Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spinning and listening

Having a lot of interesting knitting to do hasn't stopped me from spinning more yarn.

It's probably the time of year.  For some reason early summer and Christmas are two times I just want to hold wool and work a treadle.

This is more Stoddart mohair/romney roving - I'm still working on consistent yarn for handspun socks - and I'm spinning huge bumps of Silvia's hand-dyed roving into sets of three singles to ply together later.

Even divided into three, it takes a long time to get through each lump, but...

the colours are so gorgeous.

Still, it's lucky that I've figured out to combine my Kindle with audiobooks - it's embarrassingly easy, now that I know how.  I don't even have to use earphones unless I'm trying to be quiet for somebody else - there are speakers on the back of the Kindle that do a perfectly fine job with the sound.  And I can carry it all over the house with me while I'm tidying up or doing other boring things I wasn't able to push off onto somebody else or ignore entirely.

I think I mentioned that I'm listening to Millions Like Us, about the lives of women in England during World War II.  It's a 19-hour recording, which might take me through most of the roving, and I don't mind... normally for history like this I prefer to read hard copy so I can easily refer back to something that didn't stick, but this audiobook is voiced by an excellent narrator as well as several excellent actors for different women's remarks.

This period of history has always interested me, but at the moment I seem to be taking it to extremes.

Reading: The on-paper book I'm working through right now is We Are At War, excerpts from World War II diaries kept for the Mass Observation project.  Flipping back and forth from the audiobook to We Are At War is just a continuation of the same kind of source material.

Movies: I don't think I've seen any this week that weren't set during WWII or immediately afterward.  The most fun one was Janie (1944), about a resourceful teenager who falls for a soldier (till the marines march into town.)

TV: Hello, Foyle's War... now into a new miniseries of postwar intrigue.

So basically, my life is drifting from 1939 to about 1946 right now.  And the one thing ringing in my ears is the English women's constant refrain when asked how they coped: "You just got on with it!"

It's so simple, and it's so true - just keep on.

Keeping on with spinning, of course, is simply a pleasure.  I wonder whether women were able to do that in England in the 1940s... probably not, as so much livestock was culled and any available wool would have been kept for the war effort, to say nothing of the hours spent handspinning that could be redirected to war work.

Women certainly did knit though, some of them all through the night in the Underground during the Blitz.  I'm reading about many who found it helped them cope with the stress, never mind the need to knit socks for soldiers as many knitters still do today, though thankfully less from necessity than from love and gratitude.

Speaking of love and necessity, it is necessary for me to find love for my first handspinning effort, knit into an ungainly scarf I thought I could pass off as arty if I just blocked it properly.  I did that last week and it dried over the weekend and yesterday I looked at it and... um...

well, it's cute rolled up, and it matches my living room.  Should I turn it into a little tubular cushion perhaps?  or maybe pin it over the window as a yarnbombed valance?  Or maybe 'arty scarf' is still the way to go.

While I ponder that (and any remarks with which you might wish to weigh in on the question) go have a wonderful day.  Keep on getting on with it, as the ladies of my reading efforts recommend - that's my plan!  though which 'it' it will be remains to be seen as there's rather a lot of choice at the moment...

... socks

... hat design idea

... spinning

... different socks

... jam on toast, ahem

... different hat idea

... or maybe that almost forgotten cardi?

It all looks pretty good.  Maybe a little of several, and some cookie-baking on the side? I can listen to an audiobook doing that, too.


Anonymous said...

I've read the WW2 mass observation book twice now and loved it. It sparked off a slight obsession with rationing! I mean, I think I'm fairly thrifty, but how on earth did these women manage?

Mary Keenan said...

Oh boy, am I with you - I'm fascinated by how they got by and have tried at different times to be as careful (unsuccessfully) just to see how it must have felt. I think it helped that every other woman was doing the same and sharing ideas. Today I heard of a woman who took her coat apart and turned each piece inside out before sewing it back together when it got too shabby on the outside to look nice any more - and I couldn't think where she found the time!