This week, I’ve taken a brief pause in my regularly scheduled knitting, in the name of sanity. As many of you already know, Ellen is hosting a “Warm hats not heads” campaign to remind our elected representatives (and perhaps ourselves as well) of the value of civil discourse and mutual respect in public debate. And so, I am knitting a hat.

This may look familiar to you, as it’s the second iteration of the hat I tried to knit for myself and ended up giving to my sister.¬† Knitting it a second time through is giving me a chance to work out all the kinks, and who knows? It may end up being a pattern someday soon. As with all good collaborations, Ellen’s challenge is helping me finish this project now; without the extra push, it would probably have been shelved as a partially finished chart for months to come.

And though I have been pausing¬† just a bit, other things are making progress, too. I finally plied some singles that have been waiting patiently on their bobbins for a couple of weeks now. This brings me up to seven skeins of medium worsted weight wool from the fiber I bought this fall at the sheep and wool festival. I’m about half way through the fiber, so I should have plenty for a sweater in the end. It’s spinning up beautifully soft and fluffy, as only a lightly processed roving can. There’s just no way to get this much loft from a commercially prepared fiber (or no way that I’ve found, anyway).

I’ve been off of spinning for a couple of months now, for no apparent reason. But it is good to be back again, and it will be even better when I get to knit with this yarn.

Not one but two of my friends are taking their first drop spindling classes this month. That seemed like good cause for celebration, so I’ve been playing around in the basement with this today:

(Hint: It’s not white anymore.)

I’m hoping that everything comes out well; some of the dyes were acting a little funny today. I’m not sure if it’s just because the basement is cold and it’s hard to keep the solution water warm, or what. They’re steaming away in the kitchen now, and I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll come out of their wrappers in good shape.

And finally, my sweater may actually get a finished first sleeve soon.

The sleeve itself knit quickly, but the cuff is a little difficult to work, and so I’ve stalled out again there. But I am hoping that I will get that done this afternoon, and possibly even begin the second sleeve. There may be hope after all!

Funny how much gets done when I try to “pause”…