I left off raving about my newfound crush. One has a couple of options when finding one's self falling arse over teakettle in love. One can muster up good sense and balance, and be right-side-up again before too much water spills under the bridge. One can throw out one's hands and not fall too far before being picked up, dusted off and set right. Or one can surrender utterly and roll merrily along for the ride....That last one would be me. I've discovered I can't learn enough, quickly enough. By November I had a drop spindle, a lovely, smooth KYSpindle from The Woolery. Who knew that wood could feel so silky, satiny? That I would delight in just stroking the smoothness? I've had a single lesson, and have two books to refer to. I love the tactile magic of transforming fluffy roving into something than can one day be knitted or crocheted....what a miraculous thing that mere fluff can become a sweater, a scarf!!!
I've played with it a bit, and look forward to more lessons, and I'm longing for the day I can try this with a spinning wheel. But baby steps are what's needed here; I'd like to learn to spin in this totally hands-on way that harkens back thousands of years. When the time is right, I'll give a wheel a whirl.
So having given spinning a spin, my Gemini mind was greedy; mind and hands wanted to explore, itched to find more ways to indulge this nearly insatiable craving to touch and stroke, to embrace every aspect of working with wool. Knitting seemed the obvious answer. I'd rejected knitting as a teenager; precision isn't my strong suit, and knitting felt--and seems still--rather unforgiving. But I needed to try. An aborted effort from a book nearly derailed me (some things just shouldn't be learned from a book, ya know?), but then Nici McNally rescued me with her DVD! Her warm manner and the slow, up-close demonstrations had me casting on and practicing knit stitches in minutes. Purl stitches make me think of the old adage about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, only in hgh heels and backwards, but by golly, I figured it out! I've had crafty dalliances before, but I always walked away before it could get too serious, before anyone got hurt. They were mere flirtations, a hooked rug here, a crocheted scarf there, a sweet but very brief fling with some needlepoint. But this time, thanks to Nici (I hope you don't mind that I'm calling you by your first name; I feel we've bonded in our time together), and some help when I got stuck from Susan, the kind and extremely patient owner of Amazing Threads in Saugerties, I've gone all the way (yes, I'm admitting that publicly...times have changed and no one hides that kind of thing anymore); last weekend I FINISHED a project...a gorgeous scarf for Linda:
I used Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky Paints in Londonderry, and a very basic knit 5 stitches, purl 5 stitches pattern to create a wide ribbed look.
It's been a heady experience, the soft caresses of skin and cloud-soft wool, the intensity of our time alone together, the wild exultation when 'it' was....finished. I'm embarrassed to say I couldn't wait to do it again. As I write, some Inca forest green alpaca is whispering my name, begging me to come back and work on the shawl I've begun. I'm trying to play hard to get, but, well....turns out I'm easy. My mother would be shocked.