Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How I Even Got A Drop Spindle Anyway

My daughter took up knitting several years ago, and while I absolutely appreciated her work (still do!), I have never been much of a knitter. Well, a couple of exceptions: Way back when God was a boy, I made a big, snuggly, practical shawl, but only because I couldn't buy one like it. I still have it. Twenty years later, I also built a crewneck sweater I saw in a pattern by chance. Again, it had everything I couldn't find in a purchased one. And then last year, I was in need of something to do with my hands, so knitted another sweater. I still don't know how to sew it together. I will though.

So with all the above being super simple stitches, I currently know the following: Cast On, Knit, Purl, Increase, Decrease and Bind Off. That's it!

Meanwhile, daughter Jenny had also now taken up spinning on a wheel. Last Mother's Day we went to a Sheep & Wool Festival for a nice day out together. She wanted to see the fiber and tools, I wanted to see the Sheep Dog Demo's. She bought an inexpensive Drop Spindle for fun. Since then, whenever she'd come over, I'd casually watch her twirling and whorling as we chatted. It was her thing. Horses were mine.

Just on a chance, Jenny got me a Kundert drop spindle for Christmas along with 4 oz. of beautiful BFL roving in my colors. She thought just maaaybe I might enjoy it. But she included the preface that if I didn't happen to take to it, do not feel bad, her feelings wouldn't be hurt one bit. She knew it was a crap shoot, and not for everyone. So Christmas day she showed me how to spindle. I felt as though I had 15 fingers, all tangled together, and then at other times, I needed two more that had to be at least 8 inches long. I had a death grip on the draft, my hands were way too close together and fighting one another. Clearly this was going to be a definite learning curve. But it was really challenging. And kind of fun.

So fast-forward to New Year's Eve, daytime. During the six days hence, I'd picked it up several times a day, and was learning a tad more each time. Park and draft, park and draft. Death grip. Pull, ease... quite a process. But I kept at it because I was seeing YARN! Late afternoon, there was a howling wind and snow/ice storm in progress and all news sources were saying to stay off the roads "unless absolutely necessary." Well, it started dawning on me, I'd gotten pretty far through the 4 oz. of fiber, and no yarn shops are open on New Year's Day. Suddenly I felt clutched. So I called the cops and asked how bad the roads were, reeeally. They said just go very, very slow and take back roads. So I drove just that way to a yarn shop two towns over, and chose from their small supply of fiber. That's when I realized, I was addicted.

Having joined Ravelry, starting membership on New Year's Eve, I see that everyone keeps a blog of their progress and projects. That makes a lot of sense, because you can look back and see your steps and later remind yourself what you did to get different results. And what not to do next time.

So that is how I got my Drop Spindle, and my new hobby, and a blog. Spinning will probably be with me from now forward.

Thanks Jenny, that was the bestest gift to your mom, in the whole wide world... ever!