Handmade for the Holidays
Did you give or receive something handmade for the holidays? According to The New York Times, as the stock market plunged this year, interest in buying or making handmade items shot through the roof, and doctors prescribed making things as a way to relieve stress. Those of you who’ve been knitting, etc. for years already know this…The rest of us are finally catching on.
I’ve always wanted to take the fleece from one of our sheep and take it all the way through to the end product—a sweater, mittens, whatever—and I’m slowly learning. Of course, as usual, I’m years behind the trend. Since I’m only at the spinning stage, it’ll take me awhile to get to the point I can actually give handmade gifts.
After taking a spinning class, I spun my first skein of our yarn, and held it up. It had such a tight twist that if I’d stuck my finger in there, all circulation would have been cut off. Apparently if there’s a nasty twist in the yarn, this twist will eventually appear in the knitted item, torquing a sweater around until you feel like a pretzel. Not good.
So I did the magic trick to reduce the twist, and it turned out much better. I forgot to take a photo of the skein, but here’s the little swatch I knit from my FIRST skein of yarn.
I don’t know how to knit, but those videos on youtube are very helpful!
Next step: Color! Here’s some roving from our sheep that a woman dyed for me last year. (Kate—thanks again!)
It’s all nobbly and uneven and fat and thin (I know, people call this designer yarn to make us beginners feel better) but I love this skein. I don’t want to ruin it by turning it into anything. Perhaps I’ll just spin skein after skein and give them as gifts next year. People can just hang them on their walls if they don’t knit.
Or, if I start now, perhaps I’ll have one pair of socks to give Melissa for Christmas next year!
Wishing everyone a great 2009, filled with people you love and good times. And for those of you living in the north, remember:
Want to stay warm? Hug a sheep.