Six hundred fifty two stitches. That is how long the last row was. Six hundred and fifty two stitches.

It took and hour and a half to bind off that one, very long row.

It was totally worth it.


Pogona in my handspun. Fiber from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club, July 2012 A Bug’s Life. Spinning the yarn blogged here. Ravelry Project page here.

As my knitting skills increase, I find less and less projects that really challenge me, and therefore knitting has become a little less satisfying. Not that I don’t totally love knitting, because I do. But, as I have stated before, I relish the difficulty, the collection of new skills, and the notches on my belt. Now that I have conquered knitting I don’t get that really big swell of “I did it” emotion when I block out my finished objects. Don’t get me wrong, I get happy and I love the way things turn out and I am excited about creating something beautiful with two pointy sticks and a piece of wool. I just don’t feel like I scaled Mount Everest or really conquered anything. Remember this post in which I was gloriously ecstatic because I had conquered lace? And this post when I finally became a sock knitter (but didn’t know it yet)? It was about the challenge. And I overcame.

Alas, knitting has no more challenges for me. And if that sounds crazy (because we all know that I am not Elizabeth Zimmerman by a long shot and I certainly can’t do it all) than let me clarify by saying that I have learned all that I am interested in learning at this time. I don’t desire to learn entrelac and I ┬ádon’t have time to become a proficient designer, and I have done what I want to do.

Enter spinning and a whole new world of challenges. I know nothing. I can do nothing. I have this awesome spinning wheel and some beautiful fiber and every second that I spin takes concentration and effort and heaps of “hope I am doing this right”. Challenge. Thrill. And when I conquer, I feel satisfied.

That is what this shawl is. Satisfying. A great accomplishment. As I pinned it out on the blocking board I felt that feeling well up in my chest.

I did it. I did it well. I conquered.

The yarn is still so flawed and the colors didn’t work out quite the way that I had hoped. But, the knitting was enlightening, teaching me, among other things, that knitting with your handspun is part of perfecting your spinning technique.

It is also terribly satisfying.

Falling in Love (With Wool)

I confess that when the July fiber from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club arrived in my mail box, I was a little underwhelmed. The muted earth tones were a huge departure from the bright and happy rainbows that I had been spinning of late and my gut reaction was, “eh”.

But as I held it in my hands and sniffed it and experienced it the way that a spinner will do, I started to fall in love. Not all at once in a Disney princess sort of way, but a little bit at a time. I started to envision the yarn that it would be, and I warmed up a little. Then I started spinning.

This is a new fiber for me, a Portuguese Merino, and it took some getting used to. It is a little sticky, and it wanted to clump up. I had to treadle so slowly in order to allow my fingers to learn how to draft it. But soon I got the hang of it and started to notice it’s bouncy, springy nature and the way that it clung to itself, wanting to be yarn. And my warm feelings grew.

Then, there was the way that the colors were working out. At first glance I had noticed that it seemed to start lighter at one end and then get darker, ending in a rich brown. I decided to spin it like that, from the creamy green to the twiggy brown. As the colors slowly melted into one another and a gradient yarn began to take shape, my like blossomed into love.

As I wound the finished yarn onto my niddy-noddy, I saw how smooth and perfect the yarn had become, even though I thought that I was failing the entire time. I expected it to be bumpy and uneven, but I was so wrong. The love I had for it was deepening.

The bath only made it more perfect, and now that it is all twisted up into a hank, I am officially head-over-heels in love with it.

Okay, I know it is not perfect. I can see the flaws, too. But I love it nonetheless.

And I have a feeling that when I knit it up, it is going to be amazing!