Sunday, June 7, 2009
Confessions of a Spindle Maker
Did I ever mention that yarn is good? I don't mean a fun pretty soft yummy item in a hard and sharp edged world, but a very good thing. A thing to get out of bed for. A subject that will make you dream in the night of possibilities. Socks for your feet and the feet of loved ones, socks that give that extra softness to a child or friend that needs a woolly hug. Mittens for your hands in the winter when you never get warm, but you will if you add a ply of Quiviut. A scarf out of cashmere that you always wanted, and how surprised you were when you found that cashmere is fun and relaxing to spin on a zippy little spindle. I have spent my life spinning my own yarn, and I could go on for a books length on why there is nothing as satisfying as your own yarn creation. Then during an exciting trip to Boulder for a teaching engagement, I had an epiphany! I was in a very lovely yarn store teaching advanced spindle spinning, and a class on spindling good durable sock yarn, in fact it was Shuttles Spindles and Skeins. There was yarn all around, stacks of yarn, dowels dripping with yarn, bins all displaying yarn already spun, soft and ready to knit. It was a lighting bolt moment, swift and sure, why can I not purchase yarn and start knitting right away? Why was I the martyr of hand spun? Did anyone care that I only spun my own yarn? I spend my days making tools for the spinner, and I love to spin, but why did I never realize that I could purchase yarn? I was not breaking any rules, no one was going to turn me in to the spindle police for cheating. So I did. Buy yarn I mean. Yes indeedy. And might I add, even as I buy roving, fleece (ah the luxury of a freshly shorn fleece!) and all those indulgences of the blends of cashmere, silk, angora, yak, and quiviut, in any and all combinations you can imagine, purchasing yarn is an ever expanding pleasure. There I was in one of the most lovely yarn stores, but I had a problem, time was tight, I had a class and was doing a trunk show at the same time. Maggie Cassie has an incredible group of knitters for her staff, all master knitters I marveled, so all I had to do was teach and preen (just kidding) but I wanted hours of quiet browsing, after all I had a very yarn less life to atone for. The yarn goddess must be serviced and once you lay your heart at her shrine, there are sacrifices to be made. My students soon realized that I did not need that sixth bottle of water nor did I need to "wash my hands" one more time. When I would get up with some excuse to enter the other part of the store (where all the yarn was) snickers soon followed me. I had to give up my furtive exploring. I was even forced to purchase the yarn I wanted after I flew home. My first choice for a sweater was in low supply and I did not have time to make second selection. It was Cascade 220 in the color Lichen, and if you have not knitted with some, do indulge soon. I know, you've known about it for years! When I returned home I tried to earnestly explain to my good fiber friends how wonderful yarn was. I was petted on the head, my back was rubbed, I even had my hand held. I found that everyone else had of course known this all along. I am last to arrive at the yarn party.