Fluffy yarn from unlikely fibre

A wise woman once described long draw as the funnest of draws. (Okay, it was me, last week, but I was feeling wise at the time.) My first time, it was almost like the yarn spun itself, but then I was spinning some Rideau Arcott wool that my mum had carded and given to me with the wheel. I had no idea how lucky I was. Now, if I could, I would have my mum living right next door so I could bribe her with knitting to prep all my spinning fibre for me. That lady knows her stuff. The…

Camel down: the stuff that dreams are made of

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of what is probably semi-woolen spinning (like short draw, but with some twist in the drafting triangle). It’s not as slow as worsted, but it still seems to take foreeeeever, especially since I’m a spinning newbie and don’t draft very quickly. This skein of New Zealand Gotland lambswool 2-ply, for instance, took over a week: Don’t even talk to me about the BFL/Silk top. Hours and hours and days and weeks of spinning, and I’ve done about .7 oz. That’s just over half of the first single. Of three. It will make a very…

Basil!

Years ago, back in East Vancouver, I lived next to an Italian guy named Mario. Mario had a beautiful garden, in which he had built a sort of tent thing covered in thick, clear plastic sheeting. In this tent thing, he grew masses of the most wonderful Roma tomatoes and an embarrassment of shiny, healthy basil plants. Mario noticed my interest in gardening, and every year, he’d give me his extra tomato and basil seedlings. Every year, I would plant and nurture these seedlings, and every year, they would grow into sad, leggy plants. The tomatoes would get blossom end…

Happy stripes

Finally, the ungodly heat of the last several weeks has abated, and it’s possible to spend more than 2 minutes outside without expiring from heat prostration. I decided to celebrate the reprieve by going to a baseball game. The Birmingham Barons, our local AA team, were playing a home game against the Montgomery Biscuits; the ballpark is ten minutes away; the evening was warm and breezy; clearly, it was meant to be. Obviously, I needed to decide on a knitting project to take to the park. It had to be easy (or how would I watch the game?) and portable. I…