Saturday, January 19, 2013

Almost Three Years

Scoot over and let me in - we got some catching up to do!
Yup, I still meet every week with the local knitting group, The Fertile Turtles, only our location has since changed.  We're now at Books-A-Million in west Knoxville, every Sunday 11am - 2pm.

I'm still playing World of Warcraft with my guildies The Legends of Azeroth, only these days I'm playing my druid as much as my hunter; reckon they're co-mains.

During SAFF 2011, I bought a little 10" Cricket loom, which turned out to be a gateway drug leading me to the recent acquisition of a 32" Schacht loom!  Aw, c'mon - it's something else with which I can use my yarn!  Several scarves have been cranked out, a rag rug, and two pillows.  I've recently learned that if you sew on your woven fabric where you intend to cut, you can apply sewing patterns to your own weaving!  You know my head exploded.

Meanwhile, this past summer, a friend introduced me to the Ravelry message board for fans of the TV show, The Walking Dead.  Get this, the group is called The Knitting Dead!  It's been loads of fun, and through it, she roped me into participating in the 2012 Tour de Fleece for Team Knitting Dead.  I also spun for Team Yarn Haven.  It's a spin-along that coincides with and cheers on the Tour de France.  I spun my butt off during them weeks and am right proud of the results!  Dunno why I waited so long before giving the TdFleece a go. 


And while doing all that spinning, a thought brewed and percolated . . . I wanted to learn how to process raw wool.  That same friend, Yvonne, came for a visit, and without knowing of my secret wish to wash wool, brought me a bag of raw wool.  Well that settles it, doesn't it?  Serendipity!  A divine message!  The Wool Fairy struck again!  Well now, it simply had to be done, 'cause that bag o' shetland wasn't going to process itself.   So the homework commenced, and I learned how to wash it.  Also found these learn-to-comb and learn-to-card kits at the Woolery's web site.  Those kits also come with raw wool, on which to learn.  I've been a wool-washing, combing and carding fiend ever since they arrived.  Well yes, I ordered them both!   And that order came on the heels of having ordered that big ol' loom from them.  It's been awhile since I've said how much I adore the Woolery.  I think they need a second location right here in my hometown.  My side of town.  Next door, please.

Anyway, all that put me on the trail of learning about different breeds for spinning.  I was already entertaining the notion that the next SAFF trip would see me buying my first whole fleece.  So I gotta learn what to look for, right?  So I read up on books and cruised the web for info.  And then SAFF 2012 brought me and this heavenly 6-pound corriedale fleece together!

And all the while, I've really begun to appreciate how much joy you can get from the same standard-package size of 4 ounces of wool, if you processed it, spun it, dyed it, and then finally knitted it.  When you buy it already ready to go, you miss out on all that time with it.  Talk about getting a bang for your buck, if you do it your own self!  That's a lot of playtime with the same bit of fluff, if you do it all from the beginning. 

How about you all?  Any big yarnish tools obtained?  Any new skills learned?  Any fibery challenges accepted and met?  You can tell me - there's comment boxes and everything.  You've got the past two years to catch me up on.  There's got to be loads to tell!

After the TdFleece 2012 had ended, in which I spun the only way I knew how (short forward draw), I got to try a new-to-me drafting technique, the long draw.  Now that I had some honest-to-gosh carded rolags, I finally got the long draw to work.  And Oh. My. Gawd, is it ever fast!  Having just finished three weeks of tracking my spinning production for the TdFleece, I had something to compare to, and holy crap!  Spinning with the long draw was four times faster! 

Let me say that again - four times faster! 

Well, it wasn't gonna stop there.  That little taste of finally succeeding at a skill that had eluded me before just spurred me on to more new adventures.  Let's re-look at that spinning from the fold thing . . . Can ya tell I was rewatching Drafting the Long and Short Of It with Abby Fanquemont?  Now, the short draw is for a worsted yarn, and the long draw from rolags is for a woolen yarn.  This from the fold technique gives a hybrid.  The resultant yarn was just as elastic and springy as the woolen, but with a smoother finish like the worsted and it was every bit as fast as the long draw. 

I was all a quiver as I proselytized the virtues of spinning from the fold to those on Ravelry who would hear me! 

That's almost got you caught up with my fiber life.  Almost.  In recent months, I've found Pinterest and all the yarny goodness that lives there, and the new Craftsy site, which has some freebies and ran a fantastic sale over the holidays.

Speaking of Pinterest fiber boards, have y'all seen the Ryan Gosling memes in which he tells us girls just what we want to hear?  As it turns out, he's picked up knitting for real!  In a recent interview with Australia's GQ magazine, Ryan Gosling explained, " I did this scene in Lars and the Real Girl where I was in a room full of old ladies who were knitting, and it was an all-day scene, so they showed me how. It was one of the most relaxing days of my life. . . If I had to design my perfect day, that would be it. And you get something out of it at the end. You get a nice present. For someone who wants an oddly shaped, off-putting scarf.”










No comments:

Post a Comment