Monday, December 3, 2007

Tactical error

I seem to have committed a bit of a tactical error today. It went something like this.

I have long had a desire to learn how to use a drop spindle. It has mostly been a latent desire, one which raises its head from time to time, but which is easily squelched. It has been a bit more pushy lately, though, as all sorts of folks out there have been posting about spinning and lovely roving and so on. I spent some time online a few weeks ago looking for places in San Diego that sell drop spindles, but told myself very firmly that I do not have time right now to learn a new craft.

Last night, when winding a ball of yarn for me (kids and ball winders make a natural combination, much like peanut butter and jelly and just as messy), Older Daughter asked me if I knew how to spin. When I said no, she said, in a disappointed tone of voice, "Oh. 'Cause I wanted to learn how."

Well. I am nothing if not an accomodating mother. But I told myself that I haven't the faintest clue where I'd start to learn how to spin. I said to myself that I didn't know what books might be out there and which ones might be good and that therefore I couldn't take on a new craft. Of course, this offended the researcher in me, who promptly opened a browser window to Amazon, and in two second flat had found this and this. And if you buy them both together, they're a deal. Oops. Then I told myself that I haven't the least idea where to find a drop spindle. One email to the friendly Sheri, who has been blogging lately about her new-found addiction, fixed that problem, as did remembering that Wanda's husband makes spindles. Oops, and oops again. Of course, finding roving is as easy as going to etsy and searching. So, I bundled all the info in an email to Rick and told him that Christmas is coming. I feel very restrained and not virtuous, as I did not actually purchase anything (yet). And very much like I'm going to get myself in a whole mess of trouble. This was definitely a tactical error of epic proportions.

I meant to post yesterday, as I had finished Younger Daughter's sweater (the fact that she's been growing like a weed had me a bit nervous that she'd grow out of it before I finished, so I thought I'd better bust a move). But we had to go (imagine a Voice of Doom here) shopping. At a mall. Shudder. Rick's company party is Friday night, and tempting as it was to plan to go in jeans and my new stole, the invite did say "semi-formal", which, in spite of all Rick's insistence to the contrary, I did not think was intended to be read as: Anything But Jeans. Even here in SoCal, semi-formal probably calls for something a bit more dressy than that. So, off to the mall we went where (you should be impressed here) in the space of an hour, I bought: a) an outfit, b) nylons (shudder), c) a bra, and d) eye makeup. Then we ran away.

Here's YD's sweater, which I am fairly pleased with, especially given that it was made entirely without reference to anything resembling a pattern.
I knitted it from the bottom up, attaching the sleeves and then decreasing across the yoke in between feather and fan pattern repeats. The yarn is 2nd Time Cotton, which is a 75% cotton/ 25% acrylic blend, and which uses recycled cotton. I really like the way it turned out in the sweater, but it definitely reinforced my sense that knitting with cotton is not my favorite thing to do. Of course, I didn't get to block the sweater before it was snatched from my hands, and worn non-stop (this is typical of the things I knit for the girls). Here's a shot of the feather and fan pattern.
I just did a set of garter ridges around all the edges, and kitchenered (yay!) the armpits, and bob's your uncle. I need to get in touch with Stella to find out where she got the lovely clasps that she used on a sweater recently, as I think that something like those would be perfect on this sweater. And really, anything to avoid a button band.

And now I should go finish reviewing the readings for tomorrow's class. I so hope that I won't have to yell at them again as I did last week for not reading anything. But it's the last week of classes, so I'm not hoping too hard. The good news is that I got to knit through today's hour and a half meeting (the faculty from the college of business clearly did not have a clue what I was doing nor why I would do it, but that's not my problem), which was to train me as an Equal Opportunity Assistant for the hiring committees that I'm on this year. And I have two more very long meetings this week that I can definitely knit through. Now if I can just keep my needles away from the president's tush...


Anne said...

This is eerie. I got a Louet drop spindle and a bunch of roving from my Hogwarts Swap pal ... and I have always wanted to learn to spin too. So maybe you and T and I can take this new craft on together? Can we discuss books?

Sheepish Annie said...

Spinning is a slippery slope...but so very, very wonderful!!! I do believe you will be thrilled with it once you get the hang of it.

Lovely sweater, there. Nice job!

Bea said...

I guess I should be thankful I haven't had the urge to spin since I seem to have taken the sewing thing a bit extremely, not to mention that I've bought more yarn to least there is knitting time during my commute. Sigh...I can't wait to see how the spinning goes!

That sweater is fantastic. I'm so impressed that you didn't even need a pattern!

Marianne said...

Under an hour? and you managed: a,b,c, and d? I am SO impressed.

I have 3 spindles (one of Ed's Turkish), and a newly acquired wheel... I don't know how to spin, yet, and really haven't had tons of time these last few months but I'm such a monkey see monkey do kinda gal... Charity sent me Priscilla Gibson-Roberts book, Spinning in the Old Way... it looks pretty good...

Gorgeous sweater on YD, I think the clasps will look very pretty on it.

Danielle said...

Spinning is amazing. I learned to spin on a drop spindle several Aprils ago then got a wheel the next month. I spin almost as much as I knit.

Rabbitch said...

Welcome to the dark side.

And the answer to your question is yes. What colour did you have in mind?

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