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Posts Tagged ‘spinning’

Burnt orange, brown and mustard yellow have always been my favorite colors. That is they WERE my favorite colors until i moved to Austin, TX: land of the UT Longhorns with the team color of burnt orange. Burnt orange coated, no SATURATED that city and i wanted nothing to do with any affiliation with a sport team, so i quit wearing burnt orange. Luckily i moved! Now i live in a town with team colors in….. ORANGE! haha. Ah well, it’s Fall and i’m wearing orange, darnit!

I picked up some lovely batts of pygora fiber at this summer’s Black Sheep Gathering and spun it into a lovely three-ply yarn. I’ve finished my husband’s knit hat in time for the cooler weather, and it’s not quite Christmas knitting crunch time (though in reality, it probably already is) so i’m knitting myself something. Despite never having worn a cowl, or knitted lace – i’m combining both into my current experiemental knitting project. Doesn’t this yarn just scream autumn? I think so.

Read more about my knitting adventure and get the “pattern” for achieving this lacey look over at today’s Pocket Pause.

Are you a knitter? Do you rely on patterns and charts, or do you ever just wing it?

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Yes, i spin yarn. No, my wheel is not an antique and neither are the robust group of friends i’ve made here in Oregon who are part of the even more robust fiber community. My wheel i picked up used at a great price and my friends i picked up from fiber stores and a local farmer’s market, and all of them already priceless to me. Isn’t “Clementine” spiffy? She’s a Clemes & Clemes Modern Wheel. (Please forgive the repulsive state of my kitchen. It’s a tiny apartment and it’s never clean.)

I am often asked “why would you spin yarn when you could just buy it in the store?” or “why would you want to knit a hat when you could just buy one in the store?” I believe those people are missing the point. I do still buy cotton yarn and lust after other folks’ gorgeous handspun occasionally. I don’t think everyone in the world needs to make everything from scratch, but in case you too are wondering why i’m crazy enough to spend hours holding balls of fluff in my hands and treadling my foot up and down, this is why i do it:

Some of my very first handspun, totally uneven, but super soft!

Spinning is an ancient art that is so simple yet so complex. By carefully holding the fiber of animals or plants in one hand, rotating it using a spindle or spinning wheel, and gently tugging it forward and back, you can create yarn: something beautiful and strong that can be used to make functional and long lasting garments. What’s better than that? I am also a sailer, or was in my younger days, and spinning is a bit like sailing in that you’re grasping just a few simple elements and harnessing them to do what you want. Wind and water make you go, fluff and twist make beautiful yarn.

Ultimately, I will be raising many of the animals who will contribute the fiber that i spin. I’m thinking of raising Icelandic sheep for their fiber and their meat, pygora goats for their cashmere-like fiber and friendship, and a few fluffy rabbits from which the softest of fiber comes. To raise an animal, sheer it, wash and prepare its fiber, spin it into yarn and create a sweater to be worn for the rest of your life: now THAT’S the reason that i spin. Spinning is relaxing, rewarding, and reconnects me to a time before the hussle and bussle of this century – and i get to wear or clothe my loved ones with the fruits of my labors!

What do you think of my very first knit hat? I’m an absolute beginner knitter, and it’s kind of atrocious. At least the yarn i spun for it is warm, if a bit uneven! I think the hubs likes it, even if it is “The hat of many mistakes.”  Read more about my spinning and knitting attempts and see how much nicer they’re both starting to look at An Austin Homestead. -Miranda

Are you a spinner? I know there are more of us out there than some may think… Why do YOU spin?

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