Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Wheels Go Round...

...when I was a little girl and my grandparents were not looking, I used to play with a little plant stand in their hallway. Its moving parts fascinated me. I could build it up to a terrific, mesmerising speed until its string came flying off, broke or the plant rattled in its container, giving me away - each time it was fixed and/or my grandparents' attention wandered, I'd creep back to play with it again.

Later, my mother had two proper versions of my grandparents' plant stand. I was still a child though and I do not remember having permission to use them – apart from once or twice, perhaps? My memory is that they were pretty much out of bounds. Mind you, that didn't stop me from having a sneaky whizz round on them when my mother was out or not looking (sorry mum, I fibbed back then - it was me). There is just something about their design that begs you to race them around, even if you are not supposed to.

I was allowed to have a go on a manual version of my mother's kit but I didn't find it any fun at all -so I cast it aside and forgot all about it.

* * *

Fast forward to 2008. Lately, I have noticed a lot of friends, for example this one and this one, getting into a new craft. I have been watching them from the sidelines with the same feeling that I used to have when lurking around the edges of a playground at a new school. You know, sort of hoping that someone would invite me to join in a game of something but half terrified, just in case they did?

After all - a new craft equals more financial outlay, something extra to try to fit into the same amount of crafting time and I remember writing this particular craft off as a bad job when I was small.

Yet the feeling of wanting to have a go persisted. So, I went home to Hereford and I asked my mother if I might borrow some of her equipment. I was completely thwarted though! It seems that my mother has started to use it all again recently. (Although mum, I await evidence of this on your blog!)

Net result? I wrote off the whole idea. Luckily, something popped up unexpectedly on Ravelry just after my birthday. This led to the vague mention in a previous post that I might be up to something betwen DIY duties.

Well, I have barely knitted a stitch since I arrived in Canada. All my yarn, fabric, tools, books and notions are in Rubbermaids (plastic containers) due to the DIY mess (paint and dust) and the house barely has any furniture left in it as we are having the floors refinished soon.

Right now, I am supposed to be washing, sanding or painting the house. I am not supposed to be spending any time with this beautful thing:


It is supposed to be the carrot that keeps me diligently at my DIY tasks. Yet it keeps on coming out. Excuse me while I make an understatement here - see this wheel?

It is soooo much better than the plant stand that I used to play with when I was little.

And spinning itself? Ohhhhh folks, it is so very, v-e-r-y addictive.

I have even heard myself saying to the Fella (who is a bit bemused by this sudden turn of events), "I'd really like to go home. I'd really like to get my spinning wheel out to practice."

"Oh! Do you mind, if I spend ten minutes with my wheel before we go to bed, after I have washed off all this paint?"

I have had my wheel for a week. So far? Between DIY duties, I have managed to spin three bobbins of Crossbreed Sliver 33 Micron. This is the fibre that they handed to me when I signed up for my 4 spinning classes at Birkeland Bros. The first two bobbins, I have plied into my first skein (or so) of really lumpy, bumpy yarn, which I have dutifully skeined and soaked to set the twist. Voila!


Now the Fella lost the Noro scarf that I knitted him at the start of this year. So I have told him that I plan to knit a replacement from this - I plan to call it The Penance Scarf and make him wear it out in public!

My next bobbin looks a bit thinner and more even. With any luck, it will be less overspun (it seems that I still like to whiz my wheel):


Now while I am enjoying practising with my spinning class fibre, I am looking forwards to putting it aside to play with some of the other things in my budding fibre stash:


From Left to Right:

Front Row: Birkeland Bros fibre that Chrissy kindly gave me to get started; some yummy, yummy fibre from Yarnsprout (Chrissy) who sells her natural hand dyes here and her commercial dyes here. I do not want to touch (ruin) these until I have a better idea what I am doing; my spinning class fibre

Back Row: a mixture of things that I picked up on Friday from Fun Knits at BC Expo. I tried to work with the Louet fibre last night (as I was told that it was the best next step, after Sliver, for beginner spinners) but it is not behaving at all like my class fibre. So um, actually, I had to give up as I wasn't getting anywhere! Hmm, need more help and practice..!

So um, yep - my name is Gabrielle. I used to have a fabric stash.

(It's been about 2 years since my last fabric purchase.)

Then, as my interests developed, I developed a yarn stash.

(Opps, it's only been about 2 days since my last yarn purchase.)

Now it seems that I have moved halfway around the planet and now? I have a fabric, yarn and fibre stash?

What does the Fella think? Well, he did mention that I justified bringing over my yarn stash by saying that I wanted to work on existing projects and wanted to reduce bug related yarn panic attacks. He also pointed out that making more yarn does rather contradict this objective!

However, mostly, his view on this sudden turn of events? Actually, he keeps chuckling, shaking his head and saying, "I thought that I was a knitter's boyfriend. However, it turns out that I am a spinner's boyfriend...

...what's it worth, for me not to mention this to anyone?!"

My reply?

"Oh shhhh, don't interrupt - I'm spinning!"


the small gallery said...

Humph! Why have we spent all this time talking about sewing machines and you might have told me you had bought a wheel; double humph" and its an Ashford; treble humph! wye sue told me to read your blog....muchas humphs! Can't you talk to your mother about such important mother daughter matters? For all I know Arianwen has bought a 16 shaft jacquard weaving loom!!!! and anthony has bought Laughing Hens!!

yogic knitter said...

You have my wheel! This is the one I am going to P&M woolcraft to test drive on Saturday with Diane. I will have to wait until January for mine though! Hey but they are portable which means when you pop back in March we can spin together down at the gym and not go near a single bike!
So how long before you get your first whole sheep fleece?
So glad you have joined in and very jealous that you have your Joy already.
Funny thing is I nearly bought you a drop spindle for your birthday!

Roobeedoo said...

Ooooh! What a great excuse for a new stash! Have fun!

Chrissy said...

I'm so glad to see you are still enjoying the spinning! We must get together and spin some time.

Wow! That's quite the fiber stash you are acquiring!

Happy Spinning :)