It's almost done, the sky scarf...
Five more days of spinning and knitting. On Wednesday I'll share what it looks like completed but for now I've been thinking about what it's taught me and where I want to go next.
Knitting the sky has taught me... to control the tension of my spinning, thick and thin; the variations of color, a way that things are held together, what shelter might be, how indigo might work, how faithful/unfaithful I might be, how time passes, how things blend together. And more.
Over the last week or so I've been thinking how the sky is part of what shelters us from space but as I looked up definitions for sky, space, atmosphere I realized that the sky is really all that we can see as we look up.
It's reminded me of the power that words hold for me. About how we struggle to communicate at times, the power of finding the right word or the right image.
It's a time of year where the season is changing dramatically again. A couple weeks ago at 5 AM I would have been hurrying out the door to let the chickens out. This morning it is dark and I can see stars and Venus. It will be awhile before the chickens become impatient. I feel an urge to change a bit too...
I could see making another sky scarf, this time marking the sky at dusk, but one thing I've learned over the last almost eleven months is that I'm not so good at a daily practice like this. Since February, I mostly make a note of what the sky looks like each day and then on the weekend I spin the yarn and add it to the scarf.
A week's worth of yarn. A little over a month to go...
Yesterday morning I was out taking pictures in the garden at dawn...
(I haven't knitted this for the sky scarf yet. Today marks 10 months of knitting a row in honor of each day.)
There is a song "Within the Rose," (which I discovered here) that is so completely stuck in my head right now. "You'll find me in the morning, hidden within the rose..."
Last night I went to hear Terry Tempest Williams read from her book, When Women were Birds, Fifty-four Variations on Voice. (Here's a link where you can hear the first chapter.) It's the first time I've gone to hear a writer read from a book they've written. I will never be able to read her books again without hearing her voice, that was the greatest gift of hearing her read.
My co-workers and friends that came to hear her with me kept thinking about the phrases that stuck in their head. The one that has stayed with me comes from reading the book, a paragraph where she speaks of dawn and dusk and birds and reminds us to remember "that the world was meant to be celebrated."
The birds will sing and we can too...
I splurged on California apricots. My general rule is that if I can get something locally I need to wait until they are in season. This was so worth breaking that rule...
I roasted the apricots with a bit of butter and ate them with granola, yogurt and honey.
Spinning yarn for the sky scarf. Lots and lots of gray.
Back from the co-op and the farmer's market. Used the last of my leftover lentils, a grated zucchini, some falafel mix, and an egg white for lentil cakes. Thought about the first time I tried making falafel. They were dry and bland. These were oh so good with a dressing made from yogurt and mint.
I have a three hour rule. I only prune, weed, dig in the garden for three hours at a time. This keeps the sore muscles under control. I also don't use the sewing machine after 3 PM. When I do I tend to do silly things like sew a sleeve to the neckline instead of the arm hole...
I pulled a few things out of the washing machine and dipped them into the indigo vat. I'll wash these out tonight and see how dark they turn out. Neither of these were white when they went into the indigo vat.
The rest of the laundry is hanging on the line.
Trying out a new (to me) no knead bread dough recipe while I wait for dinner to cook.
To be continued...
You could have a bite of yogurt cake with rhubarb sauce:
It's the first stem of rhubarb this year (from the garden) plus a few frozen strawberries to make it red.
We could tour the garden. I had to try another batch of lettuce in egg shells as the first batch didn't work so well...
I'll show you my sky scarf:
It's getting quite long. It seems quite different to me to look at it as a whole rather than close up:
Every little section has something I love. The colors here are so soft they might not show up on all monitors quite right...and the yarn I spun on Friday night is here somewhere.
And I'd share the thing that has excited me the most this weekend... The indigo yeast vat that I started last summer and thought wasn't working very well, sat outside all winter. While I was cleaning the garden last weekend I decided it was probably time to dump it somewhere. But when I looked closely I realized it was an interesting shade of green and I thought "Hmm, maybe I should bring this inside and warm it up a bit?" So I did and amazingly enough...it works!
The yellow is velvet dyed with onion skin. I love these colors together.
Oh spring surely did arrive this weekend...
The plum blossoms were the first to open. I hope it sets fruit this year. Lots of bumble bees around this weekend so maybe...
Yesterday was the first Farmer's market of the year... I bought cheese, bread, radishes, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts and potatoes. This year there seems to be more spring veggies, not just things stored through the winter like the potatoes. There were quite a few greens too.
Half of the radish leaves went to the chickens and half was used to make pesto for my lunch.
With such beautiful weather, this weekend really was spent mostly in the garden.
But I did do a bit of spinning and knitting. I think I've solved one of my problems with my sky scarf. I've continued to have problems working on it every day and have been mostly just noting the weather and then catching up on the weekend. This week I'm going to try something new. I've got a second project I'm going to work on as well.
While I was cleaning out baskets I found a shawl I had started and then put down at some point (probably to start the sky scarf). I've decided that after I finish spinning and knitting my daily row for the scarf, I'll continue spinning and knitting on the shawl until I've satisfied my need to spin/knit in the evening. I think this will make the spinning/knitting more of a commitment for the day.
Six months ago I started my sky scarf. The plan was to knit a bit every day to match the color of the sky for the hour after dawn. Has that happened? Not so much the last two months. Have I stopped working on it? No.
What I've done is changed the approach.
I write down the color I need to knit every day and then spinning yarn one day during the weekend and then catching up with all the knitting at one time.
Here's what I've realized over the last month: A daily practice needs to fill a certain time frame, for example the time I'm on the bus in the morning, or it needs to be long enough that I can settle into what I'm doing.
It is easier for me to spend one hour every night working on a project then it is for me to spin yarn for the day and knit two rows, which takes me about ten minutes. The ten minutes is a teaser, I want to keep going and it makes me sad to stop.
I'm at 35 inches now, about 3 feet. My knitting for the first month is about one inch longer than my current month. I'm spinning thinner yarn now.
Today I will write "B" for my records. I came home to find the first of the crocus popping up. If I'd been a little earlier they might even have been open.