Saturday, December 20, 2014

holiday discount + retirement project

There is a very serious discount link at the end of this post!

 So, I turned 65 a short time ago, and--as I mentioned in my last post--this means I am "of an age" to call myself "retired." And truly, my life will be different . . . no more books (and the deadlines they produce) plus much less travelling to teach.

And for my retirement, I bought myself a spinning wheel. I realized, at a fibre event last year, that this is what I wanted for my retirement. Along with the wheel, I bought some roving in a nice colour.

And then I did pretty much everything wrong.

I did not take a class.
I did not read a book.
I did not watch a video.

I decided to just spin. If you had asked me what I knew about spinning, I would have said "Ask me what I don't know! The answer would be pretty much everything."

Even so, yarn moved through my fingers, my feet moved, the bobbin filled up with . . . something: see photo at left.  Did it look like anything I could knit with? Absolutely not! Was it pleasant? Yes. Was I obsessed? I'd say not. I put it aside for a bit.

Then it turned cold here--really cold. I was walking downtown and realized I needed one of those thick, soft cowls to pull up around my face. I thought I could spin one! I don't care how well spun it is: I could at least make enough for a cowl."

So back to the wheel. I filled two bobbins with more of what you see to above. Then I realized (DUH!) that I needed to ply the two together. So I watched PLY TO KNIT on Craftsy (highly recommended) and proceeded.
The resultant 2-ply was something I could knit.

Did I have enough for a cowl? No idea! But I decided to knit and see.

So I cast on with waste yarn.
I knit until I ran out.
I flipped it (to create a mobius).
I grafted the cast-on to the last row.

 And here is the result!

OMG, it is perfectly gorgeous!
It is exactly the size, colour, texture, thickness, and comfiness I wanted. 
I am smitten, hooked, obsessed!

Do you remember your first finished project? Do you remember wearing this new thing and telling everyone "I made it myself!!!" Do you remember being SOOOO proud!!!!

This is how I feel about my cowl! I am 12 years old again and so happy with what I have wrought!

I would wish each of you to have this wonderfully enthusiastic I-made-it-myself-isn't-it-beautiful experience. But I think it's something that can only come when it is a new-to-you skill? I am not sure we can be as enthusiastic when we have mastery over our craft?

Is there something you can give yourself to learn in the New Year that will take you to that place? If so, I would wish it or you.

And to help you in that regard, here is a link to very much discounted Craftsy classes.


Without Craftsy, I might not have finished my cowl, would not have had the same success, would not be so thrilled with all I have yet to learn!

I wish the same for you! Have fun!!!