For some people, there are certain sounds that they find soothing. Me…I enjoy a good thunderstorm.
Unfortunately, living in Southern California means that I can’t get a good storm like back home in Michigan. It makes me homesick just thinking about the weather there.
There are other sounds that work though.
A long time ago, in that place we’ll call “my old job”, a friend and I would bring our spinning wheels in so we could spin at lunch. It was always fun to have people stop, cock their heads like confused puppies, and ask how we learned to do such things. It was magical to watch…not the spinning, but the wide-eyed fascination of the people stopping to take a look.
After we got in a groove and scheduled a weekly “spin up”, people would join us. Almost everyone brought something to knit or crochet, except for one.
He didn’t knit, or crochet…and I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t even remotely interested in spinning. He would come with his lunch, sit at the table, and listen to us talk and spin. I didn’t really think at first to ask him why he did this. I mean, people would stop and ask questions all the time. He didn’t really ask anything except if he could join us.
It was later on that he told me that he enjoyed the sound of our wheels. It was something that he found calming.
I guess I hadn’t really thought about this until recently. I had posted a link to one of my video blogs on Twitter. In it, I’m spinning while I chat. A non-knitter, Twitter friend of mine had made a comment about the sound of my wheel and it got me thinking…so I recorded it.
I wonder how different my other wheel sounds (actually, my other wheel has a lovely “knock”)… I imagine it is different if I am spinning roving as opposed to plying yarn. Maybe I’ll have to play around and find out.
I waited too long to post this video and I almost chickened out. Here I am…heavily edited and incredibly tired. The last and final installment of my CogKNITive Fiber Retreat videos.
There are days I wonder if I should put together my outtakes. It might be a little embarassing…
Well, as most of you can see, I have been pretty absent for awhile. My problem has been a big one.
The “powers that be” decided to steal my mojo.
For a girl who does something crafty every day (and I mean that…literally EVERY DAY), dealing with a creative slump is tough. I went though all sorts of phases. There was denial and mourning and letting go. I figure, why force something that isn’t there right? Maybe it was all the stuff I did before my slump that burned me out. All those projects *I didn’t post here*. I couldn’t bring myself to even take pictures of the garments I finished before this loss of creativity. I had no desire to knit.
Before you start thinking, “But Stacy, you have plenty of other hobbies. Why not work on something else?” The answer is: “I just couldn’t”.
All this happened at the height of Tour De Fleece, which turned out to be an epic fail for me. I finished NOTHING. I was so excited about starting, but I fizzled out quick. I had no desire to spin.
No knitting, no spinning. I had done a few sewing projects pre-slump. But even though my sewing machine is still sitting on my dining room table…it looks cold and lifeless.
My husband suggested our trip to Comic Con might help jump start things. It didn’t. A couple trips to the my local LYS had me sitting in a chair watching everyone else knit. How. Freaking. Sad.
So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. For what seemed like an eternity, I did nothing.
But then something happened…
It started with a request to knit for the shop. It’s a pattern I don’t care for particulary, but I decided to take it on anyway. I decided I was gonna force myself to soldier on through whatever this is I am going through. Then I was watching Being Human and decided I was going to try and sew this:
I started sketching right away. Hey, it wasn’t knitting, but it was *something*.
Then it got even better! I went to Stitch ‘N Pitch 2010 on Friday night. The Dodgers v. The Nationals. There was a big pre-game sale at my LYS (Unwind). I was there two minutes and zero’d in on the Madeline Tosh Merino Light. The Fjord colorway. I snatched up the 4 skeins that were left and carried them around for very little time before I walked up to pay for them. 4 skeins of yarn with no project…but I knew they were destined to be something awesome.
I got as far as Dodger Stadium before deciding what that yarn was destined to be. I met a lovely lady in line for a Dodger Dog that was wearing the most amazing sweater. I made a point to ask her about the pattern name twice and texted it to myself. Pas De Valse.
So now, I am excited about knitting again. I can’t wait to get started on my sweater. Thank goodness!
