Much as with Netflix marathons in my life before kids, I've recently found myself grabbing ropes of wool and saying, "Just one more handful and then I'll do the dishes." I think it's probably uneccessary to point out, but my house is a complete disaster right now. It's okay, though. I've just checked out "The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up" from the library for the fourth time and I really think it'll do the trick this time.Read More
Christmas, Yule, Solstice, however you refer to it, it's rushing towards us. As the buttons in our little advent calendar fill up the slots for each day, I'm beginning to do a little bit of panicking. This Waldorf doll I started in October for my soon-to-be-three-year-old is just barely nearing completion. She still needs a full outfit (though her sweater is on the needles and almost complete, so at least she will have a toasty torso).Read More
No wheel? No problem.
When I first heard about tour de fleece, I shrugged it off as an event for spinners with expensive wheels and luxury fiber hookups. "I don't have time and I don't have the equipment," I thought to myself. Well, the first part of that statement may have been true but after picking up Respect the Spindle from my local library I began to think about my drop spindles differently. Perhaps a spindle isn't as quick or as efficient as a wheel, but it can certainly produce yarn, and beautiful yarn at that. Spindles are ancient and simple tools. Thinking of them in that context quickly made me fall in love with the idea or spinning tour de fleece on a drop spindle. I hastily joined my local spinning circle's tour de fleece Facebook group and set about tracking down some fiber to spin before the race commenced.
Getting the hang of it...literally.
When learning to use a drop spindle, you will quickly learn one way that the spindle gets its monicker. The thud of my spindle on the living room floor as my fiber broke time after time early this week was discouraging and annoying. Luckily I had a major motivator to improve my technique: dropping my spindle always wakes the baby up. A startled baby isn't good for anyone! One of the things I love about spinning (and simultaneously find so frustrating) is that there's only so far that reading can take you. You need to actually lay your hands on fiber and spin to learn. So I practiced and focused so singularly on my spindle each night that I'd find myself literally on the edge of my seat as I slowly lowered the spindle and increased my yardage, staying up far past my bedtime.
Spin, spin, knit
It's been a wonderful week of learning and I'm already so proud of the progress I've made. Not only have I learned a bit about spinning, but I've given myself a gift of hope. New skills can always be learned and with some tenacity and perseverance I can do the things that I've dreamt of. That's a mighty feeling.
So, week one is over and I'm now the proud owner of 100g of two-ply, handspun merino yarn. The colors scream Mardi Gras to me and aren't my normal palette. What would you knit? I'm considering Elizabeth Zimmermans mitred mittens but the softness of the yarn makes me want to knit a cowl! What to do?
I guess I've been a little absent from the blog this week. There have been a lot of bumps in the road of life latey; with a newly walking toddler and an every-mounting to-do list for my volunteer job I've been feeling a bit like a drowning person. It really seems fitting that my theme this month is comfort because the things that bring me comfort have never been more important. I've sat down to write this post a few times and had a long post written with all my frustrations laid out but ultimately I decided that this space was not the proper forum for many of those thoughts. What that previous draft boiled down to was that yarn makes me happy. It probably does the same for you or you wouldn't be here! So I thought today I'd share a small part of my stash I've curated in my windowsill for a little pick-me-up. Rainbow colors and bright, shiny yarn are just what I need today.
If you're interested in what kind of fiber-y diversions I've been looking at and listening to this week, I've put together a fun list of who has been inspiring me!
Woolful always has a new episode to inspire me. I revisit my little homestead dreams every time I tune in.
Ashley at Neauveau Fiber Arts has some fantastic art yarn spinning tutorial videos and I can't get enough of looking at her products.
I just started listening to YarnGasm Knitting Podcast this morning and I think I'm hooked. Maybe it's Kristin's fabulous red lipstick or just her contagious enthusiasm about yarn. Her shop is drool-worthy, as well. I've had fiber dying on the brain a lot lately so she's certainly an inspiration.
There are lots of other fiber artists I've been drawing inspiration from and I'll try and keep collecting their links and sharing them with you as time goes on.