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!!!


  1. It is hard to believe how well your very first two spins came out, and your cowl is lovely indeed. Well done!

    1. Thank you SO MUCH! I am having too much fun!!!

  2. Welcome to the magical world of spinning--my spinning friends and I like to call it "going down the rabbit hole." Your cowl is wonderful! So fun, isn't it? I can't wait to see what you do next!

    1. I tell anyone who will listen that it is MORE addictive than knitting!!! WHO KNEW??? (I guess you did?)

  3. I forgot to ask...what wheel did you get and did you name her/him? Louie, Wendolene, and Hortense say hello.

  4. I got an Ashford Joy double treadle, which I had already tried and knew I could manage easily.
    But, wait, now I have to name her???? Oh my, okay, We'll see what comes up today!

  5. I love to read your enthousiasm!! It's contagious!! All the wishes for 2015!!

  6. I hope to never lose my enthusiasm. . . . But I must say that spinning took it to a whole new level!
    And all good wishes to you and yours for the coming year.

  7. Happy retirement from an on again/ off again spinner. My passion right now is dyeing sock yarn I love playing with my colors. Your cowl is lovely.
    From another retired Sally

  8. I am so impressed that you can spin finely enough to make socks|!!!!!
    I aspire to that and am a long ways off . .. for now . . .

    1. And we are all impressed, with you and your cowl. Wow!
      PS I am one of your students from Craftsy. Isn't is great!? Craftsy I mean, not the fact that I am one of your students LOL!

    2. Hi. Sally. Can I add a collar to my not so heavy Einstein jacket, like my regular Einstein sweater?

    3. Absolutely!
      The only "issue" might be that with the finer fabric the collar might not stand up like it would with the heavier yarn. So you might choose to make it taller so it folds over nicely?