Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spinning into Spring

Spring continues to blow in with plenty of rain. Sunday I saw a flock of cedar waxwings in a neighborhood tree. Daffodils begin to bloom in our neighborhood but not yet in our yard. The tulips are up. Yesterday we ducked out for a walk after the rain stopped and noticed green at the tips of some leaf buds. Slowly but surely color returns to the landscape. This year it is especially welcome. 

During odd extra moments, I knit on these lavender mitts. The bottom edge is a little uneven due to the design but they feel great on my hands. Since trying the yarn was the point of this project, I plan to record the stockinette gauge in a notebook and on Ravelry. These will likely go in the gift bag. Many non-knitters are surprised by fingerless mitts and how nice they are during the spring and fall. In the winter, I have a pair at my desk, on my bedside table, on the front seat of my car, and near the corner of the loveseat where I sit to read. I am knitting on the last corner of the scrappy blanket, closing in on the end of that project.  

I continue to spin on spindles. I am almost half-way through a project to spin the white Cormo. I plied another skein yesterday. I was so enchanted with how long the spindle would spin, the skein was over twisted. After tying it off, I gave it a bath (as I always do) and then hung it in the shower to dry with a plastic hanger on the bottom for a little additional weight. The yarn felt pretty good today. 

Spinning, when it is going well is magic. Sometimes it doesn't go well but I love the spindles. Beautiful and balanced spindles are the mark of fine craftsmanship. I read about spindle storage and found a variety of opinions. The consensus is they need to be stored with care not to damage or distort them. We had a small decorative shelf that we weren't using. My husband put hooks under the shelf part so I can now hang four drop spindles from the hooks.  

Reading that drop spindling sometimes bothered my shoulder, Kat sent me a gift of a beautiful supported spindle made by Ann Grout. It is ceramic and in the shape of an acorn. This little spindle spins for a long time. She also included a bit of Hipstrings Fiber. The fiber blend is merino, flax, and Tussah silk. It was just the loveliest of gifts and brightened my day while waiting for winter to end. What a kind thoughtful friend. This little blogging community has been a wonderful surprise.   

Supported spindling requires different fine motor skills so I spent some time practicing on the leftovers of a merino braid. I have lots to learn but am enjoying the journey. Now and then I hear a smattering of information about sheep breeds and wool on podcasts. I decided to get out The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes and refresh my memory on the details. 

I am also reading The Doctor's Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura. This nonfiction is well written. The tenacity of Elizabeth Blackwell is something to admire. Nimura does a nice job not idealizing these two women and shows their human foibles as well as their strengths. A few other titles have come up on my library holds. This is probably a good thing. We are getting second Covid vaccines on Friday and I plan on putting my feet up this weekend. I'm off to make a grocery list that includes soda crackers, ginger ale, and soup ingredients. Best be prepared. In the meantime I am linking with Kat and the Unravelers

I hope color and hope are returning to your landscape this early Spring week.  

Cormo before spinning the skeins above


  1. What a lovely spring post! I'm also a big fan of fingerless mitts, especially in the spring and fall as you mentioned. I think your spinning looks magical, and I hope it is even more so now with a generous and lovely gift from Kat. Congratulations on the approach of your second shots. Your preparations sound wise and I hope you only feel slightly under the weather, just enough to know that your immune system is responding well!

  2. Spring -- it cannot come soon enough!

  3. this community is the best! and I am in awe that you are making yarn. Sending up all the best wishes for your second shot(s)!

  4. We are having a cool and rainy spring here so far too. My husband wears not fingerless mittens, but fingerless gloves all winter. He says they keep his hands warm and make it easier to drive and do other things. Hope things go well with your second Covid vaccine. Good idea to have some reading material at the ready so you can relax. My husband got his second vaccine yesterday and he is a little tired and achy today. We are both relieved that we have both received both vaccines now. Next up, our college son, since our state has now opened up vaccines for adults of all ages. A good book I just read that you might enjoy is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. It is based on the WPA Pack Horse Librarians in Kentucky during the depression. That book you are reading sounds good too. Hope you have a good weekend. See you again soon.

  5. I have really enjoyed watching your spinning progress, and you've inspired me to find my supported spindle to see if I can improve my skills with it.

    I hope everything goes well with your second shots and if you have side effects, that they don't last long. I think you are smart to prepare for a weekend of rest.

  6. I am so happy you are liking that spindle! A small bit of Pittsburgh to brighten your Nebraska day! (I am sending all the good thoughts for an easy second shot!)

  7. It's so fun to follow along with your spinning progress, Jane. I've avoided learning to spin . . . so far. But watching so many of you spin makes it (a little bit) tempting for me. I'm glad spring is unfolding in your world! It is here, where I live, too. Every day I see a new sign -- and I can't wait until the cedar waxwings move through again!

    I recently finished the Doctors Blackwell book myself. I thought it was very well researched and written. Interesting, too! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

  8. Best of luck with your second shots - hope all goes well and that any side effects are minimal and short-lasting. I think it is so cool that you have taken to spinning. I enjoy seeing what you are spinning and the spindles are beautiful - like works of art. Great idea to hang them up! I ran to the post office this a.m. and saw a tree with some pink buds (not sure what the tree is...but Spring has sprung!).

  9. I hope Kat's spindle does the trick, she is so nice! I love seeing what you are up to and how you are spending your days. I am enjoying the spring like weather and most especially the SIGNS of spring!

  10. Kat's spindle is the ticket I think!!!! I saw a woman at a yarn /coffee shop using a small small wooden bowl for the support. It was fascinating to watch.
    Im excited about ANY sign of Spring. Same slow awakening going on here.
    I treasure it all. Especially this year ....a reward for the long isolated winter of COVID

  11. The project bag in the photo is gorgeous.

    Good luck with your shots. I know you'll be glad to have it all done.