About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Not. Very. Good. Tacos.

My Bueno let me down. Yesterday we had the ward Pioneer Day breakfast at a local park. The food was cooked by people who love to eat; i.e., it was excellent. There were brief inspirational talks, and some games for the younguns and anyone else who wanted to participate. I took my spinning wheel along, hoping that a dash of verisimilitude would exempt me from the games.

It worked.

We had that whole section of the park all morning. I set up camp on the edge of a meandering sidewalk, in the shade of several trees. And there I sat, and spun, and ’splained, Lucy. Once the games got going, so did I. Put the wheel into the back seat and headed over to the health club. It did not seem particularly bright to me, to go work out and shower in order to go to the breakfast, where I would only get sweaty again. I like a good hot shower as much as the next person, and there have been days when I would have been content to walk into the shower and not walk out again until bedtime, but yesterday was not one of those days.

@ Tola, my ever-mischievous friend: that would be a “no.” I don’t think “DollyDaddy” is going to cut it, especially since in the doll world he would be the “DollyDaddy’s Daddy,” which is altogether too much like “Baby Mama Drama,” and we have that going already with Lark’s mom.

But thanks for playing!

I have the standard bobbins on my Louet S-10 wheel. If I remember correctly, when I had my first wheel, also an S-10, it came with three bobbins that spun at one speed only, and one higher-speed bobbin, which I don’t think I ever used. This one has a bobbin with three gear ratios on the business end: 5.5 to 1, which is designed for fat yarns but what I am using, because I am relearning technique, and it is far easier at a slow speed, plus this pencil roving is less than half the diameter of the pencil roving I used twenty-five years ago; 7.5 to 1, designed for medium-weight yarns, and 10.5 to 1.

There are also two high-speed bobbin options now available, with ratios of 6.5:1, 9.5:1 and 15:1. One has a bobbin core the same diameter as the basic bobbin, roughly an inch; the other has a fatcore bobbin, to simulate a half-full bobbin so that there is less pull on the fiber as you draft the yarn.

I plan to spin enough yarn at this setting (one or two bobbins full) to make a small project. And then I am going to try the fastest setting, to see if I can get a decent sock yarn from this pencil roving. At which point I might be ready to take the glorious bump of Micki’s hand-dyed wool and turn it into sock yarn. Spinning from pencil roving is blissfully lazy spinning, but it is a good way to regain my skills.

Maybe everybody in my tribe will get small handspun Christmas ornaments this year. Or, maybe not.

There is enough VM (vegetable matter) in this wool that at times I feel as if I were the Lone Star division of Noro. (Knitting joke: Noro Kureyon Sock is 70% wool, 30% nylon, and 5% vegetable matter.)

The Lendrum wheel, which is what I want next, has three flyer options (the part that sits on top of the drive wheel and contains the bobbin), with drive ratios ranging from 5:1 to 44:1. If all goes well, that may be my Christmas present to myself after I am out of debt next year. I think I remember that my friend Jeri has the fast flyer and is not enamored of it; the regular one works perfectly well for her, and she suggested that I borrow her fast flyer to see if I like it, before investing in one myself. The Lendrum wheel has a single-treadle or double-treadle option; I would choose the double-treadle, because that would keep the lymph flowing sweetly in both ankles. Too bad I can’t get a prescription for it and run it through my medical reimbursement account!

In spinning once more, I feel as if I had found a piece of myself that has been dormant for too long.


Kristen said...

When I pick up a paint brush and start mixing colors (NOT the big-project, room-painting kind) it's like I remember the me that knew how to do it before I came to this earth.
Maybe you've read this poem [excerpt] by Yeats (A Woman Young and Old):

If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet,
Or ask if all be right
From mirror after mirror,
No vanity's displayed:
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.

Jenni said...

I used to love to sit at your spinning wheel and push the treadle and watch the wheel go around and around. I also found it very peaceful to watch you spin. I'm glad you are getting back into it.