These past few weeks, I've often spent a bit of time spinning in the morning, after coffee and the New York Times but before I really start the day. I need to spin outside because I'm working with raw alpaca fleece with a fair amount of hay and dirt in it. And I need to spin in the morning because the rest of the day is now getting to be too hot. It's becoming a lovely morning ritual.
I'm experimenting with making different yarns, so I don't have much of any one yarn. But I have it in my mind to pick a special project to spin for. And to that end, I picked up a marvelous new book: A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarn, by Lisa Lloyd.
The patterns in this book weren't what I was expecting, but I fell in love with them. What I'd been expecting, and what would be useful for a beginning spinner like me, would be a book with many small projects that could help me figure out what to knit with what I've spun. What this book offers for the most part are intricately cabled sweaters (although it does have a few patterns for socks, hats, and scarves).
That makes the book less functional for my immediate purposes. But, but! I LOVE these sweaters. The patterns are full of symbolism and beauty, and the author's passion really shines through. She's very thoughtful in these garments. Every single one is shown in both a handspun yarn and a commercially made yarn, so that you can see how the texture changes (and so that you use these patterns even if you're not an accomplished spinner).
So, I'm very, very happy with this book. I would highly recommend this book if you're a cable fiend like I am! Now if only I could figure out what to do with these little skeins of my handspun ...