May 04, 2006

FIRST WEEK IN MAY

We started our Feral evening last Monday night with an hour of drop spindle spinning. I clutched my Ashford drop spindle and my little bag of Romney fiber and watched, completely intimidated, while the rest of the group easily and fluidly coiled their roving 'round their wrists and spun fine laceweight yarn on their gorgeous hardwood spindles. I also gratefully accepted pointers from Linda K and Janine. (Janine was there with a beginner Schacht spindle, and let me try hers with her merino roving, although I was all thumbs and had the roving matted into lumps in no time flat. She was patient with me, though.)

Evelyn had commissioned a fellow to turn some hardwood nostepinne, and she brought those. I bought two:

nostepinne 002.jpg

The one on the left is made from pear wood, and the one on the right is walnut. I am buying these in the anticipation that someday I will have spun enough fiber that I'll be ready to ply it, and then I'll have a nostepinne (or two) ready to ply with.

Yesterday morning, Lizabeth (who has served on the Guild board with me) came over for coffee. She's just spent the last six months living in Japan, and brought with her a bag load of show and tell about Japanese knitting, including an armload of books and magazines, and some interesting yarns. We had a blast looking over the patterns. The gansey style sweater and Aran sweater patterns all were gorgeous; the Fair Isle ones tended to be a little bland. We had a good laugh over the title of one book, that was printed with an English subtitle: Knitting for a Walk. The patterns in it were for accessories, like you might wear out, well, on a walk: hats, purses, scarves and so forth. However, at least half the items in that book were crocheted! So one has to take the translation "knitting" not so literally.

Take a gander at these yarns she bought in Japan:

ExcellentMohair.jpg

The label reads, in English: Excellent Mohair - It had the Gradation with the long pitch Newly. How about warmhearted?

Huh?

We've popped out the center of the ball on the left, and you can see the "gradation." This rather boring-looking yellow laceweight mohair actually is a variegated yarn, with pink and purple stretches in it. (I suppose these are the "long pitches"-?) Lizabeth said this is typical of the put-up of variegated yarns in Japan: The balls are wound so that just a single color shows on the outside, but the inside might be wild.

Today I'm meeting Linda K at Green Lake to try my hand (and legs) at knitting and walking. I think Linda K plans to walk and drop spindle spin. And the weather couldn't be better for it - sunny and a high of 70 degrees.

In Two Swans Yarns news: I have ordered copies of High Whorling and Spinning in the Old Way, both by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and expect them in one day next week. High Whorling was strongly recommended by Evelyn; it was the book that convinced her that she could spin laceweight yarn on a drop spindle. And if it worked for her, I'm hoping it will work equally well for me.

And yesterday afternoon I uploaded my May Specials page.

All for now -- gotta figure out what I'm going to knit while walking the Green Lake path.

Posted by Karen at May 4, 2006 10:02 AM
Comments

You should be able to get your 10,000 steps without any problem. Enjoy yourself.

Posted by: Jewel at May 4, 2006 10:22 AM

Ah, spindling. I wasn't sure I could do it either, and while I'm definitely not doing laceweight, once you have the basic motions down it's fantastic. Which reminds me - is SpinOff still encouraging "Spint out day" the first Friday of the month? I can never remember....

Go you with something new and adventuresome!

Posted by: moiraeknits at May 4, 2006 04:39 PM

Maybe Lizabeth would like to present her Japan knitting adventures at a Guild meeting as a guest speaker? I, for one, would love to hear more! Mary B

Posted by: Mary B at May 4, 2006 06:09 PM

Oh no! Something new to learn for me! I've always been interested in spinning...I think I should finish my first sweater before I learn to spin, yes? I hope your walk was wonderful. And yes, I found my pedometer!
Hugs,
Dori

Posted by: Dori at May 5, 2006 07:16 AM