Last weekend, a friend of mine went to a fair in Geneva, IL to see some rare breeds of livestock that were being exhibited.  She mentioned to me that there were going to be demonstrations of sheep shearing, the preparation of fleece and the making of yarn from the fiber.  While there, she texted me this photo:

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You are looking at a whole row of hand dyed, hand spun yarn being sold at the fair!  I love this picture, ( it looks like the weather was so  great – isn’t the sunshine gorgeous?!) and I wish I could have been there to see (and feel!) all of that awesome yarn.  Interestingly, I was actually perusing the hand spun yarn on Etsy that very same morning. 

Since she knows about my yarn addiction, my friend, who is also one of my coworkers, surprised me at work on Monday morning with this:

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It’s my very own hank of hand spun, natural merino wool yarn!  This is actually the first hand spun yarn that I have ever owned, so it was super exciting for me.  The vendor who was selling the yarn is a woman named Julia, and she is the proprietor of MoonBound Artisan Shop.   You can click on this link to see her blog.   She also has an Etsy shop where she sells her yarn. 

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The yarn has a nice twist to it, and I can’t believe how soft it is for 100% merino wool.  I have actually already finished the project that I decided to make with this yarn.  I literally couldn’t wait, although I did agonize a bit over what pattern would be worthy of such yarn.   I still have a few bugs to work out before I can blog about it, but details are coming soon!

Since I got a bit side-tracked by awesome, surprise, hand-spun wool, I took a break from my On The Road shawl this week.  I really should have finished it last weekend, but now that I’m into the really LONG rows at the end of the shawl, the monotony has started to get to me.  I’m also a little concerned that is seems small – more like a shawlette – and that has dampened my enthusiasm to finish it a little bit.  The size normally wouldn’t matter at all except that I was hoping to make this shawl my entry for the county fairs this summer, in which case, it needs to be a shawl and not a shawlette. 

Here’s my progress so far:

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The shape is really wide, but not very long, so it reminds me of a scarf with tapered ends more than a shawl.  I was thinking that I would just add another repeat of the green and gray to add length, but it doesn’t appear that I will have enough of the green yarn to do so.  I’m currently on the last two stripes, so I plan to add in a few more rows within each stripe to increase the length at least a little bit.  I’m hoping my plan won’t interfere with the symmetry of the pattern too much. 

Then again, the shawl may also look completely different after I block it out, and I’m hoping that may also help with the length.

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In other news, the weather is finally getting warmer here.  I put in this year’s ‘bunny garden’ after work one day last week.  I planted lots of herbs and greens for my pet rabbit Pinot to eat and enjoy.  I did this last year for her, and it worked out great!  Once the plants took off, I didn’t have to buy greens for her for nearly three months!  And the fresh picked veggies are so much healthier for her.

Since this will be a long weekend for Memorial Day, I’m hoping to complete some of these open ended knitting projects.  In my way is some orange, cotton, sock yarn that is in a bag hanging from my bedroom door handle.  It has been calling my name, so I can’t guarantee that this weekend’s knitting will not be the start of yet another project instead of the completion of many already on the needles.  We’ll see how much self control I have….

~Happy knitting!

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