Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sit and Spin has Taken on a Whole New Meaning...

Last Sunday afternoon, Christy, one of the girls that I regularly knit with was kind enough to get together with me and show me how to use a drop spindle. For a month or so, I have had an ever-increasing interest in spinning, and this has been since the evening that Christy brought her spinning wheel and drop spindle to our Knit Night. Needless to say, I have been fascinated with the process of spinning ever since.
For years, my only thought about spinning was that it was absolutely none of my business how yarn got from sheep to shop... I was so wrong, and I will admit some people just don't dig the spin, and that's fine too - God knows I am no fan of nupps and fair isle. However, I have now become an amature enthusiast of the art of spinning and those who do it well.

Think back to how difficult that you thought knitting was when you were first learning - now multiply that times ten and that is how tedious learning to spin can be. That being said, this is not to whine about the learning curve, or even all the profanity uttered, but rather to give applause to the spinners who can churn out yard after yard of everything from bulky weight to perfectly plied and spun fingering weight sock yarn.

I have heard discussions that hand spun yarn can be too rustic, not refined, and strange-colored - all of those valid points, and ones I used to make until I saw the absolutely phenomenal things that a spinning wheel can do in the hands of a master. Today, I purchased 400ish yards of some absolutely lovely fingering weight sock yarn that was spun by someone locally, and sold in a local fiber and spinning shop called the Fiber Cottage. My photography does not do the dye work justice. In reality, the color changes are from kind of a subtle silverly lilac into a dusty amethyst that is really just stunning.

Now, from the sublime to the rediculous... This is the silk hanky that was my first attempt. The blue flecks are the yarn that has secured the little skein. There are places where it gets bulky, then thread and skinny, and then back to bulky. I am told my first skeins will be referred to as "novelty yarn" - eck!

The yarn on the spindles are some additional spinning attempts, as well as my humble tools. Also, a few silk hankies and a little bit of undyed roving that I am yet to mangle as well...

Just in case I have not appropriately frightened you with my spinning, one last close up.

Happy knitting to all, and stand up and applaud the spinners who do such incredible work - they deserve it!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What A Good Helper Natty Is...

I have knit a pair of baby sweaters for someone that is near and dear to my heart, but who has asked to remain anonymous at this time.

This is a free pattern from Jimmie Beans Wool, and the panel in the front is removable. There will be four buttons on each side of the panel, but I have not selected the buttons yet. I also have not blocked it as I am unsure if this yarn is blockable. They both were knit with Encore by Plymouth (25% wool, 75% acrylic), and it can be washed and dryed. I thought that was as much of a gift as the sweaters to the proud by shy parents to be.

However, Miss Natty did volunteer to model the sweater for the photo session since we have to keep the recipient a secret for now.

As you can tell, Natty does not mind participating at all, and she loves to play dress up! I had recently taken a picture of her wearing a pair of socks I knit, but the picture would not up load...

Natty thanks you for coming to her most recent fashion show...