Monday, February 26, 2007

Not dead yet ...

Ok ... so the sweater is finished! (pics to follow in a day or so) I love how it turned out. The cables look great and the colour is perfect. Had the husband try it on and it hangs like a dishrag ... what happened there? So ... it has now been blocked and is drying in front of the living room heater ... oh ye gods!!! ... I hope this fixes the problem. Of course when he commented on it I acted like "Duh! It still needs to be blocked and then it will be fine!" I really really hope I don't end up eating those words.

I am leaving for a trip to the States on Saturday. Things that need to be done there are that the lambs that remain need to be sheared and the boys sent off. Shearing is a back breaking process that my friend Slick very kindly does for me. A year or so ago he helped me with a ram I had named Buck ... a creature that I can freely admit I hated with every fiber of my being and who has since caused me to come up with the idea of a new ram every year for one purpose and one purpose only ... ok, well that and food for the table. He felt the same about me and all humans near as I can tell. He would have gladly killed me and any other person stupid enough to get in the pen with him ... his own starvation not withstanding. I cannot say I miss him much. But he had an amazing fleece. Here is a before and after:

As you can see it took a while ... but I am sure he felt much better when all was said and done. And Slick and Delores have my undying friendship for being brave enough to do this for me.
I will post some shearing pics when I get home ... with the lambs it is not nearly so dramatic. But I do have to add that they really don't think much of the process overall.
On the needles now is the second sock of a pair that I started in December and then lost complete interest in. It won't take long and then I am planning on starting a pair of Norwegian mittens and possibly finishing a shawl that I started in October that was set aside in my Christmas knitting frenzy.
We are prepping for Spring here after one of the strangest winters ever ... for the first time in recorded history ( and here in Japan that is nothing to sneeze at) they have had a snowless winter in Tokyo. Here, we didn't even break the 24 inch measure ... and that in a place where we routinely get 15-18 feet. But, in another month we should see the glorious cherry blossoms and bright blue skies ... it will be beautiful! But today it is windy, which is normal, with a screaming north wind ... perhaps tomorrow will be better.
I can see the trees
Through my window ... yearning
To follow the wind.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Time flies ...

Snow! Yes we finally have a bit of snow to shovel. Just for reference, here in northern Japan, I should have had about 10 feet of snow by now with 3 feet of it still on the ground. This little bit is as good as it is going to get this year I am afraid. Instead it has been in the 40's and 50's and we have a had a good bit of rain. Not so good for snow shoeing.

The sweater is coming along famously in spite of my having had to start it over several times. I am done with the back and about halfway up the front. The cables have proven to be a piece of cake ... I am not sure why I was convinced they were so complicated. I am now planning to do some more cables since they have proven to be so much fun. And I love cables. All because of a certain sweater adventure.

My favorite sweater is a beautiful green cabled pullover that I bought next to the Hill of Tara while on vacation with my good friend Kathy. We had SO much fun. And I do have to say that Ireland is one of the most beautiful and hospitable counties I have ever been to. And the Hill of Tara is stunning. And my sweater is gorgeous. It is a dark tweedy green that has tiny little flecks of bright yellow and pink and blue mixed into the yarn. They were completely unnoticeable in the little shop where we were trying sweaters on. All I could really tell was that it was a deep green. Kathy was looking at black and at a beautiful charcoal colour. She works in the fashion industry where they can only wear black ... which I suppose is why they can so shamelessly condemn the rest of us to 70's appliance colours ... after all, it's not like THEY will have to wear them. Anyway, we had a great time and I came home (to Hawaii) with the most beautiful wool sweater I had ever seen.

I will try to post pictures of the sweater I am working on next week when I will hopefully have it finished.

My friend Brenda made a statement the other day that I thought was very true. "We could all use a little peotry every day". So in this light, and since I am here in Japan, I thought that I would end with a haiku ...

Darkness all around

But still, I think I'll sit here

Listening to the snow.