Dearest friend…

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Darling Maggie, sweetest and smartest of all kitties.

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Constant companion, closest friend.

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We will miss you with all our hearts.

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And you’ll be with us, always.

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Spinning Step by Step: A drop spindle tutorial

Do you dream of learning to spin your own yarn? Of knitting socks or a shawl from lovely fibers you’ve designed and created yourself? Well, do I have a gift for you: An illustrated drop spindle tutorial!

Here’s a little taste of what’s to come… Enjoy!

Spinning Step by Step: How to use a drop spindle

Calming. Centering. Relaxing. These are just a few of the words spinners use to describe how they feel as fiber passes through their fingers, miraculously turning into yarn through the alchemy of hand spinning. Soon, you’ll enjoy the same creative sensations…AND you’ll be knitting with yarn you made yourself!

Getting Ready
Always remember: there’s a reason it’s called a “drop spindle.” That’s right: You will drop your spindle while you’re learning, and even afterward. So make sure you have a nice cup of tea (or glass of wine!) by your side, and try to be patient with yourself. Spinning is an ancient art form—you can learn the basics in a short time, yet spend years mastering the craft and creating new types of yarn.

What else do you need?

  • Your drop spindle
  • Some fiber (wool is usually easiest to learn with)
  • A comfortable, supportive chair (not a cushy one…a wooden kitchen chair will work nicely)

Click here for the full PDF version of the Drop Spindle Tutorial

NOTE: The gorgeous spindle in the tutorial was made by Jonathan Bosworth.

Proud to be Goat Hair

“Mohairs are positive and confident. You always strive to make a good first impression because you are a proud person, and you care a good deal about what people think of you. You are careful with your words and are always tactful. You enjoy having a broad base of support and respect from those whom you come in contact. You attract this with your warm, sunny, and inquisitive personality.”
(Source: PotterCraft”s Fiber Quiz)

You can find your yarn alter-ego here…If you do, leave a comment to let me know what fiber type you are!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with lots of time for relaxing with your knitting and a soothing cup of tea…Cheers!

A Novel Idea: Blogging Without Obligation

I’ve always been plagued by guilt when I let days or weeks go by without updating my blog. This is especially true since I joined Ravelry. So imagine my joy and relief when this lovely blog entry lit up my screen:

“…It is time to rethink what makes a good blog and the expectations that have come to be part of it. I am thinking that no one should utter those words ahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifgain . . .and with that thought I give you Blogging Without Obligation.”

Enjoy your time!

A Few Things About Me…

We moved this past Sunday, to a cute little cottage in a small town near the “Quad-State Region” of Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia/Pennsylvania. It was not an easy move, but with the greatly-appreciated help of some ultra-kind friends, we’ve got our stuff in our new home and are settling in to country life (Chris has to commute to D.C. for work, though).

So now I’m recovering from exhaustion and getting my creative mojo back! Meanwhile, here’s something to pass a cloudy, chilly day (aside from unpacking boxes), which I got from Lynne

Puttin’ my feet up

A FEW THINGS ABOUT ME

Are you a yarn snob? Kind of…but not too much. I just love QUALITY, and sometimes that includes a bit of man-made something or other. Like most knitters these days, I’ll pass on the novelty yarns.

Do you spin? Crochet? Yes, I do spin. I have a Kromski Sonata, which I LOVE! Now that we’ve moved out of the city, I want to spend more time on spinning so I can sell my handspun. Crochet? I’m not a very sophisticated crocheter, but I’m handy enough with a hook :-)

How long have you been knitting? Seven years.

What other crafts do you like to do? Sketching, painting, sewing, making stitch markers and jewelry, and I want to learn how to make paper and bind books

What are your favorite yarns to knit with? Alpaca, Pear Tree Merino (soft as cashmere!), Socks That Rock (the original kind…I love the springy feel), basically anything soft and pretty

What are your favorite needles to knit with? KnitPicks traditional 32″ circulars for socks, Addi Turbos for anything else…

What’s your favorite knitting gadget? My Royal ball winder and Swedish umbrella swift

What fibers do you absolutely NOT like? Cheap acrylic that squeaks and feels like it’s leaving microscopic cuts in my fingers; those good old fuzzy novelty yarns; and linen (I tried Euroflax Sport, but it was not a fun experience…maybe I did something wrong?)

What are your favorite items to knit? Fingerless gloves; socks; interesting scarves; and I’m looking forward to making tops and sweaters when I can afford to buy that much yarn at one time!

What are you knitting right now? Two pairs of socks I’m designing, one hat I’m designing, a tea cozy, Leigh Radford’s Tube Scarf, a hand-spun shawl, and I’m almost done with a pair of “Fetching” gloves made of Pear Tree Merino

What do you think about ponchos? I don’t know if I’d wear one outside the house, but I think they’d be comfy for lounging around knitting in front of the telly!

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Definitely circular

Are you a sock knitter? Oh, yes! I really enjoy knitting cuff down, but I’m pushing myself to add other sock-knitting techniques to my arsenal ;-)

How did you learn to knit? Wish I had a cozy story about my grandma teaching me, but honestly, I’m entirely self-taught (I originally learned with a Leisure Arts booklet, a pair of US#10 aluminum straight needles, and a skein of Pepto-Bismol pink Red Heart acrylic yarn from JoAnn Fabrics

What is–and how old is–your oldest UFO (unfinished Object)? It’s that damn Tube Scarf from AlterKnits…I mean, really! Six feet of stockinette in the round with lace-weight yarn? Yawn. But I’m determined to finish it. I keep wondering if I should put all other projects aside and just push through it, since I love the finished scarf (and so do other knitters who’ve finished theirs!)

Well…unpacking, laundry, and other fun awaits me.

Happy Knitting!