It is normal for me to, while sick and feeling like I’m dying, feel compelled to all of a sudden clean the house. Please someone out there tell me that I am not alone in this. Is it because I am a mom and my work is never done? Possibly. Or maybe actually sitting in my home all day and having to see that pile of dishes in the sink pushes me to the edge. I dunno. Maybe it is just that I am insane. What should I have been doing? Sleeping. What did I catch myself doing? Cleaning the kitchen. How did I stop myself? I decided to ply myself some self striping yarn. See….craaaaaazy.
I can’t really tell you when I spun this single. It was sometime within the past two weeks. It is 4 oz. of Red Fish Dyeworks in like merino/alpaca/and maybe silk? I dunno for sure without digging around in my stuff (and through the power of sneaky internets, you won’t ever realize that I am typing this while up WAY past my bedtime…on a school night, no less). My hazy memory is only made hazier by my short attention span. Lookie! Stripey!
So, I ended up plying it on itself. It’s just been sitting on the bobbin ever since.
It wants to be “Quant“. It really, really does.
Oh, and for a little extra sprinkle of psycho, I also decided to give 1 lb. of alpaca a second dye bath in the pot on the stove. I can always catch up on the resting later, right?
Can you tell I am a fan of Steph Gorin’s batts yet? She is amazing with the colors. I really want to call this one “Tell me ’bout the ocean movin’ in slow motion” ’cause those were the lyrics to the earworm I had at the time I was spinning this. It is very reminiscent of my Saltwater Waves Batt, but more on the green side.
And last, but certainly not least…
OMG! Tidal Wave…this sucker has been sitting in my stash for what seems like an eternity! I had 6 oz. of it and just looking at it make me all nervous. I wasn’t sure that it wanted to be reborn into a yarn yet…so I let it sit and chill out for awhile. It turned out all gorgeous like. I think it wants to be a warm winter hat…and I don’t even care that I live in Southern California and it never quite reaches freezing.
Ok, for any of those non-yarny types out there.. and I know there must be at least one or two that read this thing…Tour de Fleece is a spin-a-long that runs during Tour de France (July 4th through 26th) . The purpose behind the spin-a-long is that while they spin, you spin. Easy peasy, right? Hardly. Why, you ask? Because my butt has a full time job and kids at home! So while I didn’t meet my goals, I think I did a pretty darn good job as far as yardage is concerned. I might give any of those retired, stay-at-home spinner types a run for their money even.
So, lets visit why I didn’t meet my goals, then the yarny goodies.
Goal #1…well, I wanted to spin 3 Loop Spontaneous Spinning Batts and have them plied and set. I spun four and completed one (at 323 yards). The others are still sitting on the bobbins waiting for the plying thread to arrive. Yes, I failed to get in time. Ebay is being terribly slow for me and the stuff I ordered as a backup from WEBS ended up backordered. Doh!
Goal #2…spin the 12 oz. of alpaca/alpaca/bunny mix. Hecks yeeeeeeeah! I got this one! 589 yards!!
Goal #3…spin 8 oz. of Creatively Dyed Seawool. Woohoo! Look at me go! 673 yards!!
So, as far as completed yarn is concerned, I have spun a grand total of 1585 yards of yarn!! Not too shabby!
Because they are hand knit, and *I* wasn’t the one who knit them!
I received these as part of the Fiber Collective Swap! Jo (aka Bellatrix on Ravelry) was the kind soul who got my name. She sent me all sorts of fun things over the weeks that we had the swap! Anyone who will gift me teal play doh, chocolate, and a pair of hand knit socks is super awesome in my book! Not only that, but this girl even saw me posting about my super droolfest caused by Simon Pegg in Star Trek and sent me a Scotty action figure!
