Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A new year of spinning, with sound effects

Hi everyone! I live in Indiana! What!?

I hope everyone had fun and relaxing holidays, and now it's time to get down to business. Moving has been hectic, and it's far from over, but the most exciting thing about my new domicile is that I have my very own yarn room. It's not like it's also the guest room or something; it's its own room, with lovely French doors and space that needs to be filled up with both comfy and functional furniture. All in good time.

I was reunited with my spinning wheel, and magic happened. The first magic, some Polwarth dyed by the Unwind Yarn Company in the abalone colorway. Boom!


I love abalone (though not to eat). I once found an abalone shell at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve with a little kelp crab sitting inside it.


As soon as that was off the wheel, I had to spin a Loop bullseye bump I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year. Bam!


Then I found another braid of Polwarth, this one from Play At Life Fiber Arts, that I got from Massachusetts Sheep and Wool in 2012. So this is on the wheel now. Shazam!


If you can believe it, I've been spinning even more. My grandfather, who I've well established is the world's greatest grandpa, made me a spinning wheel and gave it to me at Christmas this year. What? I know! So I've been spinning on that too. It's the Dodec design that uses easily available and cheap materials. It's an extremely low financial barrier to wheel spinning, though it's hard to say how easy it would be as a beginner tool. In any case, I'm a more experienced spinner who is comfortable spinning from a quill, I'm having fun with it. Kapow!

Moreover, there was a very special object waiting for me in Pennsylvania upon my return from Germany. Many moons ago I reserved a Bosworth charkha to be my very own. We are getting along swimmingly. Blammo!


Last, but of course not least, is that I have a spindle project going. The spindle is a Forrester and the fiber is from Hobbledehoy. This is the last of my spinning fiber remaining from MDSW 2012. Here's hoping for a top up in 2013. Zok!


I know this seems like a million things at once, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, so many things have changed for me in the last couple months. I went from living in Germany to being a car-owning, single family house-dwelling Midwesterner. I live in a very new place where I don't know anyone yet and I need to find a new job. In other enormous news I have my very first niece or nephew on the way! (More to come on that and the requisite knitting!) So many new things. The funny thing is how all these changes come about whether or not you're ready for them. I'm simultaneously embracing them and reeling from them, and in the meantime, it can't hurt to knit a very simple dishcloth from some very wacky handspun cotton yarn.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Another neverending story

A few years ago, Jenny Jo, Malia and I went to Rhinebeck together.  We had tons of fun and I behaved a lot like a kid in a candy shop.  One of the tasty morsels I ended up with was this amazing pair:

(Fun fact:  Rhinebeck 2010 was my first exposure to 
the addictive power of the Sanguine Gryphon.)

Which, after some work (ie, realizing they would knit into the wrong gauge for the pattern I had in mind, stewing for a while over what they should be instead, and finally frantically sketching on sarah-marie's couch), turned into this pair:

(Fun fact:  Octopi have 2/3 of their neurons in their arms, not brains, 
and are 'honourary vertebrates' in the U.K.!)

I still had some yarn left afterwards -- enough to make another background for aquatic animals.  This was my birthday present for J this year, and she obligingly loves the sweater.  (And I do too.)

(Fun fact:  I like stripes!)

I still had a wee bit of the blue yarn left!  I wasn't planning to do any Giftmas knitting this year, but a few days before the holidays I stumbled upon a pattern for knitted owl ornaments.  We spent the holidays away from home, so I wanted presents for J which wouldn't take up too much suitcase room.  Two of these little guys incorporate yarn left from J's whale sweater; there's now less than 6 inches left of both the blue and the purple.

(Fun fact:  next year, I'm going to knit a billion of these.)

I still have a half skein of the orange yarn left.  I'm thinking of weaving it against a dark gray warp ... eventually.