February Check-In: Cold Season

It’s the season for knitting, sitting, and blowing one’s nose, as this month in review will reveal. I’m actually very thankful that I have not been the sick one this month (aside from a couple of migraines), so I could focus on taking care of my family. But some things did happen, and I’ve been looking forward to this chance to review my goals.

Sewing

Two steps forward and one step back, but we do have real progress.

The top portion of Jared’s kamiik are nominally done. I think I will be ripping out parts of the isik seams (isik is the top of the foot part; I don’t know what you’d call it in English) and redoing them a little.

Rushing is, as always, the particular enemy of sewing. Also, tiredness: it’s frustrating to get to the end of the day when I’ve been planning to sew, and realize I’m just too tired to do it right. But it’s so much better to accept that and knit than to fight it and have to rip and redo (as with the isiik.)

I’ve been very careful to take my time and ask for help. What happened twice this month is I waited for a check-in with my mentors before proceeding, only to find that the portion I was concerned about was fine, but I had made a mistake in some totally different area I wasn’t worried about.

However, most everything is fixable. And I’m working on a couple new skills: brush cutting with an ulu, and properly sharpening it.

Dare I hope to be sewing on the soles by the end of March?

Spinning

Spinning was the area that really suffered this month. I picked away at the task diligently, but ran into major issues with my longwool spin. It’s a good yarn, and I’ll give you a sneaky preview:

But the upshot is, I’m going to do another longwool sample. I hope to spin it up and talk about both samples together in March.

The second sample I was supposed to finish was Down wool. There was wonderful progress here. I had my first go at scouring fleece with Unicorn Power Scour, and it was incredibly satisfying. Behold clean fluff!

The top fleece is Icelandic, which will be addressed in March and/or April; the middle is Suffolk, and the bottom is North Country Cheviot. All were sent by my friend Kelly in Alberta, who runs Dominion Fleece and Fiber.

It only took me an hour or so to card up enough of the Suffolk to be my down sample – also, immensely satisfying.

And there it has sat in an unused colander for nearly two weeks. Other things keep pushing it off the front burner. This is early on the March agenda. Thankfully the March and April load for the 51 yarns SAL is light, so I haven’t given up on catching up.

Knitting

Knitting has been much more successful, as I’ve been able to share. Ah, knitting! It’s a balm to the sick and tired, something I can do when circumstances don’t allow other crafts.

I started Draper in November, but never mind. I’m counting it as my Sweater of the Month. I’ve been wearing it every day, but now (like January’s sweater) it needs a bath!

It is such a treat to have something work so well. I mean, I put in the work to make sure it works well, but that’s still new to me! Or maybe I’ll never get tired of how rewarding it is to keep working on a project till it’s done, instead of finishing it in a way that is giving up on it.

My second FO was a special one. It’s part of why my spinning suffered; I made the decision to give almost a solid week of my crafting time to this hat. I regret nothing. Seriously, how could I even talk about regrets when this morning, at prayer time, she thanked God for her hat!

A couple more small projects may derail me a bit in March. I’ll keep those to myself.

The swatching process has already started for March’s sweater, which I expect to stretch on into May or June. It’s a special one, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you when it really gets going.

Other

Bringing my focus to bear on the crafting side of my life continues to highlight the intention I need to bring to self-care and family care. I’ve had some real breakthroughs in embracing this process, thanks to the Holy Spirit bringing together several influences to teach me lessons I couldn’t have learned on my own. I’ve learned about the role of privilege in cynicism and despair, and I’ve been convinced in a heart-deep, peaceful way about the power of thanksgiving. Specifically, verbally thanking God for things in the present moment – even and especially hard things. Maybe I’ll write more about that another time.

I’ve also been playing with FlyLady techniques of housecleaning. I think it’s bringing joy, though it’s a little soon to tell. Not that it seems worth mentioning after the previous paragraph.

What’s Next?

I’m going to keep focusing on kamiik as much as possible in March, with a secondary focus on catching up on my spinning. Though honestly, if all I do this month is catch up, that’s okay. Jared’s going to be traveling some toward the end of the month, and I’ll have some prep work to do for April, which is wall to wall birthdays and Easter. If knitting comes to the fore again because it’s doable and enjoyable amid the chaos, I’m not going to fight it. Self care, family care, then fun… I think I’m starting to get a handle on the shape of that. A bit.

Hm, I wonder if I can chew bearded sealskin for kamiik soles and knit at the same time.


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