Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Actual fiber content!

Natural fiber, of course. Haha.

Here is some of the Christmas knitting on it's recipients:

That's my father-in-law wearing the steeked jacket. It still doesn't have any buttons; he's going to be visiting here in a couple weeks and we're going to go button shopping together. (He mentioned getting bone buttons for it. I never would have thought of that. I'm glad I'm waiting.) In the meantime, he's happy to wear it without buttons. I showed him the steek-along information on my blog, and the list of people planning to knit copies, and he was amazed. He's quite happy with it, as you see. (I knew he would be, because he's got another, similar sweater I knit of lighter lopi for him, years ago, and he wears it all the time.)

And of course, the Blue Shimmer on it's new owner:

Everyone was impressed as all get-out with this one. They kept complimenting me on the color choices and I kept telling them all I did was copy the original as faithfully as possible, and I had little to do with the briliance of it. My father-in-law leafed through "Poems of Color" and boggled over all the sweaters, and was found reading up on the history, very impressed.

No photos of scarves. I forgot. My brother-in-law got a brown alpaca ribbed scarf I knit back in May, and I was pleased to find out that he in fact regularly wears a scarf, and had been looking for a new one because his old wool one was too scratchy. So that went to a good home. My sister-in-law got the dark green falling leaves scarf and put it on immediately. She kept petting it, so that one also went off to a good home.

The other four scarves are getting delivered to their new homes today. (We had to come home early so the Navy didn't come looking for the husbeast; we're missing a family gathering.) I half expect a phone call from the gang later this afternoon, telling me how happy they are with their scarves. My mother-in-law intended to wear the Blue Shimmer so she could gloat to her sisters that she had a daughter-in-law who liked her enough to knit that sweater. I asked my father-in-law to get photos and permission to put them on the internet, so with luck, we'll have a shot of four happy women wearing mohair scarves soon.

While I was in Ohio, I ducked across the street at my in-laws', to visit their neighbor. She is, let me get this right in small-town relationships, the wife of a co-worker of my mother's best friend's husband (you just can't make this kind of thing up). Anyway. She spins, knits, hand dyes, and weaves. Among other things, she's got four spinning wheels (two antique), two looms, a fiber ROOM (puts my closet to shame), and A DYE STUDIO IN THE BASEMENT.

When I die, I want to go to her house for eternity.

I have been reading up on spinning, but have not ever seen anyone live and in person spin before. At least, not in the last twenty years. Certainly not since I've thought about learning to spin and actually would have paid attention. So she spun and I sat next to her and watched, and she and my mother-in-law and I chatted mostly about fiber stuff. (She was spinning a REALLY nice charcoal alpaca, and I fear, making it all look way easier than it really is.) I got some great advice about teaching myself to spin (her priority skill - learn to treadle evenly - I never would have thought of).

Walking back home after, with my mother-in-law, she told me the spinning wheel in her basement belonged to her GREAT GRANDMOTHER, and wondered how much it would cost to get fixed up, because she'd love to give it to me to spin with. When I went and investigated, it looked like the wheel was in good shape for it's age, except it needs the 'mother of all' equipment, which I understand isn't unusual in antique spinning wheels. The neighbor from across the street will be checking it out and offering advice on carpenters to do the work.

If I wind up with a spinning wheel that's been in the family for five (!!!!) generations, it will go in my office and The Baby will be banned until she's old enough to learn to spin herself (making it six generations, !!!!!)

I'm trying to upload baby photos and Blogger won't let me. I'll try again later.

And I hate to do this to my Beloved Readers, but the lace article may get moved back to the summer issue of Knitty. I'm running out of time and motivation to knit the swatches. Instead, I'm considering an article on dyeing wool with food coloring. Or possibly an article about acheiving what everyone always means to do - knitting all the Christmas presents.


Sheepish Annie said...

Ohhhh, the spinning. Highly addicting. Be prepared! :)

Love the sweater pix! The in-laws look pretty darned pleased. As well they should be! What great gifts.

CoffeeLady said...

Wow! I thought the sweaters looked great before - but seeing them on, they're even more amazing! What a PERFECT fit!!

Amy Lane said...

Wow. Just, like, wow. You need to spin, so the rest of us can catch up to your knitting! (I'm beating myself up on the steek-along thing...alwas, that Glitterspun is mocking me from the corner I hid it in...)

NeedleTart said...

Ooh! I hope you can get the wheel. Nothing beats generational obsessions. Good luck.

Julie said...

If you can't join the knitalong, remember, I'm keeping an archive of the how-to posts over at Samurai Patterns, so you can always knit one later.

And if you knit up the glitterspun fast enough, you can join us late, I have a feeling this knitalong's going to take a while.

Anonymous said...

Hi from the deep south (New Zealand, no less)
Just wanted to pass on my admiration of your Blue Shimmer Bohus.
I read Poems of Colour a while back and was left awestruck. There's always something new to learn and admire about knitting and it's history
I hope you have a happy new year!