Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ready for Spring

Saturday was the February meeting for Portland Spinnerati and Susan (that's her in the orange shirt) had volunteered to give a lesson in long-draw spinning of cotton. She'd made a trip to Woodland Woolworks and purchased cotton in several different preparations: carded sliver, combed top, and punis.

After a few minutes of practice and lots of encouragement from Sharon, Sari and I were both successfully doing long draw. You can't see the thin threads we were producing, but you can see how far back from the orifice we were able to draft.

I'm not sure I'll spin more cotton; I rarely knit with it and it's pretty reasonably priced in the stores. But spinning with cotton makes me think it's time to start thinking that Spring is just around the corner.

Melissa, however, was not as successful, even though she had that beautiful Journey wheel on loan from Barbara. Maybe Barbara should have packed some "spinning mojo" inside.

I was busy spinning during the meeting, so thanks to Tami for the pictures!

It was a good meeting; we discussed the direction the group will take and welcomed new members. It was a large group this month, too; I think we counted 21 spinners this time. We're still on the hunt for a permanent home and sorting out who can teach what techniques, but it's developing into a really good group for teaching each other and expanding all our skills.

I did finish two things this week; both for me for a change. My office tends to stay a little on the cool side but I find sweaters too bulky when sitting at a computer most of the day. If I can keep my neck and shoulders warm, I'm much more comfortable. As a result, I'm on a spurt of building a wardrobe of cowls and small shawls for myself.

This one is a small skein (only 93 yards) of kid mohair that I bought at TKGA last fall. It's snow white with a single thread of mylar for just a touch of sparkle. No pattern, I just casted on and knit in rows of ribbing, stockinette, seed stitch, and garter stitch. That shawl pin is one ToolMan made last year for OFFF but I snagged it for myself.

This is another single skein project finished this week. This one is Lala's Simple Shawl, knit in Handmaiden Sea Wool in Woodlands colorway. The picture doesn't really show the colors well; it has multiple greens, with bits of brown, grey, and dark blue. The Sea Wool was a little stiff and shiny in the skein, but after a nice soak and blocking, it's very soft. The finished shawl has a wonderful drape and hand, very similar to linen.

I really like these small shawls for the office. I wrap them around my neck if I'm cold, drape them over my shoulders when I warm up, and are small enough to tuck in my bag if I get too warm. With my recent reduction in hours, and the resulting reduction in income, I won't be buying new clothes anytime soon. Having these cowls and shawls to toss on give me a change in wardrobe without breaking the bank and they make great commuter knitting.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely cowls! And happy spinning - it looks like you guys are having a lot of fun.


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