Monday, 1 August 2011

Making Monday

My friend Natalie declared the other day that she was in a blog slump and needed some ideas to put some energy back in her writing. As with most things, if you ask your friends,an idea is bound to present itself as many of us admitted that we were suffering from a bit of midsummer writer's torpor.

So, to get us all up and at it Natalie suggested that we declare today 'Making Monday' and blog about something we have made. Now as this blog is all about making things that is hardly breaking the mould for me so I thought that the least I could do was, instead of talking about what knitting I had completed, I would take things back a step or two and talk about making yarn.

Now as you may know, I learned to spin about three years ago and very quickly bought my first spinning wheel. After a few changes of model I am now the proud owner of a Majacraft Susie on which I really love spinning. However, Susie is not very portable so for any kind of spinning outside the house I have tended to take a drop spindle.I have quite a collection of drop spindles as I think they are such beautiful objects but there is something else that I have come to realise recently. I really like making yarn with them.

There is a wonderful, self contained feeling in knowing that I can turn this:

Merino silk by Lime Green Jelly

Into this: 
Bosworth Midi Spindle in Cocobolo with a birch shaft

And then into this:
Two ply light fingering weight yarn

The spindle and fibre have travelled around with me to festivals and fibre shows, it may be a little slower and rely more on eye and feel than working at a wheel but the intimacy and simplicity of the process really makes me feel like I am making yarn, and making it in the way people have made it for thousands of years. 

The other thing that I have learned is that if you make a little bit here and a little bit there it soon mounts up and you have a usable amount of yarn. 

Last weekend I was working on the P-Hop stall at Fibre East and brought along my spindle for the very few moments of quiet that we had. It seemed appropriate, therefore that I made the yarn into something from the P-Hop range of patterns. I have cast on for the Trinity Shawlette which is a very simple but effective leaf lace shawl that can be made in an infinite variety of sizes. So far the knitting is going well.
I don't think the variegation fights too hard with the simple allover pattern and the thing that I am especially pleased about is that the shawl is turning out to be kitten soft - I wish you could feel it. Slowing down and making yarn mindfully has meant that I have been able to brings out the best in this fibre and the finished shawl will be pretty much what I want it to be and will also remind me of all the places that I have settled down for a few minutes to work on it.

This is why I love making things.

If you want to see who else has been Making Monday, Natalie is keeping a list on her blog here


Kathy said...

Making Monday is a wonderful idea. And kitten soft, is pretty darn soft. Who wouldn't want to snuggle up with that?

Chrisknits said...

Wish I could say that I love spinning, but it just doesn't call to me. Or maybe, I am just hard of hearing! Glad you are able to find the joy in spinning, and such lovely yarn you "made". Maybe I will go "make" some yarn on my spindle today?

ClaireEJ said...

I had never even envisaged myself as a spinner after spending parts of my childhood watching Mum struggle to learn how to use her wheel and hours spent carding. Mum never did manage to learn. Hopefully, I can get her Pipy going soon and she will be able to work it herself!

I spindle spin...lots...Knitcave taught me in 10 minutes last October and I fell in love with the Turkish (instant centre pull ball) and now have three, all from IST. I had more "lessons" from watching EveE and Sam and now have my first skein of real proper yarn! It's so thrilling to go from fluff to REAL yarn that you have made yourself and then to be able go knit What shall I make. With my first skein?

DrK said...

swoon. what gorgeous colours. really, so incredibly clever and beautiful.