Wednesday, March 2, 2011

He's a keeper!

Everytime I tell people what  Paul got me for my birthday, the response is the same,"Well, he sounds like a keeper!" I have to agree, although for many more reasons than that he bought me my first spinning wheel, with no hints from me at all. Here is the wheel in all it's glory.

It is a Kromski Prelude, and we bought it from Susan's Fiber Shop in Columbus, WI. When we went up north for Thanksgiving, Paul told me that he needed to stop by a friend's place before we headed to my grandmother's. I almost started to say that I thought that now was not the time for extra stops and that we should just get to my grandma's house. Good thing I didn't, though, because the extra stop actually ended up being Susan's Fiber Shop. As we pulled into the drive, and I looked at Paul with utter confusion, he shouted, "You are getting a spinning wheel for your birthday!" I could not have been more surprised. For someone who hates surprises himself, Paul definitely did a great job at keeping this a secret. For months he had been doing research and talking to fiber-y people. Suddenly it made sense why he kept disappearing when we were at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. He even called Miss Effie for advice and to ask if she'd help me learn to spin.

We spent hours at the shop, and tried every wheel. Paul got in on the action too, and actually picked up spinning more quickly than I did. He claims that years of untangling fishing reels helped him figure it out. Anyway, my first attempts were pretty humorous. The following picture shows the first three batches of yarn I made. They are in order from left to right. I'm pretty sure the first skein would need to be knit up on needles the size of broomsticks.

It wasn't until last Monday, that I really had a spinning breakthrough. Since it was Presidents' Day, and I didn't have to go into work, I finally got the opportunity to take advantage of a Spin-In with Abi at Serendipity Yarn Shoppe. She is there every Monday from 10 until 2.

So Monday morning, I packed up my wheel and headed to Muscatine. After about an hour and a few pointers from Abi, I had this:

Real, honest-to-goodness yarn! I was so excited. I had been letting the twist go too far back into where I was drafting, which makes spinning way harder than it needs to be. Here are some pictures of the merino top I was spinning, that I bought at the aforementioned Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival.

And finally, to keep up with my daily knitting progress, I have a few more rows done on 'Olive'. See you here tomorrow; it's another knitting night at the Eldridge Knitting Nook!

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