Lest you think I got so far down Sock Lane as to forget my original objectives for this year, I am here today to tell you that Tom came by last week and brought this:
Twisted Fiber Art, which may eventually become part of the shop's regular rotation (it was certainly very popular!!). I ordered these additional braids in a non-superwash merino because I continue to have problems predicting how much a superwash yarn will spread on blocking, and because I am thinking the retention of all those little grabbing arms will make it easier for me to spin.
Because it's possibly not replaceable, I fear working with it on the wheel I intend to learn how to use this year. I'm thinking I will use it as my carrot, the fiber I get to spin once I know how. It's very very pretty to look at and touch in the meantime!
Later in the week the regular postman brought some books I'd ordered, including Knitting Without Tears and this:
The Intentional Spinner was recommended to me by Helena, who has taken a course with Judith and found her beyond marvelous. I can believe it, having read through much of the book now. Over at Knitting and Tea and Cookies we did a survey that included the one knitting book we couldn't do without, and this one might have to share shelf space with The Principles of Knitting, for me. It's got all the fiber breakdowns I love from The Knitter's Book of Yarn, another Can't-Do-Without book, and an exhaustive (but far from exhausting) section on techniques to spin different shapes of fiber for different purposes.
I was particularly interested in techniques for combining previously plied yarns and/or singles, since I'd really like to bulk up the laceweight I'd intended to use for 2011 Goal #2, the Estonian-ish Shawl, and use it for something else. Which is not to say I've entirely given up on the Estonian Shawl idea. Just that I accept needing something super elastic if I'm going to survive nupps.
You can buy this book on its own, or for a little extra expense with a companion DVD. I bought the DVD version, but it's my understanding from the reviews at Amazon that if you're looking for Judith's instructional material what you want is The Gentle Art of Plying - this link is for a video download from Interweave, but you can also buy the DVD set from them.
I will do one or the other when I get through my current book and its little DVD, unless I find a course first. Ady expressed marked interest in learning to spin and even pointed out how helpful it would be for me to have a friend who spins but does not knit or even weave, so I think she's serious. And I am pretty sure that I can teach her the basics of a spindle, then line up a more advanced course somewhere between our towns.
So - yes. Even though I have been very busy frogging and reknitting mohair socks to such a degree that it's already too warm again to wear them this winter, and dreaming up ideas for more hats, and knitting little presents, I have also been thinking about my spinning wheel and the fact that I still don't know how to use it. It's progress of a kind, right?