Roundabout Exit 151 the big thaw is on in earnest. Welcome as that may be after all the snow, it feels early... too early. I'd be quite happy if the BMSBs (brown marmorated stink bugs) invading casa Jersey Knitter slept a little longer. Jersey gardeners will recall that spring sprang a good two weeks ahead of normal last year – 2010 is officially tied with 2005 for the hottest year on record. A hotter year = more BMSBs, more of the time.
For the record, here's the current view out my front window. The new leaves belong to Spring Thaw Shawl by Cheri McEwan, showing off before jumping in the mail to my downstream secret pal in the Knit Girllls shawl swap. I enjoyed knitting it – I hope my pal enjoys wearing it.
This was my first time knitting with the yarn, New England Shetland. It's lovely stuff with great stitch definition, more "sticky" than traditional Shetland yarn, with less of a halo after blocking – perfect for Shetland lace or colorwork with steeks. I'd gladly use it again.
My upstream swap pal, Jessica, sent me this beautiful Hamamelis Shawl and a taste from her hometown, genuine Kansas City barbecue sauce. Thank you, Jessica! The excellent swap package remedies two regrets of mine: I have never made a Kirsten Kapur shawl (and thus have none to flaunt on those occasions that call for shawl-flaunting) and, although I visited KC once, I never got to sample their famous barbecue (long story involving the obnoxious, but Constitutionally protected, Westboro Baptist Church).
Next Wednesday is the start of Lent, a seven-week period preceding the Christian holiday Easter. Some people party hard the day before Lent starts, then give up booze or bread or chocolate for the duration. Neither extreme self-indulgence nor extreme self-abnegation has much appeal for me, so I'm planning to explore a carbon fast. As the chart borrowed from 350.org indicates, it's past time to stop the madness. What that means on the fiber front is there will be knitting and contemplation of my carbon footprint and the good hope that the only madness will be Sock Madness.