Having almost no time to knit or spin after work, you learn to do things in small amounts bit-by-bit.

I've been steadily working on this baby cardigan - it's the Newborn Vertebrae pattern from Ravely - for M's brother's baby that's due end of November. It's M's first niece or nephew - hence the neutral colours - and I'm so so excited! It's just the teeniest tiniest thing - my other half keeps asking me if babies really are that small... He seems a bit perplexed about the whole thing, but then again he did grow into a 6'2 human bean so his amazement is justified. I managed to get a good chunk done on the bus to Madrid (omg such a long journey): I played a little game of yarn chicken whilst finishing the second sleeve... I probably could have added another half inch of ribbing to each sleeve now that I think of it, but better safe than sorry! It's made of superwash wool and nylon - so it's lovely and soft, and won't pile as much, and even better: mum and dad can stick it in the washing machine at 40c. I doubt there's time for handwashing with a new baby around...

So, yes, we went for the weekend to Madrid. A very quick weekend - we had some administrative things to sort out so we really only had Sunday to look around the city. Plane and train tickets were ridiculously expensive so we ended up getting a seven and a half hour bus. Ordinarily, that would seem just awful, but it was very cheap and I got a lot of knitting done so I wasn't too bothered! We walked 22km on Sunday, seeing all the biggest sights, and really we had the biggest luck with the weather - it rained very heavily, but only when we were eating or seeing something indoors. We only really got very wet when we were looking for somewhere to have dinner! As someone who lives in Barcelona... Well... Madrid doesn't even compare. Sure, it's a nice city, but I found myself desperately relieved to be going home on Monday. Maybe because we only had one day of sightseeing, maybe because it was grey and miserable.. I don't know. But I found myself somewhat disappointed.

I stepped into R's panoramic photo and it all went accidentally Picasso...

Barcelona, being the wonderful city it is, is having an "Open House" this weekend - where some tourist sights have free entry, but you just have to fight online tooth and nail to get a ticket reservation. I managed to grab some for myself and R, as he'd never been, and we had a nice look around.

A week ago or so, I got a huge parcel delivered to me at work. It had a slightly strange sheepy smell... 2 whole kilograms of Xisqueta (chis-keta, kind of like cheese-feta) wool! The sheep is a protected breed, and is quite cute with its black eyes and ears, and it's only bred here in the Catalan pyrenees, so it's a lovely local treat.

I'm sending some for my Fibreshare swap, and keeping some for myself, and the rest will go into the wool shop that I'm slowly getting together (watch this space! It might be live by January-February if all goes well:) )  At 28 microns, it's not coarse, but it's probably not next-to-the-neck soft - it would make great hats and gloves.

I've had some other wool acquisitions - a gorgeous Bakewells Box from Bakewell Hearts - she makes boxes of 100g, 150g or 200g in your choice of colours. Of course, I asked for mints, teals and neutrals, and she just blew me away. A batt, battlings, and rolags, in absolutely beautiful colours that I'm stashing away to spin on a rainy day - it's too special to use just yet :)

As anyone that reads this knows (does anyone actually read this? Hi Mama), I really dislike pink. Any swaps or wool shares, one of my key points is "no pink". And just look at this.

Look at what I've done! It's all red or pink or purple!! I'm slightly ashamed. But the fibre was too gorgeous to resist.

Pink/yellow/red: Fondant Fibre, superfine Shetland in Sherbert Dip
Red/pink: Countess Ablaze, Finn, Died for the sake of Helend
Purple: Countess Ablaze, Finn, Sent by way of proud Persephone
Stripy: Countess Ablaze, Merino/Angelina/Baby alpaca/Seacell, Do not cross me with evil temper

I'm especially excited to spin up the last one. It is so unbelievably soft and smooth, and I've never worked with seacell before! Very exciting indeed.

Other big news: I've ordered a "real" spinning wheel! Not that Zelda is bad, or anything, but I've wanted a treadle wheel for a very long time... And I've ordered a Bliss that should arrive just around my birthday :)

Oh, and after two and a half months of living in this flat, I've just realised that my kitchen tap pulls out like a showerhead so you can soak dishes easier and fill up the kettle and whatnot. So, you know, there's that.

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