I’m on a fiber learning curve. Several of them, in fact.
- Double-knitting: this is one color technique that I’ve never done before – and I finally see why folks do it. I’m working on a scarf (the Mysterious Disappearing Dot scarf pattern by the lovely Lucy Neatby), and although it takes a bit to get the technique perfected, this project is turning into potato-chip knitting.
- Knit Companion Software. This is actually the reason that I’m doing the scarf – I saw a tweet by Lucy Neatby that she is the first designer to have pre-loaded patterns into Knit Companion for the iPad. I received, for $12.50 7 patterns by Lucy, the knit companion software for those patterns, and associated pdfs and videos. While I had seen this software before, it seemed to me as an experienced knitter to be more work than it was worth – I can read a knitting pattern, use Goodreader with pdf patterns already. Here was an opportunity to try it out with someone else having done the work to load the patterns in (the only sensible use of it for me – your mileage may vary). I’ll do a review in another post.
- Spinning on a Wheel. Yep, I’m trying out spinning thanks to my friend Judy, who is loaning me her Louet S10 wheel to take a class on spinning. I spent a whole evening not getting the wheel to work, gave up, and thought I’d wait ’til the class. I was feeling like an idiot even though I was trying to do it with just a short demo by my friend and no class. In the morning that seemed stupid, so I tried again, and figured out how to get the fiber at a rate that sustained the spin, and how to pedal in a way that works (here, I find, my aerobics training comes in handy – moving at a regular beat is something I can do). I’m now able to sustain spinning a relatively smooth single, and it took about an hour to get to that point. One coincidence was reading yesterday an article in Entangled magazine about another spindler who learned to spin on a wheel – Rachel Rayner, and she had very similar experiences to my own (including an evening when the she couldn’t get her wheel to spin). It nice to know that a learning curve is just a learning curve!
- SOAR – or the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat – which is an up to one-week adventure in spinning that moves around the country each year. This year it is at Tahoe City, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. I’ll be taking a variety of classes – including Beginning Spinning on a Wheel (with a great teacher), Andean, spinning with camelids and Tahkli spindle spinning (used for short fibers like cotton). A fiber extravaganza, and I might find myself ordering an electric spinner because the honorariums for teaching at Princeton Seminary and doing a memorial service just about equal the price. I think Calvin would agree that it is the providence of God showing itself, I’m sure of that! It will be good to be with friends, sister fiberistas, and snowy alpine beauty outside!
That’s plenty of learning curves for October, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ll report back from the SOAR retreat and how my spinning wheel class went.