Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Partly work and partly play

Yesterday was Saint Distaff's Day, as well as my birthday. Growing up, it was difficult to find really interesting historical events or birthdays that fell on my own birthday. My brother shares a birthday with JFK and Bob Hope. Me? Well, I suppose Millard Fillmore isn't all that shabby, but he's no JFK. I eventually learned that I also shared a birthday with Zora Neale Hurston, which completely redeemed a childhood without a cool birthday partner. It's still my favorite birthday coincidence, but now I can also be smug about the fact that I share my birthday with a Spinning Holiday! Spinning holiday may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm ignoring that part, and just calling it fate.

Want to belatedly help celebrate my birthday? Spin some fiber, and pick up a copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God.

My major fiber related goal for the year is to knit as much with handspun as possible. I got a jump start on that by casting on for my very first knitted handspun project a couple of days before the new year.

Orchid Lace mitt - handspun

That's the beginning of my second Orchid Lace Mitt, designed by Anne Hanson. The yarn is a light fingering weight 2 ply BFL, spun and plied on my 1 oz. Ashford drop spindle. The pair is almost done, with just the edging left to go on the second mitt, and two little thumbs. I'm going to have a bunch of yarn leftover, and am not sure what I'll do with it. Maybe I'll just stare at it...

handspun BFL

I've also been working on making more yarn, so I have more handspun for that knitting from handspun goal.

Redwood Singles

Yes, that's the same Spunky Eclectic BFL I've been spinning and blogging about for weeks (months?) already. But I'm on the last spindleful! That photo is actually from 2 spindles ago. I've found that I can comfortably get about 18 grams on a spindle before I feel the need to wind it off. About 16 grams to go, and then it's time for a big plying party.

Alex has been doing his part, too. After seeing me sitting on the floor, cursing at my broken swift one time too many, he went to Sears and figured out how to fix it for me. The clamp was broken, and I thought I'd prefer a floor swift, anyway, so he built a base for me:


swift fix, closeup

That's a 10 pound weight, a huge socket, some epoxy, carpet backing, and a huge rubber band that came with our new snowshoes. (So glad we saved them! You never know when a huge rubber band will come in handy.) Most of it is self explanatory, but the rubber band was an after-thought addition, when I tried to use the swift and we discovered that the action of lifting the wood block to open the swift took it up and out of the socket. The rubber band keeps it in place, so I can handle the yarn with one hand, the swift with a second hand, and don't have to use my feet to keep things where they should be. Very clever man I live with, eh?

One of my other fun birthday gifts this year is the NH primary. I live in a town that is small enough to have a town square and lots of exciting grassroots politics, but big enough that the major presidential candidates want to visit us. I also happen to have office windows that face right out onto the town square. The primary is today, and yesterday downtown was abuzz with campaign signs, some chanting, lots of carn horns in support of various candidates, and even one candidate in the flesh, as well as the very exciting spouse of another candidate. Yesterday I got to press my face against office windows and observe the excitement, and today I get to vote. How exciting is that! Not at all fiber related, but I need to share my excitement, and make sure that all of my New Hampshire-ite blog readers are voting today. You are, right?



Blogger LizzieK8 said...

Happy Birthday!

1/08/2008 7:48 AM  
Blogger Unraveling Sophia said...

Yup - I voted!

and happy birthday!! Hope it was full of knitting :)

1/08/2008 11:59 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Wow, that grey-pink-brown handspun is BEAUTIFUL. Happy birthday. :)

1/08/2008 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure voted all right! Said spouse was actually right in front of Bagel Works (where I work) and I can't believe I got a picture with him! We sure do live in a great town.

1/08/2008 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

I hope you're all voting. So cool, to be in the middle of that!

1/08/2008 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those red singles are to die for. Such rich color!

I'm also intrigued by the plied yarn... the color changes look exactly like what you get with by chain-plying, even though it's a 2-ply. How'd you do that?

1/08/2008 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh what beautiful handspun, I love it in that pattern. Your orchid mitt is going to be gorgeous! =)

1/08/2008 10:28 PM  
Blogger Nettie said...

I am in awe of that handspun. You have inspired me to get back to it. And yes that man is pretty smart =)

1/09/2008 4:08 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

My birthday is January 7th, and I also felt left out as a child because nobody cool shared my birthday. Now I know about Hurston and St Distaff's Day thanks to you. Happy Birthday!

1/10/2008 5:10 AM  
Blogger Romi said...

Happy belated birthday!

1/17/2008 11:22 PM  
Blogger Irie said...

nifty swift mount! :)

1/19/2008 3:44 AM  
Blogger Stell said...

happy birthday, I'm so impressed with your spindle spinning, when do you find the time?

1/20/2008 6:55 PM  
Blogger nina said...

I've given you an award. Looking forward following your blog in the future :)


1/23/2008 12:54 PM  
Blogger carla said...

I have given you a little award :) See my blog.

1/24/2008 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful yarns and lace !

2/14/2008 7:34 AM  
Blogger Hinklebell said...

I love your yarns! By the way, Their Eye's Were Watching God, is one of my favorites. I've been reading it over and over for some 15 years or more now. I bought it when I read through all of Toni Morrison, and needed a similar fix. It is an excellent read.

3/15/2008 6:49 PM  

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