What I am about to show you will to some appear to simply be yarn. But I disagree, these images are not of yarn, they are of potential. Sheer, unbridled, undecided, ever-changing, potential.
My shipment of yarns from KnitPicks.com, part 2 of my birthday present to myself/from Neil. The round balls in the middle are Palette in Green Tea, Rainforest Heather, and Autumn Heather. I cannot rave enough about the Rainforest Heather. It looks like just heathered green yarn, but there are so many subtle colors in the yarn like blue, purple, and brown. It is beautiful. You should pick that yarn up if you like cool colors, you will be stunned. Autumn Heather has lots of subtle colors, but it’s like dried autumn leaves that have been spun into yarn. It is matte where Rainforest is shimmery, and I love it. The skeins are Gloss in Dolphin and Porcini. The balls on the left and right are Stroll, in Tidepool Heather and Lantana. Lantana is the purple one, and it’s potential lies somewhere in a pair of lacey socks with flowers on them. That is one of those yarns that I saw online and knew exactly what I wanted to knit with them, you’ll just have to wait and see.
My parents made it home safely from their Alaskan cruise that my mother’s family all took together to celebrate her parent’s 50th anniversary, which I was sad to miss out on. Not because it was a cruise (I can’t seem myself as the cruising kind of vacationer, I’m more of a go directly to the place and immerse myself in the area kind of gal), but because of all the beautiful yarn my mother picked up! I definitely felt the jealously string being tugged as she showed me her stash additions, but I know one day, I too will be able to afford lovely yarn like that (plus, I just got a spinning wheel, so I could only be jealous for a minute before I remembered my wheel). She was generous as always, and in addition to a t-shirt for Neil, pajamas for Morgan, a matching onesie for Peanut, stickers, and a fridge magnet, she also picked me up some local Alaskan yarn:
I’ve decided to pair it with some Patons Classic Wool (and maybe a smidge of Cascade 220 if I have to) to make myself a pair of mittens. These mittens are long overdue. Over the years I have made mittens for my ex and his son, for Morgan, and my former brother and sister in law, but none for myself. I have always admired Latvian mitten patterns and thought I wanted to make a pair, but doing a pair of those in Alaskan yarn seemed well, not quite right. I combed through Ravelry’s pattern database though, and came up with the perfect pattern. End of May Mittens.
Check the pattern out on Ravelry, and look at all the lovely pairs that have been made. Some of the color combinations are staggering in their beauty. The light purple is going to be the lining, and the white is going to be the color of the flowers, while the Alaskan Yarn is going to be the darker color, and I love that it’s going to change. I have not ever done an actual project in color stranding, so I’m giving it a try for the first time in a weight of yarn that is comfortable, and project that will be small, and gratifying in how fast it will knit up (I hope). I know it seems silly to be knitting mittens in July, but don’t forget, Peanut comes in November, and I am not going to be caught unawares this winter! I got tired of cheap machine knit gloves last winter, and I promised myself I wouldn’t go another cold and wet season without proper woolen mittens to keep my fingers toasty.
And of course I’m going to update you about the wheel too!
I bought some Howards furniture polish/finish restorer/preserver from a local antique shop, only to discover last night that it’s a favorite product among the spinning websites I found. I paid a great price for it too, and it comes in bigger bottles. It’s beeswax and orange oil, and it smells fantastic. It also gave my wheel a gleam and shine that it probably hasn’t had since it was made.
I have to give a HUGE thank you to Lori from Oceanwind Knits, one of my mother’s friends, for all her wonderful advice. She helped me figure out how to thread my drive band (which is kitchen twine of all things (which cost about $2.49!!!!!!) and gave me some great tips on how it should feel when I spin it. I just need some oil for it before I actually start to spin my roving on it. I’m a little terrified to start, I don’t want to screw up, you know? But I have to put my perfectionist nature aside and just DO it.
She also gave me some information about my wheel that I hadn’t known. I knew that Nilus wasn’t making their wheels anymore, but I wasn’t aware that my wheel is essentially collector’s item. They stopped making wheels sometime around or after WWII, and she thinks that Ashford may have bought the plans for this wheel to make their current wheel, the Elizabeth. I will definitely be taking damned good care of this wheel. I will use it, of course, but it will stay well oiled, conditioned, and polished. It will be a loved piece for many years to come, I’m sure.
And yes, for those spinners out there, I’m sure you’re wondering if I’m totally addicted to looking at roving and fiber now, and I’m sunk. The second that I hung up the phone with the lady who sold me the wheel, I was starting an internet browser window and was scouring the net for roving. I’m doomed. Keep my credit card FAR away from me!