Monday, May 19, 2014

So, where was I . . . ?

Catching up with myself!

(There's been spinning... eventually.)

During the winter of 2013 the great Fox Project was begun. Fox Mittens were knit madly, in time for the holiday shopping rush. Every order that could be filled in time for Christmas gift-giving would be knit. 

There were many pairs sold, as well as the pattern on Ravelry! 

It paid for my new spinning wheel, and then some, for which I'm so happily grateful.  

I was also exhausted by the time this big box arrived. Plus, there were still mittens to be sent before learning to spin could begin.

And then something most unexpected, and a bit frightening, happened in January and part of February.  There was a bit of a delay before I pronounced myself ready to learn to use my wonderful new spinning wheel.  Exhaustion from not sleeping well and worry over several older relatives, combined with holiday blues and the never ending winter left me as close to a nervous breakdown as I ever want to get. It didn't help that I gave up caffeine and was experiencing withdrawal symptoms I didn't even recognize for several days. I actually went to the internet to see if it was a "real" thing. It was suggested symptoms could last a week or two. I couldn't see straight half the time and went so far as handing over the car keys and refusing to drive or be responsible for anyone's care besides Tom and myself.

(And the dog!)  We did a lot of snowshoeing, although half the time my surroundings were a blur as I focused on one step at a time. My spinning wheel sat on a desktop, safely out of harms way until I was ready. I watched lots of online video for beginners and went to the library fiber festival February 22nd just so I could stand behind a lady spinning to watch what her hands were doing. It was helpful. Drafting is a bit of a mystery until it finally clicks and just starts happening.  That was the morning I officially began teaching myself.  I got off to a bit of a shaky start, but always kept it in my mind learning how to spin could take as long as it took.  Even as I muttered laughingly to myself several times "I might really suck at this!" I never believed I would not figure it out.  Happily, I am now making "yarn"!

Okay... the first couple of skeins were more like rope! 
This was my first 2-plied carded Romney from the Woolery, spun quite thick in some places; too thin in others.  I made myself knit with it, using the thickest skeins as the bottom layer of soles for my favorite felted slippers. My arms ached from knitting with it, but it might have been a good lesson: I needed to spin thinner and more consistently so knitting would not hurt!  The slippers are finished - using all my own hand-spun! They still need to be washed to see how well they felt.

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