Time Out

This week the cats are a stand in for me. I have been sick with a cold for a week. I felt like Jake here, like a real Ragdoll, not good for anything but hanging out on the couch. This will not be a post about knitting or spinning or any other crafts. Not much to tell. I’ve knit on my cabled cardigan, but that will be for next week.

And here’s Frank (Asinsinatra) hanging out on the stairs. I’m always afraid he’ll fall asleep and fall between the steps, but hey, survival of the fittest we say in our house.

The week started out so good. On Friday we walked from our house to Huis Duinen, along the dike, along the Waddezee, with a stop for hot chocolate above the beach.

This past week has been the sunniest week in March EVER, and instead of going out and enjoying it, I spent it inside, coughing, sneezing and feeling sorry for myself. Over the week I did 4 home COVID tests and 1 official PCR test at the GGD. All negative. I kept testing because I kept feeling worse and then couldn’t smell cat poop. Today, a week after that photo was taken, I think I’m getting back to normal. Cat poop and all.

So, sorry about the lack of a craft post and I hope to be back next week with a FINISHED OBJECT! Won’t that be exciting. And the start of a new project (or 2). I hope you are enjoying some hints of Spring. The latest news in the world is terrible and scary. The natural world is a good place to look for peace. A walk in the woods, or a city park, can do wonders for my spirits. You too?

Goodbye 21, Hello 22

In this year of stops and starts, ups and downs, open and closed, left and right, here are my best 9 projects of 2021. All of them are on Ravelry if you are interested in more details. From top left:

  1. 374 grams, 2670 meters of Shetland lace weight, spun on a Schacht Matchless; knit into 9.
  2. Shark tank baby blanket made for the newest member of the family
  3. 920g of 2-ply Aran weight, 70% Shetland fiber, 30% sparkly merino/sparkles, spun on an Electric Eel Wheel 6.0
  4. Canal Poncho, pattern by the fantastically talented Nancy Marchant
  5. Exploration Station shawl, pattern by the also fantastically talented Stephen West
  6. Sweater Spin 2021, knit with yarn from 8.
  7. Best Vacation Ever sweater, my own pattern, knit with 10 colors of Holst Garn Tides
  8. 450g 3-ply BFL, fiber dyed by me, knit into sweater 6.
  9. Shetland christening shawl, 140cm / 55“ square, 291g final weight, knit from 1.

If you know me, you know I’m a planner. On 1 January 2022 I’m planning my projects for the coming year…. Finish the 3 projects that are in progress. Make yet another baby blanket. Spin the next episode of Experimental Spinning. Send an article proposal to Ply Magazine. Knit another version of the Best Vacation Ever sweater and write up the pattern. Sew a dress with my own designed fabric. Sew a dress with all of our cast off jeans. And then we’re up to summer and I want to do some dyeing outside……

I have also been thinking about this blog, and Instagram and FaceBook and Twitter, and how to make this all work together and create things that others find interesting enough to come back to. I have re-opened the Under Dutch Skies FB page. I’ve linked Instagram to that page and also to my Twitter account. Today’s blog post will be a test to see if the link between WordPress and those accounts play nicely together and will post simultaneous updates.

That’s the technical side of things, but what about content? What am I trying to do here? What keeps the blog from becoming a chore instead of a fun creative thing? I have found that trying to write a blog post every week with a “big story” is really difficult. I am not that fast with my projects! I really want to write about the start, middle and end of a project every week. But, starting in 2022, as you are seeing here, I’m going to write more often, smaller posts, and at least once a month write a longer complete project (or technique) post.

I’ve been blogging for a long time (those old years are archived now) and I found that when I wrote something every single day for a month, my readership went way up. People have the attention span of fleas and if you aren’t creating, they aren’t coming back. I’ll start writing more. Please come back!

What are you planning for 2022? Are you planning ahead or do you just pick up what feels good in the moment?