Sunday, June 6, 2010

It’s the simple things

Lately I ve been trying to slow my life down and appreciate what I have. I’ve never been a wild and wacky chick, but something about the increasing uncertainty of the oil spill, the economy, getting older, whatever, has sent me moving toward the basics. In addition to making my own bread and, more recently, grinding my own grain, I’ve taken an interest in the fiber arts. I tried knitting years ago, but I have a very tight hand, so by the time I was 10 rows into a piece, the loops were so tight on my needle that I couldn’t pry them open to make row 11. I have found that crocheting does not pose the same problem.

Armed with a website, a hook and yarn from WALMART and some semi-interesting TV shows, I made a warm but hideously ugly hat late this winter. I love it because I made it by myself. No pattern, either – mostly because I can’t read them yet. I find crocheting highly versatile and ninny-proof, which I require. I used the Red-heart yarn, which was also very forgiving and another plus from my buds at Walmart. So why drone on?

Of course, following my previous pattern (see blog below on bread), making the garment isn’t enough. Again, researching the web, I found sites on spinning your own yarn. How did anyone ever figure this stuff out? There are a zillion steps to get from sheep to needle! Happenstance sent me to a local farmers market during a fiber arts celebration. Several people had spinning wheels -- but that takes some talent and investment, for neither of which was I prepared. I did find a wonderful lady with drop spindles and wool that had been cleaned and carded. That was up my alley – drop spindles can be used to develop some of the hand-eye coordination required to graduate to a spinning wheel.

I digress – I almost bought a fleece so that I could start this process from the immediate post-sheep phase. After seeing and doing the spinning part, I believe I will postpone that part of my skill-building. I am not yet that patient, and the skirting, washing and carding seem to require even more of that precious substance than the spinning. They also require enough attention that mind-numbing television does not enter the equation.

Within a few tries in the privacy of my own home, I was making YARN from the wool and drop spindle I purchased!! How cool is that? I have not yet tried to use the yarn with my beautiful metallic pink WALMART crochet hook. I am confident when the time comes, I can make myself an even lovelier hat with my own yarn. Maybe someday my hats will be as delicious as my bread!

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