I've been staying with the incomparable Carson , my BFF of BFL. We're just like peas and carrots, we two, and there is no end to the inspiration I get, just from being in a room with him. That's how it is with the best friends: Feed one another's obsessions, validate each other's opinions, and teach each other all the tricks you know. And for me, being with someone I adore so completely is just the kick-start my creativity needed. In the last few days I have:
Completed two fronts on the Rare Gems cardigan (no comment on the back and sleeves).
Renewed my assault on this one from last year. It's 2-ply merino yarn that I spun on my spindle. I reverse-engineered the pattern from a sweater that my mom knit no less than 6 times in the 60's. This is a woman who won't drive down the same street two days running, so if she made the thing that many times, you know it's a bangin' pattern. It occurred to me that if it were re-engineered to be worked from the top down that it would be the perfect thing for handspun, because when you run out of yarn, that's when you're done. It can have any length of sleeves, and any body length; Handspun-Perfect!
While Carson is at work during the days, I've been secretly scouring his fleece. It's really been bugging him that he can't seem to get this particular job done. There are two other whole sheep in his fiber room waiting for the same, so it's understandable he's a bit overwhelmed. You know what's funny? Scouring fleece at someone else's house is exactly like doing the dishes in someone else's kitchen: You're so much better at it and it's so much more satisfying. Bizarre, no?
In the backyard there are lemons. Real live lemons, just growing their citrusy little hearts out. Like they don't even know what a miracle they are. 600 miles north, at my house, it rains 360 days a year. The only naturally occurring vegetation there is mildew. Carson let me pick a bunch of these, and then showed me how to make real lemonade. I'm a complete addict now. It's all part of his cunning plan to make me move to San Francisco. Dude has got skills.
And then we went to the yarn store, where I completely lost my mind (try to contain your surprise). I succumbed to this pattern, which I have been in love with since last summer, when Rowan released it for fall. I had been in control of my impulses because the yarn required to make it is extremely special, and not at all substitute-able. In addition to being special, it is also crazy expensive, so I had a built-in safety net. Even I am pretty much safe from a $170 pile of yarn. Most days. And then some clever soul on Ravelry suggested that Berrocco Comfort, of all things, had a similar ply construction to the prohibitive Rowan, and I was, shall we say, intrigued? An acrylic/nylon blend (which I should hate, but don't) to replace an alpaca and nylon blend (which I should also hate, but don't)? Why, that's just crazy enough to work! I'll risk $40 to find out. I love that pattern. I love the color of this yarn. And staging them on Carson's Norm Hall wheel for the photo was pretty much fiber erotica. Get a load of that wheel, whouldja? Sometimes I tell Carson that I'm going to steal it. Could happen - he has to sleep sometime.
Oh, and I started my new book. Nice little vacay I'm having.