I know, I'm a loser. I post a teaser like that, and then I leave everyone hanging, and don't even email back to everyone who commented. Mea culpa.
We've had candidates on campus this week, which means whole days, including meals, spent doing interview-type business. This is the first break I've had since that heady moment when I won the eBay auction and had to share with all of you right away. (This should tell you something; I posted the news within about five minutes of winning the auction, long before telling anyone who was actually in the house with me at the time.)
I'm still waiting to hear from the seller that she's received my payment, which makes me a bit nervous, and a bit cranky -- I want my wheel now, dammit! But I'm trying to be a grown up about it (no snorting from the peanut gallery, if you please).
As you know, I'd been planning to wait a bit before buying a wheel, but circumstances came together in an interesting way and it seemed to me that the time had come. Here's the story. I'd signed up to go to the Lace in the Woods retreat in Big Sur this June (no, I hadn't posted about it yet; I was waiting for something, I don't know what -- maybe I sensed doom?). But the retreat had to be cancelled. This was a huge disappointment, although I completely understand why it worked out that way. But I mean, really! I was going to spend a week, in Big Sur, taking classes with all kinds of nifty people (including Anne), and I was going to meet other people whom I've only gotten to know online. It was very exciting. And now, not so much.
However, there is a silver lining to my disappointment. I'd made a deposit to hold my spot in the camp (do you see where I'm going with this?). No camp, no need for a deposit, and a check came merrily winging back my way. A check that just happened to be more or less the amount that some used Ashford wheels sell for on eBay. Coincidence? I think not. I see the hand of Fate at work here (OK, I realize that this is probably just me making excuses, but it sounds so much better to say that I bought the wheel because the Universe made me). So I went for it.
The wheel I bought is an Ashford Traditional. I can't get the pictures off eBay, but it's in excellent condition, hardly used. In fact, the seller says that it's only been used once. It's even finished. While it has a distaff, it (oddly) does not have a lazy kate, so I'll have to be on the lookout for one. It's a single drive, which is a bit of a change from the other wheels I've tried, but I don't think that's going to be a problem (years of playing the pedal on a piano actually means that I'm more used to one foot being active while my hands are doing something than both). I love the way it looks, and I'm very excited to have it arrive (now!!). So that's the scoop on the wheel. What do you all think? (Here's a picture and the specs online.)
Meanwhile, knitting time has been scarce, but I finished Tess' socks last night (the violets rising pattern). I'll put full info in a post with pictures this weekend, I promise. She promptly put them on, and then wore them to school today (I don't think that there is anyone more appreciative of my knitting than the girls; there's something delightful about having the recipient of knitting put the garment on instantaneously, whether it looks dorky with what they're wearing or not, and refuse to take it off). I need to cast on for Rick's second sock, and then I'll have no more singles running around, which will make me happy.
Meanwhile, though, I'm casting about (get it, get it?)(I'm so bad at puns that I'm always quite charmed with myself when I make one) for a new project to start. Socks would be easy, but I'm not sure I am in the mood. I am holding off to start Irtfa'a until the perfect yarn comes through, so that's not it. I have some yarn in a linen/cotton blend (Maggie's, I believe) that I've been thinking of knitting a sweater with, or maybe a skirt, so I decided to swatch it last night. I knitted up a square, but even on smaller needles (size 6 instead of the suggested size 8), the fabric is far too loose to be a skirt. So I'll wash the swatch to see how it comes up, but I don't think that it will turn into what I need for the flippy, kicky skirt I want. This is a pity, as I thought a linen/cotton blend would be light enough to really have some swing to it. I'm starting to think that I'll just have to get some Rowan denim and play with that to see how it turns out.
I've considered knitting the skirt that was in IK last summer (I'll find the name and a picture for everyone), but now I'm considering trying to design something myself. Something very simple, with eyelets at the waistband for a drawstring, and a sort of gored shape. I'm just not sure that I have the knowledge or ability to make something myself from scratch with no pattern whatsoever. On the other hand, how will I know whether I can or not until I try, right? And after all, it's all knitting...