Monday, July 03, 2006

Spinning at the Beach

Just back from the wonderful Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had a wonderful time and the kids got in lots of both pool and ocean swimming.

We arrived on Sunday. Initially the weather was pretty poor.

The surf in bad weather is facinating to me but discouraging to those who want to be swimming and fishing. Note the guy in the lower corner with a white shirt with hands in the air. That's my youngest brother apparently appealing to his God for mercy.

In fact we had a rip tide warning flag outside our house for over 24 hours from Monday until Tuesday evening.

But Wednesday morning the sun came out and by Thursday afternoon all the sun worshippers in my family were fairly well burnt.

Most folks I know cringe at the idea that 20 people could live happily together under one roof for a week but we have three things going for us: 1. the house is huge! and 2. Nearly everyone who has married into this family has also grown up with a large family. and 3. All the grandchildren enjoy each other's company and even the oldest will play happily for hours with the youngest.

Each adult child of this 3 generation collection, is responsible for cooking one evening meal for the rest of the family and so the food costs are spread out pretty well. The night you cook, you are free from clean up chores. One sister and a sister-in-law work for a company that packages food for the restaurant industry so we are able to secure lunch meat, huge bags of pasta, frozen meats/fish/poultry at deep discounts and we pitch in to cover. Everyone tries to pay attention and keep the alcohol and soda coolers filled with beverages and ice. Mom and Dad cover the cost of renting the house (obviously the largest expense and the one the rest of us could not manage at this point in our lives).

So what has this to do with spinning and knitting? For one thing the division of labor (not having to cook or clean all the time (or go to work for that matter) gives you time to knit and spin.

For another, there is an awesome knitting shop down there just as you cross the bridge and turn north on Route 12 at the light headed towards Duck. It's called Knitting Addiction and is staffed by the coolest folks.

I purchased from them at reasonable cost some Karaoke Yarn, a 16-inch Addi-turbo circular needle and some double-pointed ones in birch (sized 7). I got a free pattern for the cutest little hat and I managed to knit one up in about 3 days. See:

It's even cuter on the head of a child and will have to order more of this stuff and knit one for all three granddaughters and my youngest niece for Christmas.

In addition to that I finished the little bag I was making from left-over sock yarn and gave it to my niece who just graduated from high school stuffed with some money as a gift (as I didn't make it to her graduation).

I made good progress on the pipe bag.

And I finished spinning the purple grape Koolaide scented yarn and started on the white. I'm going to ply the two singles together and get a very nice purple tweedy effect when knitted together. I really like the smaller spindle and I think I will end up with either a fine sock yarn or a heavy lace yarn. In any case, I hope to have enough to make something with it.

I think I have my sister's friend Dorcas intrigued by the spinning. She wondered at the simplicity of the whole drop spindle concept and so I let her use the polymer clay spindle to play with some of the wool. I have to say, she's a natural and while I failed to take her picture while working her wonder, I will post a picture of the outcome of her work because for a beginner, she is awesome!

I also splurged on myself at the beach and got a massage, manicure and pedicure. Such luxury! Ken about died when he saw the bill but I'm thinking the manicure thing is not such a bad idea as I've not had my nails or rough fingers snagging on yarn all week.

1 comment:

jenknits said...

I love that hat! I can make a basic hat but can you give me a hint on how to do the cute lower edge?
Oh, and I navigated to your blog from the spindlers list and I really love your enabling spindles. So cute with the little butterflies. How do you attach the dowel in the little wheel? I a new spindler and after spending a bunch on a spindle for my daughter I tried it a week or so later and my cheapo learning spindle is better balanced than the more expensive one. So I'm thinking maybe I can just make my own.