quite as long ago when my family had an overnight stay in a hotel and as my luggage I took a dirty sheep’s fleece for scouring in the hotel bathtub? And the borrowed drum carder? And all of the spinning? And then the indigo dyeing? (Which was a whole process in and of itself with the seeding, weeding, growing and harvesting!) Finally, my favorite part of the process, the hours and hours of knitting… knitting while the kids swam in the creek, or in the early gray mornings, or while I waited for supper to cook, or while I accompanied Eric for chores (but not being able to walk and actually help out with chores because of my leg. Moral support is good too!). It is a long-winded process I will admit! But it’s also incredibly satisfying…IMGP2307(You can see the color change between dye lots… I wasn’t totally thrilled with this feature and did try to overdye the whole blanket to make the blue more consistent, but alas, there is still a definite line. Oh, well. Maybe next year when the indigo is ready, I will try again.)

When I finally finished the baby blanket, the kids asked me how much I would charge if I were to sell the blanket. I just had to laugh. 

So the blanket is all finished. Now I just need a baby to wrap up in it…IMGP2310