Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spinning addict

Last Minute mitts
Originally uploaded by spinnity
Oh, knitters. What am I going to do? I have a new addiction! And I have fallen victim to the Sin of Pride. it's all about ... spinning.

2007 has been a year for getting back into spinning - thanks to a big nudge from Kristi, who got me going in January with the first of our 2007 Spin-Ins. Not that I was ever really a spinner -- I went to one weekend spinning retreat with a borrowed wheel in 1996 and then pretty much dropped it. But now.. now I am actually on my way to becoming a spinner! It's really thanks to the spinners who come for the Spin-Ins. Without their presence, I would not be making the progress I am in my spinning - both my output and my consistency have really been improving with Hours Logged.

Up til this week, I have only been spinning about once every 6 weeks, at the Spin-Ins. This is probably good for the health of my hands, but my productivity is WAY low. Nevertheless, I am in love with my lumpy, imperfect, home made output. What's new for me is that I finally want to USE my handspun instead of saving it as a precious memento of my cleverness.

So check out my "Last Minute Mitts" (the hand warmer pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts) knit in my own very own handspun yarn. Aren't they clever? Aren't they oh-so-Artful-Dodger? Isn't the slight variation in the color beautiful and fascinating? I love them! I love the yarn, I love the pattern. I love that I *made* them from yarn to wearable object. Tee-hee-hee, I'm sooooo clever. (See where the Sin of Pride has a wide open door?)

Birding Jasper
Birding Jasper
Originally uploaded by spinnity
The yarn was spun at Spin-Ins between January and May this year. The Corriedale roving was dyed by Judy's Novelty Wool, and I bought it at Stitches West 2006. I started and finished these mitts during my birding trip to Alberta. I wanted something to keep my hands warm on our Rocky Mountain leg of the trip in Jasper National Park. In the action shot above you can see how well hand warmers suit my birding hobby -- fingers are left free for the focus knob. and just wait til you see what I saw while wearing my mitts!

White-tailed Ptarmigan
White-tailed Ptarmigan
Originally uploaded by Bill Walker
We crossed a milestone in Canada - our 500th "life bird" was a Northern Hawk Owl seen in Jasper, (I love how cool that sentence is. "Oh yes, our 500th life bird, we saw it in Canada. It was a Northern Hawk Owl.") No mitts required for that bird - it was a warm night filled with mosquitoes when we saw #500. But for #501, the White-tailed Ptarmigan at the top of The Whistlers, mitts were definitely the order of the day.

Fall Squall
Fall Squall
Originally uploaded by spinnity
But back to the spinning... this past Saturday I did something new. I prepared, spun, and plied 4 oz of dyed roving in a single day. OK, I was pretty much at the wheel from 2 pm until 1 am, with a break for dinner, so I'm no speed demon. But I managed to get all the way through a bump of fiber -- right to setting the twist - in one day. And then... last night... after Knitting Guild... I got my spindle out and worked for a couple hours on the fiber Kristi gave me for my birthday. See? Addicted. And happy!


Anonymous mel said...

Ooh, shiny mits! What a great color. :)

August 21, 2007 4:20 PM  
Blogger Bogie said...

Your mitts and 3 ply look fantastic! Congratulations Mary.

August 21, 2007 4:56 PM  
Blogger Grace said...

OH NO. Spin In was last Saturday, wasn't it. I forgot!

Your mitts are totally cute, no need to feel guilty about being proud of those beauties!

August 21, 2007 5:00 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Your mitts are beautiful. I hope that I will be able to accomplish that much spinning one day! Your pride is not misplaced in my opinion.

-Cindy (still pondering a wheel purchase!)

August 21, 2007 5:24 PM  
Blogger theknitist said...

Yayayayay for handspun mitts and your 500th lifetime bird!!!

August 21, 2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

Love the mitts! :)

August 21, 2007 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

Mitts! In handspun! You rock!

August 21, 2007 9:26 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Your mitts inspire me to make more yarn! They are be-yoo-tiful!

August 21, 2007 11:38 PM  
Blogger Baywood Yarns said...

What a fun trip, and I"m glad the mitts were put to good use! You should be wayyy proud... (Love the scarf too, Bambuzzled.)

August 22, 2007 12:04 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

That is so cool - I would be bursting with pride too!

August 22, 2007 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely mitts, clever spinner, but where are you going to keep the sheep--I can see it coming. Mom

August 22, 2007 3:23 PM  

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