Sunday, March 18, 2007

I can feel the spring

This morning when I let Tina in and Miina and Kille out, a strong wind greeted me. It felt fresh and spring like - I had to go out for the first cup of coffee. I put over pyjamas some warm clothing and sat on the steps outside for a while. The sky was grey, there was plenty of snow, but somehow the morning felt like spring is here, I could smell it and the wind blew away all the cobwebs from the brain (if that is possible… anyway it felt like it, so let me keep this illusion…). The climate up here is not too harsh (think so mostly) because we seldom have to face strong winds. The temperature might drop way down during winters but you can fight the cold by putting layers of clothing on, and that takes care of it. But now I’m so ready for spring and this wind is promising a lot. It will be enjoyable to see how new colours start to appear. Now it is all grey so you can imagine how the first little spots of colour can change your state of mind. The world once again is new.

Tina has felt the spring come as well. She is losing her winter coat, the first spots are in her rear end, all of the beautiful and thick winter skirt-fur (I don’t know if that is the right word, but that is how we call it) is soon gone. She has had a sore throat for a few days as well. No she has not caught flu, she has brought this by herself. I did warn her, but there are so many birds and squirrels to bark at that it is hard to know when to stop. As if this has not been enough work for a little dog, for some reason there have been many reindeer passing through our yard. Tina just barks at them, she knows she is not allowed to go after them. She’ll chase them further but she won’t go after. In the spring time it would be fatal to chase reindeer since many of them are having little ones soon. I have been spinning. I spun and plied the yak/merino blend and now am spinning BFL in colour way Jacob’s Coat from LizaKnit (the links don't seem to be working today, so here manually: I love the colour changes. My merino/yak was from Crown Mountain Farm ( and I have been going back to Crown Mountain site for over and over. I love to spin merino, because the fibres are long and there isn’t too much loose fibre flying around making me sneeze. If you love to spin beautiful multi-coloured tops, you have to see this site. The colours they have are absolutely gorgeous. And the yak/merino blend I spun was well-prepared as are LisaKnit tops too.

I like to spin thin yarn. Some of the handspun yarns I have used for shawls but I thought to try mittens with very fine gauge, I looked for needles 1,5 mm (US000 - I think) and will make a pair of mittens with this yak/merino blend. Mittens so thin are not very warm so I’ll make them double layer and for the undermitten I’ll use one of my older yarns.
When I first started spinning, I put too much twist to my singles. Then I thought that if I spin singles with as little twist as possible, I would not have any problems of not having balanced yarn. So that was the next step and I produced lots of yarn that has no shine and is very loose. Now I think I have reached the third step, I need to figure out just how much tension there has to be when spinning thin singles to have stretch in the final plied yarn plus how much twist a single can take without ending up in a tangled mess after being plied.

This is a picture of the mitten under way.
There is provisional cast on and when I’m done with the under mitten, I’ll pick the stitches and make another one. I’m thinking of embroidering these when the knitting is done, but am not sure yet how. The yarn is spun of Powart/silk from

And the stockings. Not very many of your guessed that I had picked indeed the Millicent and the
Rhiannon patterns. Since the stockings would be to my dancing daughter, and she has long legs, I think that even the thick Rhiannons would look good on her. And the winners are:

Karin and
Joe M.

Could you please e-mail to me at lenealve at yahoo dot com so that I can send you your yarn!

Thank you all for playing along!

This next week I will knit these mittens whenever possible. And will try hard to resist the urge to order new wool, I should use up some of the old first. But this battle I think I have already lost.

I hope you all have a good week, have time to look around and feel the spring!

(There is still something funny going on with the blogger...)


  1. Ed says the lake view looks just like where we stood at the edge of Lake Bemidji in Minnesota. It was even snowing on that early May day when we were visiting there. Brrr.

    There is something so life-stirring in those first breaths of Spring air.

    Tina is looking beautiful!

  2. I think there is something going on with blogger.
    It has not been working very well for either lately.
    I really like the Thelonious Sock Pattern on that lovely site and think that pattern could be made into a knee stocking pattern.
    Tina looks so happy; she even looks like she is smiling.
    I sure do hope spring comes to you soon with a very pretty color palette.
    I have been trying to blow some spring colors and warmer weather towards your way each day!

  3. Glad Tina is still enjoying the snow! Your spinning fiber is beautiful, and the mitten looks good so far. I'm excited to see how the stocking come out for you - I'm nearly to the heel flap on my first Millicent (haven't stopped knitting to blog about it yet...) and it's a very satisfying knit.

  4. Looking forward the mittens.
    We had sunshine today and a perfect light for knitting and walking in the sunshine.

  5. marjorie23:46

    I too am resisting buying new yarn, as I have so much sock yarn. I need to use up some ends so my dh suggested I make what he calls "crazy socks". The legs are all one colour but the feet are different stripes. (You don't really see the feet that much since they are hidden in your shoes.) Tiina looks very happy--I guess she doesn't mind the snow on her bottom area.

  6. Esther23:54

    Bravo for the winners , zut de zut for myself...
    Yes, it smells spring even if...we received 30cm of new snow yesterday in a storm.1,10 m in the last 30 days...Desperately searching for something in green around here, I just see green wool to knit or green fabrics to sew !
    Let's dream, it will come...

  7. I would never have guessed the Rhiannon!
    Look forward to seeing those.
    But not as much as I look forward to your Tina news, always love those updates and photos.

  8. kmkat00:43

    I had been searching through photos on my hard drive right before I went to bloglines and then to your blog. When your picture of the snow and trees came up, for an instant I thought I was still in my own pictures -- it looks just like the shoreline in front of my house in Wisconsin.

    One of our dogs, a chow/many other breeds mix, seems to blow her coat all winter long. But she still always has plenty left to keep her warm.

  9. I was brought up with this saying about Spring.
    March Winds
    April Showers
    Help bring May flowers!
    Would you have any wild flowers in May?
    I can hardly wait for your embroidery on your mittens. Spinning sounds like a challenge until you just get the 'feel' of it. Baking bread is similar - all of a sudden as you knead the dough, you just get the 'feel' of it.

  10. We are in the middle of the winter/spring change. In just 4 days, we went from weather nice enough to dry sheets outside to over 8 inches of snow. Oh well, at least it wasn't in the same day (and we've had that happen, too)!

  11. I'm amazed at Tina starting to shed some of her skirt-fur in that it looks plenty cold still, but then maybe her fur is unbelievably thick even during the mild weather.
    Yes, I know what that smells like.
    Vernal Equinox is close.

  12. Congratulations to your winners!

    Blogger is playing tricks on me too -- losing posts just before publishing and so on.

    The colors on your spinning wheel now are forshadowing the spring :-)

  13. Wonderful pictures! I like the idea of undermittens -is there a pattern somewhere? I have just finished a pair that look lovely but are way too thin.

  14. Hi Lene, I just ran into your blog, following I do not remember which link from another knitter/spinner and I enjoy seeing your work and finding out that all over the world we can find people that love the same things and make beautiful items!
    BTW: we seem to get winter at last, now, here in The Netherlands :-(

  15. what a beautiful post - the dog warming to spring and losing his undercoat. so sweet.
    thanks for your kind words on our site. We have a lot of fun putting together fiber from many friends.
    may spring find it's way to your doorstep soon.

  16. Blogger wasn't allowing any pictures through for awhile for me, either, and is still having occasional problems; their "upgrades" make me wonder. Meantime, your mittens and memories of your grandmother are lovely, and I'm guessing your dog's undercoat would be warm and soft to spin.