Sunday, 8 February 2009

Spinning, fidgeting and searching for spring

I've noticed that this year, I haven't talked much about spinning. Be assured, spinning has been going on, albeit slowly as I have been patiently and carefully spinning this month's Yarn Yard club fibre which is more of the superwash merino and nylon sock fibre. This is the same fibre that Natalie kindly gave me as a Christmas present and whilst I loved the colours I wasn't particularly happy with the standard of my spinning. Has this ever happened to other new spinners? When you first start out every skein seems better than the last and you imagine that you are on a smooth ride to spinning perfection. Then things seem to stall for a while and you find yourself turning out skein after skein of adequate but flawed yarn without any obvious signs of improvement.

I'm sure it's a matter of patience, practice and concentration so I am happy to take my time over this. The colour is inspired by a favourite pair of muddy old jeans. How apt, as my favourite jeans sprouted an enormous and irreparable split across the rear end at Christmas....

I like the way the colours are blending so far.



Now usually I am pretty monogamous about my spinning but yesterday was the monthly meet up of spinners at IKnit so I knew I would be distracted and yapping. A project requiring a little less precision was required so I chose a previous month's Yarn Yard Club Fibre, this time a merino and silk to spin something a little more thick and chaotic for a scarf. I feel another attack of entrelac coming on as it has worked so well with my other hand spun yarn projects so I took one of the two 100g plaits, divided in two, split the two halves down the middle and spun them end to end to create big runs of colour. The next plait will be divided into eighths so that there will be as much opportunity as possible for all the colours to mix with each other to maximise the range of shades in the entrelac squares. this is the theory anyway....

I thoroughly enjoyed my spinning day at IKnit, spinning with Hannah and Alix while Gerard made us cups of tea and fed us chocolate. You can see the fun we had on the IKnit blog here. Hannah showed us her beautiful Bosworth Moosies, which,as the name suggests are made with real moose antler. Alix was drum carding some lovely Portland Fleece; some of it with shiny bits, some of it with tweedy flecks and some into big beautiful snowy white beards of batts. They were beautiful. As she turned the handle I found myself transfixed in the way that Mr Toad in the Wind in the Willows is when he sees a motor car. I wonder how long it will be before one of these infernal machines is coming home with me....

I don't know where the time went but it was six o'clock by the time I had left having had a great spin, learned loads and discovered that Alix and I both share a passion for Seasick Steve.

Where was I? Have come over all unnecessary.... Ah yes, spinning - here is how it looks so far. I love the bright orange against the greys and apricots. It may well become a favourite.

I've been spinning again off and on all day today as I just haven't been able to settle. Regular readers will know that I spend a lot of time and have many good friends in Victoria, Australia, some of whom live deep in the bush. Since the news of the dreadful bushfires started coming through I have been listening with gathering dread to the names of towns and villages that I know well. Spinning has prevented me from too much pressing of the refresh key on the Australian news websites. So far, I understand, my friends and their homes are OK but the fires came very close and are, in many cases still burning out of control. One of the reasons that I love Australia so much is that you get such a sense of nature still being in charge. Bushfires are part of the natural ecosystem there but these are like nothing anyone has seen before. My heart goes out to those affected.

At times like this, knitting does soothe and calm. I'm still working peacefully away on the Santa Cristina spindle spun scarf. As you can see I still have plenty of roving left but it's a long term project.

The scarf has grown too.
With all this talk of bushfires it's hard to believe that only last week my garden was under 30cm of snow. Today it is almost entirely gone and has uncovered these little beauties.
They are snowdrops that I transplanted from my dad's garden last year. They make me so happy, both reminding me of home and that spring is around the corner.
I was further encouraged to hunt around the garden for more signs of new growth and look what I found.
Rhubarb! Not enough for a crumble yet though.

I've re read this post and it is a dreadful jumble but then so was my weekend - good and bad, funny and serious but, like these brave little plants, ultimately optimistic.

7 comments:

LynS said...

The Victorian bushfires have been horrific. I'm listening to the broadcast of the expressions of sympathy in parliament as I type this. Fortunately, such horrors are beyond politics and the 'debate' consists expressions of sympathy, admiration for the fire fighters (mainly voluntary) and emergency workers, and commitments to future rebuilding. Our very tough Deputy Prime Minister was near to tears as she led the debate. It's hard to comprehend the scale of the bushfires. We've become more and more confident about our capacity to deal well with natural disasters, but this has been so sudden and on such an enormous scale that we've been abruptly reminded of our puny capacities in such situations.

HeyYeah said...

I hope your friend are ok. My heart goes out to all the people in that situation.

Jane - I love your spinning especially the orange/grey/blue. It could be the nicest yarn I've ever seen.

natalie said...

I too was thinking of your friends last night as I watched the news.
Please let them know if you have the opportunity, that we are thinking of them here, on the other side of the world.

Dave said...

Yummm, gorgeous spinning ... each colour more beautiful than the last.

Lisa R-R said...

wow you have snowdrops already!
I think in Toronto they come up in April ...
Lisa in Toronto

tea and cake said...

Hey, fidget over to my place and collect your Award! x

Cornflower said...

Yes indeed, I hope your friends stay safe.