wheel of fortune

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

3 years ago, if asked about handspinning, i would say, “who the heck would want to spin their own yarn?” that is, if i could stop laughing long enough to say it. i had just moved from NYC, where the just the thought of finding space for a spinning wheel in my apartment would have quelled any such musings. i did NOT need another “hobby”; i felt i barely had enough time to knit as much as i wanted. plus, it seemed . . . so . . . mindless.
just hold the horses and read on.

so when, in my new home, right in the middle of a class in my new LYS, the carol m. and annette s. began badgering me to learn handspinning, they were slapped with a sneer and a sarcastic quip, and sent packing. i certainly did NOT want to take up spinning; they weren’t going to catch me donning a dirndle and bonnet, nooo sirree. uh-uh. NOT.

they weedled and cajoled throughout the 6-week design class i was teaching.
“how come you don’t spin?” they asked.
“cuz there are yarn mills where i come from?” i guessed.
“i just can’t believe YOU, of all people don’t want to spin.” they exclaimed.
“i need something else to do, like i need a hole in the head,” i snapped.
“you were born for this,” they emphasized.
“go jump in a lake,” i said.
“but you’re going to love it!” they whined.
“i doubt it; i’m very hard-hearted”, i said coldly.
“you don’t even know what you’re missing . . .” they waved as they drove off to some Fiberfest or guild thing.
“i’ll get over it”, i muttered.
“we’re gonna teach you whether you want to or not,” they threatened.
“just try it,” i dared.
“we’ll start next wednesday,” they said.
“oh, no we won’t,” i laughed.
“oh yes we will!” they laughed back.
“that’s what YOU think!” i laughed harder.
“that’s what we KNOW” they roared.
“uh-uh” i taunted.
“uh-huh” they sang primly.
you get the picture. totally infantile. resorting to peer pressure (snort); what did they think, that i had never been there? HUH. we bickered some more. and then i knitted with some handspun.

and they won.

oh, but not about the dirndle and bonnet (i have a reputation to protect; i belong on what not to wear because i’m a slob, not because i dress like one of the little women). but about the spinning: i did it. that is, i let them do it to me.

and i fell right in with the lot of them; i am SUCH an addict. i did it for the sake of knitting. with handspun. i love it (they said so!). i was born to do it (they told me!) and now, i can’t stop (“HAHAHAHA,” they are laughing, “gotcha!”). darn.
before long, i had gone from owning a simple ashford traveller wheel to buying this:

i love this wheel. there are no words to say how much i do.
it is in my top-five-best-things-i-ever-bought book. every time i use it, i thank the lady i bought it from.

as it happens, and completely unbeknownst to me when planning our move, we have landed in a region rich with fiber producers of all kinds. our state is the largest producer of alpaca. there are numerous wool and miscellaneous fiber producers as well, and several wool mills in-state. it is a fiberholic’s heaven here. uh-oh.
this is SO not fair; fiber here is a) plentiful, b) cheap, c) and more often than not, very, VERY nice. oh groan. check it out:

mmmm, soft. this is baby spice; more about this one later.

have i mentioned my yarn stash recently? ok, it’s pretty big. i know i said i would talk about stash soon, and then proceeded NOT to talk about it. i am trying to work out what i will say to make myself seem less shamefully greedy.

and it’s just dawning on me that spinning has contributed to the problem. as in, maybe doubling the stash in a few short years.
i don’t do anything halfway, trust me.
when i spin, i make hundreds of yards of yarn in a sitting. that’s a lotta yarn. and it’s all in my stash, waiting to be knit (yeah, right, as soon as i finish spinning my fiber stash). yes, we’ll talk about that another day.

right now i am working on the last of this:

this is baby spice, some corriedale lamb we had at the shop for a while. til i bought all that was left, that is. i just couldn’t leave it; it is heartbreakingly soft. i spun most of it into DK for a sweater (below, far right); it is light, lofty and de-LISH. i also made some sock weight (center) and then some fingering weight (far left).

but oh no, i couldn’t stop there. get this: now, i want a shawl made from that fingering weight. but i didn’t leave enough to spin the amount of yarn i needed. so then, (head hanging in shame), . . . i . . . i . . . i begged and cajoled my good friend debbie j to give up the only 4-ounce bump of it that she was able to get. that’s right, i took it, like candy from a baby.

oh stop! i don’t feel that bad! and i’m sure steve is like, “you GO girl!” plus, i am not just hoarding it; i am putting it to good use:

fine, soft yarn. i am SO spoiled; i am getting so that i only like handspun. it’s so . . . so . . . lively.

i’m almost done with baby spice. i think i will end up with enough for a shawl; at least i hope so. of course, i need another one of those, well, like i need a hole in the head. hurray for holes in the head!

6 thoughts on “wheel of fortune

  1. Anne, this is Steve, we have a whole linen closet for you to come and play in. I told Debbie she could only play at your house if you two stayed AWAY from the internet and yarn stores! I currently have tried to talk litle miss Debbie into maybe getting rid of ONE wheel, not BOTH, just the poor lonely one in the corner. Well, after she stopped hyper-ventilating, she told me I was a half-wit who knew NOTHING about wheels OR fiber for that matter. She has confessed her undying love for BOTH of her wheels and says she cannot bear to rip them from her house and toss them to some unknowing stranger who might wear “icky shoes” when they spin. Ok, I get it, she is NOT getting rid of them BUT can someone PLEASE stop her from wanting to put sheep in the back yard, I have to mow back there you know.

  2. actually, sheep make REALLY good lawn mowers, steve; that could save you a lot of work. i wish we could have them here . . . i guess i’m not being helpful, am i?

    and believe me, i tried to talk her into just the one wheel. she wasn’t having any of THAT. actuallly, she wanted MY OWN wheel. can you imagine? as in, “i’ll just take this one anne; oh you’re in the middle of a project on it? i can wait; you have 2 hours.”

    and i would LOVE her to come over to play without internet or yarn stores!

  3. I enjoyed your story about how you learned to spin — very funny. My attitude toward spinning definitely started out like yours (why would anyone want to do THAT?). I guess it’s similar to the people who see you knitting and tell you that you could just buy the item at the store.

    However, my mind is slowly changing as I see pictures of other people’s beautiful handspun. I’m thinking I will eventually take a class or something, but right now I still can’t imagine wanting to do anything that would take time away from my knitting.

  4. oh thanks! you just gave me a bunch of great ideaas for the next post; tune in later. and thanks again for your email!

  5. Pingback: knitspot
  6. Anne, I’m one of those who swore she’d never sping (I promised, I did! “Who needs another hobby?” I shouted…) and now I’m hooked. And spindle spinning isn’t going to hold me so now I need a wheel. And I was wondering if I could ask you a question.
    I’ve fallen for a New Zealand-made (unfortunately it’s still in New Zealand, but that’s another matter) “Wee Peggy.” I think this _may_ have become the Traveler when Ashford bought out J. Rappard? Anyway, my question is that it only has ratios of 5 & 6.5 to 1. Am I going to find that too limiting? I like to spin fine, as that’s what I like to knit with.


Comments are closed.