mdswf was nice, but it’s me ok?

MDSWF was a very nice event.

Carolina Homespun was nice, and I picked up a copy of Visually Handspinning by Judith MacKenzie McCuin, not that I’m sure it will help (full review tomorrow, possibly). Nothing will it seems. I fell out of love with some wheels (the babes, much bulkier than I had measured) and in love with some smaller ones (including the hitchhiker). I am not allowed a wheel (even if I can fully finance it myself) until after we move (eta unknown) as there is no space for it no matter how small in storage.

I’m having one of those lives where if I can ruin something I do. I’ll try to post a follow up with more info about the festival soon, but probably not tonight.

learning: parshah emor & lag b’omer .. and spinning babble

This week is parshah Emor (Vayikra 21:1-24:23), which discusses the laws related to the kohanim (priests), shabbat and festivals, and lighting a menorah in the temple (this is not a chanukah menorah as that miracle came after this), and what to do with one who blasphemies, “fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (man or animal must be compensated).

Sunday is Lag b’Omer (and the Parade). What is Lag B’omer? Here’s what chabad says. (I am not a Lubavitcher, but I think they have a very nice website and their explanations are generally quite nice.) All that said, I’d move up the Rabbi Akiva info in my personal “what’s so special about lag b’omer” list..

This weekend is MDSWF. I am no longer sure if we are attending. I think not. Some work/life stuff came up this week and after it all I can’t ask E to drive me down. I’m a bit sad about this, but it’s my own doing. It’s probably for the best, as I am coveting a wheel and that’s bad for many reasons not least that I have no real need for one nor any place to store one and all the wool that goes with it. So, in any case, if one had to choose which would you choose and why? A Babe production , a Babe spinnrock, or a louet s17, or ???. Cost and size/storage are big concerns. I don’t know if I’ll have the time or will really like it. For those who have commented, spinning classes exist in nyc, but they are at prices I can’t justify. I’d be open to a barter of some sort (tech help?) but I haven’t yet found an opportunity.

שׁבּת שׁלום

spin: still struggling

have you ever tried to take pictures of yourself using a spindle? I do not recommend it.

Anyway … I’m still struggling with drafting, but my biggest issue is my fear of ruining all this beautiful roving I have.

(Insert and remove too much personal information here)

My goal with spinning was eventually to have a bit of luxury. I love the beautiful yarn in the trendy yarn shops whether hand spun, hand dyed, or commercially produced. But it is expensive when sadly I can purchase a cotton cardigan at a chain for $15. I like thinner yarns (sport and lighter), but with the recent cold spell see a need for some bulky weights. My desire is to spin beautiful two ply lace-weights and make the gorgeous shawls miriam and others design.

I recognize it will take time to get there. But how do I live with the crud I’ve been “spinning” in the meantime?

In any case, my biggest issue is with drafting. I just can’t get it. I think if I spun at a wheel I’d be able to use two hands. I think. I dunno… I was trying again today for about an hour and just couldn’t visualize it no matter how many videos I watch. I should probably see if there are more on YouTube. I know, an hour a week will not a spinner make, but it’s been difficult finding time. Especially with lots of languishing knitting projects (and growing babies).

Here is a photo of how my hand ends up attempting to draft (remember it’s really hard to take photos of yourself using a spindle!) I draft with my left hand. I’m not sure if that is normal or not for a rightie. I’m not a normal rightie, but I’m not a leftie or ambidextrous either. *sigh* There are some things I prefer to do with my left hand, such as finger spell or testing pens. I prefer a relay baton in my right.
[photopress:18feb_draft.jpg,thumb,pp_image] (please ignore my horrendous winter hands and self-manicure). I just can’t figure out how to get the roving to do otherwise. It has been separated into about pencil size. The final product looks as such:
[photopress:18feb_spindle.jpg,thumb,pp_image] Ooh … I do want to pair it with a gorgeous chocolate brown. Me! The girl who doesn’t like yellow, but this is more a maize or golden hearty color than bright primary. ;)

Anyway … I’ll keep playing, in between work and sleep and trying to figure out if we have place to store a wheel (if I can afford it). It’s unknown if we’re returning to MDSWF this year … I hope so. I haven’t seen enough of E to ask him. He’s currently at some trade show with his father.

For the two readers who made it this far I leave you with two pictures of nibbler. She focuses just on food (and won’t eat from a pile (or the food storage container) unless you hand feed her). We’ve resorted to using this to get her to perform some minor exercises. We don’t want a fat unhealthy hamster!
[photopress:18feb_nibifoodfocus.jpg,thumb,pp_image] [photopress:18feb_stretchnibi.jpg,thumb,pp_image]

spin: no. sneeze? yes. (some knitting snuck in)

I slept quite well last night thanks to some meds. We went out to see mum & A today .. for the first time in too long. I had avoided going because I knew things would be weird without Cosette and I’m just trying hard not to think about it, but think back to last summer when it was warm and E was in London (waah) and I had a wonderful three days with mum, A, and my kitten.

No attempts at spinning today or this past week. I’m coughing again and just don’t have the energy.

While visiting, I showed mum a picture of the lace I was planning and showed her some other options. She lit up when she saw SwallowTail! I will be ripping back the one repeat I had finished for Miss Lambert’s shetland shawl and working on SwallowTail instead. I feel much better.. I think the pattern fits her quite well. Then it will be Icarus time for me! (finally)! And if I finish her SwallowTail and the baby knitting and the three pairs of socks I’ve set up and all the other stuff, I know the next thing I’m knitting for mum! ;) I showed her the yarn online and she hinted to another colour she liked. mhwah hah hah!

I’m on the foot of E’s socks. The worst part of today was that the sun was in my eyes both out to mum and back home to Brooklyn. Very little knitting was accomplished despite the 175 miles E drove. I still think I can finish in time for his bday on Tuesday. On that note I should finish some real work…

spin: spinning wheels

I’ve had no time to spin this week, barely enough time to knit. It’s my own fault not planning things and getting sucked into my rss feeds.

For no good reason, I am thinking more and more about a small wheel (ok, perhaps I will blame Yvonne for such prettiness! She will be the wonderful reason I fall off the use up my stash wagon!).

I’m really eyeing the Babes Fiber Starter – Double Treadle or Pinkie Wheel. Suggestions? I am not sure if we’ll get to MDSWF this year. It is a large monetary and space investment which I’m not sure we can do right now. Hmm… Thoughts? I’ll rent a wheel from someone. Oh crud, shipping. Hmm…