Ahhh, the good life.
And this is why, my friends, we live in Arizona. After a summer of living in the frying pan, we are reminded of the two good things about this desert. Fall and winter. And about a week of spring, you know, when the sun feels good, before it bubbles your insides into molten lava...So, now it is time to set myself up at the pool for months of knitting and chasing the shade while it travels around the water. At least this is what I did last year at this time. This winter I plan to be even more active. I've added spinning to my activities, but don't be thinking that I'll climb aboard a stationary bike down at the gym and listen to someone screech encouragement to me. Nope, this is the GOOD kind of spinning, you know, making wool. Your own yarn, imagine. And I don't even have to smuggle sheep onto my little patio. And I don't have to break a sweat, either.
This is the gorgeous box of fibery goodness that arrived from Adrian at Hello Yarn. It was beautifully presented, all wrapped and ribboned, but this is what it looked like by the time I got it to the pool. Her kits are terrific, and contain plenty of hand-dyed roving, ready to spin. No carding. No washing and picking weeds and mud (I always pretend it is mud) out of the wool. The price is right, more than right, considering that the kit includes the best spindle I have ever seen....it is heavy, but in the good way, and works really well for me. She even includes basic instructions and other encouragement. These are my first little pieces. The orangish one is the main wool, 8 oz. included in the kit. The one in the middle is from a sample of Churro sheep wool, grown locally, from Lisa Takata, a fantastic spinner here in the valley. Those hairs are long, and very sheepy. I am in love. It even has a greenish cast to it.... The third, the little blue, is a sample to "try first" from Adrian. I am amazed at how easy this is, and relatively fast. Even after only a week, I am getting much more yarn per hour than I imagined. This is only my second attempt at spinning, and I find it hard to sit up for very long, but am happy that this spindle even works while I recline. In the evenings, I finish spinning a ball or two of 30-70 yards, then rinse and hang to dry. It is the desert, and by morning the yarn is ready to knit up, which I do. Wait until you see what I have made.....
Look at how crinkly and pretty it looks before rinsing and stretching. Adrian's color sense is terrific, and this wool really reminds me of Indiana this time of year. The desert doesn't have everything....
Enough pictures, at least until next time.
The answer to my little contest, now.
The items in the photo are some of my favorite things. The Coke, of course, I cannot live without. I refuse. I have given up almost everything that I love to eat or drink, but I do not consider the quality of life to be worth it without Coke or chocolate. Also in the picture is my notebook, the Luscious Gracious Official Big Red Book of Knitting. We all use it to design. Also yarn, my new spindle, and the mystery object. That little pile of something (someone said lichen, which I find very funny) is my baby blanket, Monkey. Not to be confused with this monkey, she and her sister are my other favorite things. It used to be 36"X45", and it used to have pastel stripes. At least that is what my mom said. I only remember it in its current grey shredded incarnation. It is so small now that I can hide it in my tiny hands. Great for when you need to sneak it into a doctor's appointment, not so good when it disappears at night. Alison wins. Thumbsuckers unite.
A side note to this side note, my older sisters (there are three) used to try to scare me with a picture of the albino gorilla on the National Geographic cover. I was sort of scared, but mostly intrigued. I stared at it for hours. His (her?) name was Snowflake (I think), so I named my baby blanket after it. I think it was an early attempt to conquer fear of the unknown. And now that I think about it, it is even funnier. My sister Melanie, the second one to come up with the contest answer as well as the one responsible for the magazine teasing, is actually an albino. What a crazy coincidental world in which we live, ehh? At any rate, I called it monkey, even though Cute David would later correct me on a regular basis. It is an ape, not a monkey. He should know. He's the expert. Talk about full-circle, this month one of his photos of his "babies" is in the National Geographic Kids magazine, October issue, page 17. There is even a sweet article about Dotty and her adopted mother Pongi. David worked for years as a gorilla keeper in the zoo at Columbus, Ohio. He loved to work in the nursery, and rocked many more babies to sleep than most mothers do. We love David. His babies have been willing and beautiful subjects for his lens, and you should check out his work at www.daveliggett.com. He is anxious to get back to Africa, where he is active in conservation of gorilla habitats. Can I tell you something else about David? He's called Cute David for a reason....
Anyway, Alison won. What? Who knows. I offered a prize, so guess I better come up with one.
To all of you, knit on.
kikiluscious, who misses cutedavid more than he knows.