Monday, October 13, 2008

Handspun catchup, part 1

In the first of what promises to be several catch-up posts about what I've been up to, fiberwise, I give you a spontaneous cowl knit out of merino handspun. For some reason, the yarn didn't come out very even; I think I was too excited by the pretty colors to think too much about the spinning; plus, I'm still getting used to merino. I love knitting with it, but it's a bit slippery in the spinning. 


I spun this out of approximately 2 oz. of variegated merino and 1.7 oz. of teal-blue fiber, and then plied them together. With the extra 0.3 ounce, I navajo-plied that and used it at the top and bottom of the cowl.

Handspun cowl Cowl over face

You can see the more solid colors at the top on the left; on the right, you can see how the variegations in the handspun from the multicolored fiber created a striped effect despite the tweedy barberpoling. 

This weekend, my FIL was in town, and we took him up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to go hiking, where the temperatures would be cooler (high fifties to low sixties, farenheit) and the fall colors further along.  We were not disappointed in our quest! I got to wear my new cowl and get it photographed for the blog, and I also had a chance to take many pictures of North Carolina's finest fall showing.  

Ivestor gap 5

It's funny, now that I've been here a year, I've started to really notice the differences between fall foliage here in Western North Carolina, and  the foliage in New England and the northeast, which will always be for me the quintessential autumn tapestry.  Last year, I was still determined to like it here, and wanted to see the best in the WNC's mountain display.  This year, though, as I've come to realize that this place is yet another temporary place to live, I find myself really wanting to move back north, to somewhere with real winter, with autumns of maple and oak covering the hillsides, and a real crisp chill to the air, a chill that hasn't quite hit where I live now.  Certainly, the mountains do often provide this idealized setting, making it a very pleasant reality, as this photo shows:

Ivestor gap 2

Despite glimpses like this, other scenes remind me that I'm not quite where I want to be.  Fall is my all-around favorite season, so it's not surprising that I'm picky.  When the mountains reveal scenes like this -- 

Ivestor gap 4

-- scenes that are admittedly very, very gorgeous--I can't help but also see how the shrubs and the land are just somehow different from the pictures in my mind.   I am probably being overly picky in my fall foliage desires, and should try harder to be happy with the fall I have, not the nostalgic fall of my memories or my imagination. At least I have a fall to enjoy! But still - but still. As I go through the academic job search this year, I find myself checking out the potential for fall in the places to which I've applied, and I haven't limited myself to places where that idealized fall could be a reality again.  Whether I ever get back to that kind of a place again, such as I enjoyed in relatively-rural New Jersey, in Boston, and in Western Massachusetts, I don't know, but I do know that I'd like that very, very much. 


Jessica said...

Lovely cowl! I just got on that bandwagon and I'm loving it. You are making me miss bassoon camp as usual although I definitely understand the craving for a place you'd rather be. Enjoy it though while you can. It's gorgeous in its own right!

Anonymous said...

Yay, blog updates returneth! Not that it substitutes for catching up which we should do soon - any more northward trips planned with local stopovers? Lovely pics. This morning it's decided chilly here, and apple picking might be in the plans this weekend!