The knitting has not been neglected recently. Oh, no. But Ravelry has thrown a spanner in the works. (For those who don't know, and probably also don't care, Ravelry is an online knitting and crochet community - sort of Facebook for yarn addicts.)
I wasn't at all sure that it was going to interest me, as the people using the site are largely from the USA, and using commercial yarns to knit other people's patterns. The USA thing means that I sometimes have trouble understanding what's being said - what exactly does "yaaaay - way to go!" mean? And there are slight differences in terminology, needle sizing and so on. But there are groups of British knitters, groups of spinners, groups devoted to different techniques - lace, entrelac, stranded knitting - fans of different TV programmes, even a group devoted to spinning yarn to knit socks with.
So hours can be frittered away, roaming round the discussion boards and individual pages, looking at what other people are knitting, and finding dozens and dozens of freely offered patterns for illustrated projects. Every time I log on, I find another item I'd like to make, or a pattern I'd like to use. It's just like being in a sweet shop. (Only of course, I don't actually eat sweets any more.) And it can easily take over the precious knitting and spinning time.
But I've been strong.
Here's a pair of recently completed socks -
A little bored with plain socks, I decided to insert a panel of gansey pattern up each side of the legs of these socks, made with yarn hand-dyed in blue and charcoal. The result is so subtle as to be almost un-noticeable.
Not so this stuff, spun yesterday -
It's the yellow and strong Barbie pink fibre dyed recently, spun with some white to tone it down. It's been spun with lots of twist, and plyed with lots of twist, and will become another pair of experimental socks. Perhaps.