I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I like to think the arrival of spring (at last!) is at least partially my doing: I finished the hourglass sweater on Friday (thick, dense, 100% wool), and had kind of hoped to wear it at least once... but it's way too warm. It's also totally unphotographable. It may look red in photos, but it's actually such a dark red that it's nearly black. To help spring along a little bit more, I also started knitting one of those multidirectional scarves, using the red and brown handspun yarn from a few weeks ago.
I thought of this pattern when I first finished the yarn, because so many people knit it out of yarn with long color repeats, and my yarn looked like it had long repeats too. I've made this scarf twice before, but with Schaefer Yarn. Schaefer yarns tend to have shorter color repeats, so the triangles didn't show up as clearly--the scarves didn't look much different than simple garter stitch scarves knit on the diagonal. I thought briefly about knitting a feather and fan scarf from the handspun, but when I wound it into a yarn muffin, I realized a scarf in that pattern would probably turn out much stripy-er than I'd like, so it was back to the multidirectional idea--which I think it turning out well. Although again, I may be biased, since it's my very own yarn--I was pretty excited about it when it was just a few rows of garter stitch!
I got a thank you note from the Orphan Foundation of America for the scarf I sent into the Red Scarf Project in January, and since this scarf is red, I'm thinking about sending it to them next year. (See--I'm not knitting for the wrong season, I'm just planning WAY ahead!)
One of the other women from SnB was working on the sweater she's planning to wear to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, which made me realize that May--which has seemed safely distant for months--is suddenly right around the corner. I say safely distant because not only have I not thought about what sweater to make, I may be going on a scary-but-also-very-exciting trip in May. Without going into too much detail, the archives where I work is thinking about collecting copies of some records from Sierra Leone, and they're sending me there to look at them and meet with the people whose records they are. The flight (don't worry, mom, the carriers will be British Airways and/or Virgin Atlantic) lasts about 68 hours (actually, more like 24), because I'd fly to London, then Dakar, Senegal, then Freetown, SL. The stop in Dakar is only 45 minutes, and I'm not sure if they'll even let people off the plane, since the same plane continues to Freetown. But still--a much more impressive layover than Philadelphia!
This trip has been in the works for weeks, so I've had time to adjust to most of the nerve-wracking things about it (and get a great many shots). And now that I've emailed some of the people I'd be meeting with, it all seems much more real and doable. However, it also seems much closer, all of a sudden, now that it's almost May. And everything about it is still up in the air: I can't buy a ticket till my contacts are sure when the best time for me to visit is, I can't get a visa till I have a ticket, I don't know what I'm going to wear (or eat... traveling as a vegetarian can be challenging)... On the bright side, I think I've decided what to knit: a shawl out of some 100% silk yarn from Schaefer. It won't be too hot, it's small, the yarn is a dark color, and it will keep me amused for hours (the skein is nearly 1100 yards).
And I'm still working away on some socks for the Hill Country Yarn design contest. Since they're the only socks I've worked on this month, I'm going to use them for the Sock-a-Month KAL (if I manage to finish them...). My plan is to take a very blurry photo of them, so the design doesn't really show, but you can still tell there are 2 of them.