my first week as a phd student was rough.
i could tell you all the little whiney stories
that literally drove me to drink.

i could tell you about being behind in my reading,
or how my students were . . . less than talkative in class.
or how i (wrongfully!) received a parking ticket that i have to now appeal.
or how my online rent payment didn’t go through making it 8 days late.
or how mo snuck out of bed in the middle of the night to drop a deuce,
and i stepped in the puddle of pee that accompanied it.

but i won’t.
i’m classier than that,
and no one likes a whiner.

besides, i spent a lovely saturday afternoon with the ladies of the loft
that erased any negative feelings from the previous week.

this future spinner is the newest loft lady,
learning the ways of wool from her mimi, beth smith.
(who is far too young and hip to be a grandma!)

i’m not really a baby person,
but this one seemed pretty cool.
unlike some asshole babies i’ve met,
i could sorta see the appeal of this one.

but since she’s not for sale
i settled for taking my spinning wheel home with me.
this is mo’s little sister; i can somehow tell she’s a girl,
but i haven’t named her yet.
(suggestions?)
like any doting father
i think she’s the best wheel in the world.
the wood is absolutely beautiful.
she even has a knot-wood beauty mark.
she’s currently hanging out in my bedroom
until a proper place of honor can be made in the living room.

what’s that on the bobbin you ask?
why that’s what i’ll be wearing to rhinebeck of course!

with my hospital bills all paid (i hope),
and electronic ink still drying on my lansing lease,
i should be squeezing my pennies like a scotsman.

so the first thing i do,
when assessing my funds?
i decide to make a purchase.

it was eight and four months ago,
when i learned to treadle steady,
and witnessed the power of twist.

i was hooked.
it was magic
worked by my fingers.
there was no going back.

it changed me.

a year is a long time to want something
wanting a thing for that long means
i make it my business to have it.

you can’t always get what you want, they say,
no matter how deep the desire.
true.

but this?
this wheel?
this i can make mine.

and i will have it.

layaway bitches!

**this post is dedicated to the über cool beth smith of the spinning loft. you should give her money for things. i did.

dear readers,

June 13, 2011

every day, i think to myself, “self” i think,
“i hope the people who read this blog are patient
because you’ve been a total slacker lately. seriously.”
of course, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably not.
more likely, i’ve been deleted from your bookmarks,
you’ve unsubscribed from the rss feed,
and forgotten all about me.

you’re probably not even reading this right now.

but for those who are,
all i can say is stay tuned,
for adventures and fun are on the way.
i promise.
(i hope)

until then, i kinda have a bunch of boring stuff to get through.
and it’s been a long time since i was like,
that is blog worthy.”

i did find an hour or so last week to spin a little,
and work my way through some of a lovely batt i have.
i’ve spun about half the batt,
and i can’t decide if i’ll ply this sucker,
or have one big skein of a lace weight single.
(any advice from the spinners?)

while my life’s not very interesting at all right now,
at least it’s not totally lacking in fiber.
my surgeon would be happy to hear that.

stay with me bitches.
just a little longer.

when i decided to give away my handspun,
i never said exactly when i would pick a winner.
somehow, today feels like the right day.

let’s all bow down to the power of the random number generator,
and give our congratulations to lucky number 20 (a.k.a. sarah)
who has won this yarn for her sister amy.
can’t wait to see what she knits with it!
and she better knit something.
or else.

yarny goodness

April 25, 2011

as promised,
i’m gonna get this blog back on track,
and give everyone some yarny goodness to peep.

though i don’t have a wheel of my own,
when i was working at natural stitches,
i could use a shop wheel.

in between helping the fine customers,
i worked on my first ever 3-ply yarn.
once i got all the singles spun,
i plied like the wind!

of course yarn isn’t done once it’s plied.
there’s always something more to do, right?
like the brutal weaving in of the ends after endless knitting.

personally, i follow judith mackenzie’s directions for finishing yarn from her amazing book the intentional spinner: a holistic approach to making yarn (every knitter should own it. even if you don’t spin, it’ll change how you knit. go on. buy it.)

first, you count your strands to calculate yardage.
doesn’t do us much good if we don’t know how much yarn we’ve spun, right?

then we “full” it a little by swishing it in hot soapy water.
(in the book, judith is shown using a small plunger and is really going at it. this scares me. i choose to “sauté” my yarn.

then we rinse/swish it in cold clean water.(remember to scoot your roommate’s papers out of the way, and put down a towel. never incur the roomie wrath during finals)

then i squeeze out the excess water in my own way.
i start at the top, and sort of pinch and roll with my hand.
it’s kinda like milking a cow (look it up).

then the fun part: the thwacking!
i beat the shit out of my yarn against the side of the tub.
(if only you knew how hard it was to get this shot)

after it hangs up for a while to dry,
poof!
yarn is born. (these were the first two skeins)

if i’ve done my math right,
i’ve got roughly 466 yds of a dk/worsted yarn.
not too shabby if i do say so myself.

and just to spice things up,
how about i give the yarn away?
here’s the rules; it’s a little complicated.

if you want the yarn,
you must get one of your knitter friends to leave a comment for you.
then, i’ll pick someone at random (it’s only fair).

are we clear?

you can’t comment for yourself.
your friend must comment for you.

just promise me, please,
if you win, you’ll actually make something with it!

who wants it!?

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