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October 27, 2007

So I've been itching to try it for a while and finally have the time -- I've been spinning. I spent a couple of days getting pointers from my friend Dawn and getting to know her Majacraft Little Gem. Soon after I managed to sweet talk Kristine into loaning me her "Sweetie" -- an Ashford Traveler.

I must say that the wheel is much more pleasant and engaging than the spindle. Hypnotic and soothing, as knitting can be, but somehow more subtle and with a smoother rhythm. Perhaps it's my place on the learning curve, but since it involves both hands, both feet, the eyes and the brain, it's quite absorbing. I still haven't decided on what wheel will be the right one for me, though a castle style wheel with double treadle seems, at least physically, the most correct. I welcome any input on wheel likes and dislikes, of course!

I've spun a hand dyed silk cap, so far, a roving I dyed back when with Mary-Kay, and a hat's worth of what I dubbed Andromeda-Plus. Some fleece from Cousin Elizabeth's sheep, which I washed and then combed with dog combs. I left some natural and dyed some pink with Kool-Aid. To that, as I spun, I added in bits and pieces of whatever fleecy fluffy stuff came to hand whenever I got bored to practice joining. So bits of various wools and even some silk. Because I didn't have a lot of patience or the right equipment, the fleece is what we might call "minimally processed". Still lots of weird chunky bits and pieces of vegetable matter, and I really didn't even try to spin consistently. Everyone I've talked to said to enjoy the unevenness and general funkiness of early spinning efforts. So I went for a very organic look. I decided not to ply it as it's whimsy started to get lost. Once done, I instantly cast on and knit this hat, again without a lot of forethought. It's fun and suits the yarn I think, as well as it's intended recipient, Andromeda's owner.

02:07 PM
October 23, 2007

Thanks for the emails checking in on us. We live in an area of San Diego that is largely unaffected by the fires. We live close to the water and reasonably far from any dry canyons.

Anyone needing a breath of fresh air, drop me a line. When we moved into the 20th century and put central heating in part of the house we now have the luxury of conditioning the air. The windows are shut and the fan is on, so the air's pretty good here. And there's plenty of yarn to go around.

02:08 PM
October 3, 2007
the book!

At long last -- the book! I've been thinking the book is about to land on my doorstep for a couple of weeks. I have engaged in all sorts of magical thinking trying to force it to arrive. Meritorious household chores. Activities so messy that I could not actually touch the book when it arrived (painting, gutter cleaning). Being in the shower when the delivery truck showed up and being forced to run down stairs in a towel with soap in my eye (since this is hard to pull off timing wise, it didn't actually happen, but it was proposed). Leaving the house. Not leaving the house. Making my child cross her fingers and hold her breath as she ran down the block. Strangely, none of these things worked.

Yesterday I was fairly certain that it would show up. Since it showed up as "out for delivery" at 6:02 AM. Cruelly, they waited until 5 pm to deliver it, I ran around in manic circles for a few minutes and then had that sudden calm feeling like you do when you finish your final exams. The book is here.

It looks good! It's so book-like! As far as I know, the only place you can actually buy it is at Knitting in La Jolla -- I gather a couple of copies sold before I actually laid eyes on it. You can order it now at any of your favorite online book retailers, but I gather it won't ship or actually hit store shelves until next week.

If you are in the San Diego area, do come and see me, get a signed copy of the book and fondle all the knitted samples from the book this Saturday, October 6th. I'll be there from 3:00 to 5:00. Also, have tasty autumnal treats.

07:19 AM