I have a new superpower!
...OK maybe it's not a superpower but what else should I call the ability to turn fluff into YARN?! I'm intrigued at the process and it's like watching magic!! Still very much a beginner, but I LOVE my new wheel! As some may have read, I bought a Schacht Sidekick and I have been working on it a little each day. The wheel just hums along and I am pretty proud of my first hank of yarn! It's some mystery wool that Purlescence Yarns gave me to practice with... and while it's a bit thick and thin, I think it's respectable as a first attempt.
I have been wondering why I want to learn to spin. When I first tried a few years ago, I decided I wasn't ready... after all, I can buy good yarn already made commercially (or even other people's handspun!) so why would I spend my time making yarn when I could spend it knittng. Then, it hit me... this is the SAME argument people make about knitting. "Why would you knit something by hand when the yarn is expensive, it takes a long time, and you can buy something commercially made that also looks nice?"
So... I get it. Spinning is like knitting. It's meditative, creative, inspiring, and putting time into making yarn adds to the beauty of a hand knit (or crocheted or woven) project. As I get better, I'll have more opinions, I'm sure. I spin because I love to spin. it feels good to have produced the yarn and I am sure that when I knit with my own handspun, it'll make my project even more special.
This photo is of the 4th attempt (skein?) of yarn I'm working on... my singles are more even and it's moving along nicely. This fiber is produced by a woman in Bainbridge, NY and I'm really intrigued by the way the colors are shifting. It arrived as a dyed braid and I split it up and am happily working my way through it now.
In other knitting news, I made a pair of felted slippers for my friend Chuck for his birthday. He loved his last pair so much that one of them wore a hole in the sole - and while I could have felted a patch onto the bottom, it seemed like he deserved a new pair. So, he gets a new pair! These were made with stash yarn from Elann.com (the green) and 2 hanks of cascade 220 - one brown and one grey. The yarn is held doubled for this pattern and they're a pretty quick knit. The rows are long, with lots of wrapping and turning to do the shaping but I love the pattern. I felted these in the front loader washing machine too - just stick them on "hot" and put some dryer balls in the machine for agitation and let it do it's thing... I check them every few minutes and when they're about the right size, I put them on the rinse and spin cycle, then toss them in the dryer on tumble for a while until they're almost dry. A bit of shaping and a final air dry and they're ready!
My other work in progress is a vintage vest that I'm feverishly working on, hoping to complete it in time for the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat coming up in May! I have *almost* completed the front (it's done with the exception of weaving in ends, and the final details) and I am almost to the armholes on the back. It's coming along nicely but if I want to get it completed I have to get to work on it! There's just so much to do!
Which means, I guess, that I should get to it! Have a fantastic week!