Updates and Things You Might Not Know
Those following my progress on this shawl have come to love her as much as I do... the Textiles a Mano cotton/rayon yarn is very shimmery and drapey, and it looks like she will be done and ready to accompany me to a Saturday evening wedding, a high school friend of DD's is marrying into the large and fun-loving family of an old friend and former co-worker - what could be the makings of a better party?!
The edging pattern from Jean Schrouder is just the perfect finishing touch for my Lily, except that I decided I didn't like the swallowtail effect at the bottom center and am going to redo my corner-turning to have one large point. My fervent hope is to finish the edging tonight, so that I can steam-block the shawl tomorrow and take her to the County Fair with me on Friday, so that Amy and Sharon can meet her in person. Although really, I am more looking forward to meeting them in person and to getting to see Amy's just-completed spinning wheel... a hand-painted treasure that you must go and see right now.
Now that you are back, I can show you a spindling update:
Here are my two, contrasting spinning accomplishments - the big, red ball on the left is obviously my beginnger yarn, a Blue-faced Leicester hand-painted roving full of tights and looses, bumps and lumps. The turquoise yarn on the spindle is so much more even! Though I had tried to spin it before I knew what I was doing wrong, and cast it aside in disgust, when I went back to this roving after finishing all of the red, and tried again, it slid through my fingers like a dream, giving me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Still not anything fancy, but there is definitely hope.
What I have learned from spindling so far:
1. It really is essential to prepare your fibers first; I discovered most of the way through the red roving that I needed to divide it into thirds, rather than the halves my teacher had suggested, to have smooth results.
2. The hands really do try to remember their ancestral memories, and you just have to be patient and let them.
3. The connection between brain and hands cannot be overlooked, either, which is why reading about spinning and observing others spin is so valuable... at some point the brain is going to remind the hands: "remember, when ... was pulling the fibers just so (or pinching just so, etc.)", and the hands are going to move into position adjusting to the brain's advice, and see that they have found their way further along to the results they are seeking. I also noticed that, being tool-using primates for so many, many centuries, our brain tries to help us accomodate things like disabilities, and still be able to use our hands. One of my GED students was practicing diligently last night for her math test today, and seemed a bit embarrassed that I observed she was counting on her fingers while re-checking an answer... too bad I didn't think to tell her till later, working on this post, that we were given brains and hands for a reason, and they should be put jointly to use.
4. It is perfectly ok that spindling is a little slower; after all, what's the hurry? Better to enjoy what I am doing, sitting in a more ergonomic posture than I am able with the wheel, and even eventually being able to walk around while spinning. I have noticed that blogging can make me (and maybe some of you) a tad bit competitive about my knitting achievements, wanting to keep up with the KALs, be amongst the first to make the next great new pattern. Really, this isn't all that different than rushing out to buy the fall fashions shown in Vogue or Glamour.... and spindling has helped to ground me. Yes, there IS one sweater in Interweave Knits that I want to make and wear this fall, but I am thinking now in terms of what will go with my lifestyle and the clothes I already am planning to wear this fall and winter as I search for the yarn, and holding back from the temptation to plan a huge multitude of projects I probably can't humanly expect to get to before my desires change once again.... and enjoying the increasing speed and skill I am developing on the spindle.
Where am I still stuck?:
1. I still occasionally have the yarn break, although now I can tell in advance if I am heading towards too thin or too unspun, both conditions which could lead to a break, and can mostly make a correction to prevent it.
2. I have found that winding on past half full or so on my spindle affects the balance and the first half usually goes better - now I need to learn what to do about this!
3. I am still going in fits and starts, although getting better spin on the spindle, and quicker draw, and uptake. I need to learn what will make the entire sequence flow more smoothly. Which is where Amy comes in - she has offered to watch and give advice while we are working at the fiber guild's fair booth.
Other Random Things You Need to Know
I am sick. Well, maybe you don't really need to know that, but a summer cold/sore throat thingie snuck up on me yesterday, making me quite miserable by evening, overnight, and this morning. Neena's recipe for a detox bath sounded appropriate, but I didn't have the ingredients, so I used some bath salts I had with ginger and mustard in them, and it may have helped. I went to work, but only briefly, and am resting up this afternoon.
The peaches and figs are ripe around here!
The kiddos got successfully moved over the weekend, and DES called while I was preparing to drift off to nap-land, to tell me he got the job he interviewed for yesterday, as Front Desk Manager at the Northern Queen, one of the prettiest hotels in Nevada City. Now, cross your fingers that DD will have equally good news about her application as a preschool coordinator, and that I will be hired as handwork teacher...
Lastly, animal lover that I am (and DD adored pandas all the while growing up), I had no idea that their babies were bright fuschia. Check this out.