I might not have been reading much over the last week but I've been thinking a lot about knitting. I'm neither a fast nor a particularly confident knitter, and building up the neccesary skills to tackle more ambitious projects with optimism takes time.
All of which is fine, I love the process of making something, and I'll learn in time. Meanwhile there's a more pressing issue. This weekend seemed like a good time to sort out my yarn stash - which turned out to be... daunting. Fortunately D was here to help, but if I'd needed any confirmation about the epic proportions the pile of yarn was reaching - well, his expression was enough.
The thing is I particularly love Shetland wool. I love the colours it comes in, which is what persuaded me to learn to knit in the first place - the yarn looked so good I really wanted to buy it, and then there had to be something to do with it. I really love its 'sticky' quality which stops dropped stitches from running uncontrollably down the knitting (not that I drop a lot of stitches) and the feel of it. (Some people find it scratchy, fortunately I am not one of them). I like its provenance and love the weather proof quality it has - it's surprisingly good at keeping out wind and rain. And because I only get one opportunity a year to buy it I go a bit overboard.
That's not the biggest problem either, and I'm certainly doing my bit for the local economy there. What is a problem is that I'm buying it with no particular plan in mind so I have a tremendous range of colours but not quite enough of them to do anything much bigger than a hat with. Also, it had got to the point where I didn't quite know what I had, or where to find it, which isn't helpful either.
Happily it turned out that sorting yarn is a fun thing for a couple to do together (on a cold afternoon with a cup of tea in the offing). D sorted everything into a colour spectrum, I pulled out the different weights of yarn, and we filled drawers with colour families. Everything is beautifully tidy now - it's even more satisfying than sorting books, certainly less dusty, and I can find stuff again.
To celebrate I've joined the Fair Isle Fishermans Kep Knitting group on Facebook, bought the kep pattern (£10, only available as a PDF from the Facebook page, money goes to supporting the local museum which is an excellent cause), and hope to join their kep-a-long. It's just started, and though I have things to do before I start they're giving 2 weeks to each section so there's lots of time to catch up. It looks like a friendly and supportive group, with plenty of other novice knitters in it, and an amazing array of people's keps to inspire you.