I have a "To-Learn" list. It's a list of things I want to eventually learn to do. My list isn't huge, isn't extremely difficult, doesn't involve anything pretentious (like learning Latin or somesuch nonsense), and as soon as I accomplish something, I add something else. My current list is:

  • Learn to properly spin 
  • Learn to dye yarn and fiber

  • Learn to make hairpin lace (this is a big one for me now)

  • Learn to can something other than peppersauce.

Before this, I just wanted to get a spinning wheel and spin on it. I did that. Now I need to focus on something else.

This whole obsession started when I got my first handspun yarn. It was gorgeous. I made it into this pair of longies back when I still crocheted:

I talked a lot about learning to spin. Shortly after that, my aunt gave me this very old saxony-style spinning wheel that had been a family heirloom. I have no idea how old it is, what kind it is, or anything, but it is so old, the leather joints gave out and it is held together by some copper wire and spit at this point. There are no markings that I can find on it. It's a gorgeous wheel, but un-useable. I looked into having it restored, but the cost of restoring it was almost as much as buying a top-of-the-line spinning wheel brand new, so I hung the idea up and, for now, it's just a conversation piece. Maybe one day I can afford to fix it.

So, then I got the Kromski Sonata, which you have all heard about, so I won't bore you with details.

Then on Craigslist, a lady posted a Babe spinning wheel for a price I couldn't refuse. Yes, a Babe. The wheel I said was ugly a couple of posts ago. Yeah, well, it's still as ugly as sin. But it was cheap and it's mine. I had to order a $10 part to fix the treadle, but other than that, it's just fine. I bought it to use for a plying wheel (plying 2 yarns together), but I'll probably also let others use it. It *is* kinda neat that they can make a wheel out of something like PVC, but it's still ugly. Anyone know how to paint PVC? Also, it has bobbins, I just forgot to put them on before I took the pic

Anyway, I've been learning to spin. The first yarn I made was so chunky, it's like super-jumbo-heavy-flow tampon size. I knit a baby hat out of it and had it completed in an hour. AN HOUR. I knit it up on 11's.

The second yarn I spun up was called "King Cake". It's really, really pretty, but not much thinner.

The third yarn I spun up was "Bubblegum". I finally started getting thinner yarn. We'll call this aran-ish.

Comparison with some earlier yarn.

Then Seamus and I tackled dyeing fiber with Kool-aid. It was a lot of fun to do. I took pictures of the process, I'll have to make a post about it later this week. This is Seamus' fiber, which he named "Apple Jacks" for obvious reasons:

And this is mine, which I named "Valentine". I also made those truffles. They were Mike's Valentine's Day gift:

This is Apple Jacks spun up (it looks completely different than I thought it would). Seamus is so proud of "his" yarn:

And here is Valentine. It's not quite as red as the pictures suggest:

I'm sorry that every single one of these pictures sucks. The state of Maryland has apparently pissed Mother Nature off in a major way and she is currently giving us the finger by dumping more and more and more snow on us. Last weekend, we got 3 feet, then in the middle of last week, we got another 2, and as I write this, it's snowing again. Seamus hasn't been to school in a week. I'm going crazy here.

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