Circles

Clever Kates cavorting with crapper cylinders

“Why am I doing this?” I asked the Man I Married as we fastened the backseat seatbelt around my new bundle of joy.

“Isn’t knitting enough?” I continued. “Why take this on, too? What am I thinking? Clearly I’m not thinking.”

MIM knew better than to answer. He squeezed my hand and let me wind myself down.

The orifice hook rattled against the strapped-in spinning wheel as we pulled out of the cul-de-sac far from home. The bobbins clattered on their Lazy Kate—which should be called a Clever Kate—a wooden stand on which the bobbins perch and spin while yarn is plied (when two or more individual strands are wound together to make a stronger, thicker yarn). This one was a step-up from my improvised and borrowed Lazy Kate: a shoebox punctured with shish kabob skewers, on which hung cardboard toilet paper rolls.Read More »

Spinning Tales

Now this king and queen had plenty of money, and plenty of fine clothes to wear…

I’ve been thinking about the Brothers Grimm tale of Briar Rose—better known in our time as Sleeping Beauty—in a new light.

The fairytale, true to form, comprises many farfetched aspects, but until I took a spinning wheel class, I’d never before considered the biggest hitch in the plot’s logic.

To refresh your memory:

Causing the whole brouhaha was the queen (always blame the mother) failing to invite the thirteenth fairy to the birthday celebration of miraculous newborn Briar Rose, for good reason—the king and queen didn’t have enough dishes.Read More »

Mohair Melee

Angora rabbit thinks it’s snowing all the time.

Most of the attendees at the annual fiber festival looked the same: middle-aged ladies who have clearly never seen the inside of a CrossFit, some trailed by a patient husband like mine. Their outfits could often be described as “creative,” “unique,” and “artfully layered.” Choosing warmth and pride over commercial fashion wasn’t a bad choice for a mid-October festival in huge, warehouse-like buildings on a fairground, serenaded by the the Doplered approach and retreat of racecar engines circling the nearby track in the constant rain.

We arrived on the early side for the Saturday noon opening of the Used Equipment Sale. I envisioned a The Who concert-like stampede by knitters, swarming, grabbing, and elbowing for first dibs on Lazy Kates.

But, no. Quiet and polite milling around the swifts, looms, and spinning wheels disappointed me. A victorious gleam in the eyes of a woman clutching a spinning chair (a damned uncomfortable-looking piece of furniture for a craft that requires many hours of sitting) over her head as she made her way to the checkout table like an Oregon Trail migrant forging a river, was as close to Black Friday pandemonium as things got.Read More »

Knitting School Dropout

Class Prep: I had no problem with having sufficient materials for my Color 101 class.

“See you tonight! Don’t wait up!” I said cheerily to the Man I Married as I headed off at noon with a bulging supply bag to my first ever knitting class, held at a knitting conference in my neighborhood that I’d dreamt of attending for years. I’d never been able to participate, because I didn’t know how to knit. Well, now! That was a wee hurdle I’d finally overcome. With almost three solid (and I mean solid) months of knitting under my belt (as well as the new layer of fat from three months of sitting with nothing but my elbows moving more than a few inches), I finally got to enroll, carefully choosing classes geared toward beginners. That afternoon I would attend a lunch-hour lecture, followed by a three-hour Color 101 class, and then a Happy Hour meet-and-greet with conference instructors, so I didn’t plan to be home until after dinner, well-lubricated with boxed wine and bearing stunning examples of my newly acquired skills.

A couple of hours later, though, I slunk—as much as a person on a crutch can slink—back home in time to make dinner for the family.

“What happened?” asked MIM.

“I flunked out!” I wailed.Read More »

Unraveling

Not exactly scarf weather

RIGHT: Hematoma Scarf (14 days)
LEFT: Anemia Scarf (4 days)

The day after MIM’s birthday, though I had yet to get him a present, I sent him to the craft store to buy me yarn. I was on my back in bed with my suddenly severely swollen leg elevated on a stack of pillows. “Just buy me something soft and puffy, like Kathryn’s sample yarn,” I instructed, handing him the small ball Kathryn had left the night before after she’d taught me how to knit.Read More »