Now, I got Alexis (Lexicom on Ravelry) in the swap. I am kinda wishing I had taken some pictures of the things I sent her before I sent them. I knit a bookmark and stamped and decorated some notebooks…..and for the reveal meet I carded a boatload of batts for her. Boy, I was sweatin’ it! I bumped into Dr. Gemma on the Friday before the reveal and let it slip I had Lexi and told her all about the batts I carded, to which she replied “Lexi doesn’t spin.” ::GASP:: I almost died right there!
And in case you’re wondering…Lexi IS spinning now and using my batts! I can’t wait to see how they turn out!!
I completely forgot I had pics of completed yarn to post. Silly me, so many pictures and not enough brain power to remember everything…
Here is my first attempt at Navajo plying:
I also decided to ply my “Cheater’s Garden” single I spun from an artclub Cuckoo Batt ages ago:
So look at me go! Two whole posts on my lunch hour at work. Awesome!
So, Saturday we got up bright and early and just kinda did not a whole hell of a lot. We had all decided that we could do things at a slower pace since we had done one full round on Friday. Um….I didn’t really realize what kind of yarn induced haze I was in on Day One, but boy did I see a whole boatload of stuff I didn’t see before!
I got to the marketplace sometime around lunchtime and it was packed. Thank goodness for twitter. At some point not too long after we hit the Brooks Farm Booth, we got separated. It wasn’t a bad thing, but I am the only one in our little group that does the spinning thing. That is when I tracked down the ladies of The Fiber Collective via Twitter.
I met up with Bellatrix at the Carolina Homespun booth. We tried to track down Dr. Gemma from the CogKNITive podcast, but she was lost in a sea for fiber (later to find out she found someone to show her how to draft). So Bellatrix and I headed over to the Purlescence booth where we got the chance to meet with Jasmin and GiGi of the Knitmore Girl’s Podcast. We grabbed some goodies bags and tried to reach Gemma again. Time to move.
This is where my day got interesting…Bellatrix and I, the ladies of The Fiber Collective, and Dr. Gemma all converged on the Carolina Homespun booth. It was fun to watch Dr. Gemma try out all of the wheels. She showed enormous restraint in not purchasing, because she sure had me wanting to buy another wheel (which would have broken my budget)!
Except for when I got married….oh and that weekend I had the kids….sorry honey!
Seriously though, this weekend was amazing!
It started off bright and early on Friday morning. Good thing I am morning person (I mean, what mom of toddlers isn’t?). I left the house at 6-something in the morning…which is still even pretty early for me, and headed to the lot to pick up Parcae. We stopped for Starbucks and to pick up a few snacks. After that we headed to NoHo and Sherman Oaks to pick up Camille and Ang. We were off and running by 7:20 am.
The drive went by incredibly fast. We saw a lot of cows and that made me happy. It is so nice to get out of the city!! We also stopped to have lunch with a friend of mine. It was a really good trip.
We got to the Hilton Santa Clara sometime between 2 and 3. I really don’t know when. We checked in fast and didn’t even try to unload our stuff out of the car…just headed straight across the street to the convention center. We walked into the marketplace and it was sensory overload. To be honest, I don’t remember much after that. I do remember walking around with Camille and thinking that she had tremendous restraint. It apparently rubbed off on me, because I only really shopped from my list.
First stop for shopping was Creative Dyed, where I got 12oz. of bluey-green seawool for spinning. Thank goodness Purlescence had spinning stuff…that is where I got my Schacht hand carders. My final purchase of the day was at the Habu booth. I was in search of the Kusha Kusha scarf pattern which I found there. They look like that had already run out of some of their stainless steel/wool yarn colors, so I decided to take a chance. I got the light lavender stainless steel yarn to mix with a dark brown wool. I think it will tone down the lavender. I also picked up a cone of this gorgeous burgundy lace-weight yarn that had shiny bits of a greenish color in it. So pretty!
We left before the close of market and had a few drinks at the bar to unwind and try and remember what we seen. I had a whole new game plan for the next day.
Later on that evening, while we were knitting, I got a text from the ladies back at Friday Night Knitting. Myrna was there and she was knitting up some of the handspun I had made for her Secret Santa gift in December.