Time is a funny thing lately. No matter how much I think I am on top of things, it seems to get away from me in the blink of an eye. It’s JUNE! WOOHOO! Time for summer. Wait what the hell do you mean August starts in three days? What happened to JUNE? Let alone July! Someone stop the crazy train, I need to hop off for a while.
You’d think after 15 years of reenacting I should know and expect this sort of thing by now, yet here I sit, summer 2/3 gone and I can’t figure out when it starts let alone how we got this far into it already! So basically I’m trying not to fixate, rather just to get through one week at a time and hope to come out on the other side with some shred of sanity left. And hopefully a finished object or two!
Speaking of reenacting, it’s story time. Ya’ll know by now that I started spinning a couple of years back and have fallen madly in love with this new passion. When I decided to take lessons and buy a wheel, I talked to a few people I know, especially reenactor types, and set my sights on a castle style wheel that I could take reenacting and use at home. This was important, you see, because I wasn’t doing so much cooking at reenactments anymore and I needed something else to occupy my time. So I started researching and settled on two options, an Ashford Traveler or a Kromski Minstrel. Both had the classic lines and turned wood I’d come to think of when I think of spinning wheels, just in a slightly different configuration that I’d normally seen but this would make it a far more convenient traveling partner. So I was set. Definitely going to buy a castle-style wheel.
And then I met the Schacht Ladybug and her cute little red plastic wheel. And suddenly I wasn’t so sure. I started thinking, well, this is a delicate piece of machinery. Do I really want to bounce it around in the truck or leave it in the tent unattended? Oh, I don’t know… Hmm…
And then I met Schacht’s Sidekick… And it was all over. Surely I didn’t want to haul a spinning wheel around so this modern marvel of spinning would be wonderful. She’s tiny and compact and, while maybe not quite the looker I thought I was going to buy, she’s gorgeous in her own right and surely we were meant to be together! So I bought her. And I love my thoroughly modern Millie. I love her a lot! I have never once regretted falling head over heels for this little lady. We’ve spent many happy hours and spun many happy miles of yarn since I bought her in November of 2011.
But by December I started to second guess myself. Come January I was pretty sure I really DID want a wheel to take reenacting. February when we did a mid-winter gig at the library I knew it was true. While I love Millie with every ounce of my being, she wasn’t going to cut it on her own. But I had a solution. I am an evil genius, after all, so there must be a way around this. I’d borrowed a Saxony style wheel from a friend when I started taking lessons. A very lovely little wheel built by a gentleman near my home town, that wasn’t seeing his potential with his current owner. George was also a great wheel and closer to what I thought I was going to get when I started looking. So the idea was born- I’d ask George’s owner if she’d consider selling him. Then I could have a wheel for home and a wheel for travel (never mind that the rest of the spinning world would use the opposite wheel for my intended purpose, I take the home wheel traveling and the traveling wheel stays at home)… And George’s owner hardly let me get the question out before she said yes. So my little family grew. And we’re very happy.
But then came Antietam and Gettysburg. I know these seem like odd instances to cause a family crisis, but the thing of it is, George, while small for a Saxony, takes up a lot of the back seat. And for those two events, we had a friend riding with us, which meant I needed the back seat. So George stayed home. And I was sad. So my hubby started mentioning that it sure might be nice to have a wheel that takes up less space. And I mostly “Yes Deared” him and kept buckling George into his spot and carefully packing around him when not lamenting having to leave him behind because of space issues. Until last weekend. When somehow I got it in my head that maybe I’d start keeping an eye on the used equipment boards on Ravelry for a used castle wheel. And I mentioned this to my hubby. While he’d made the comment, I wasn’t quite expecting a positive response, but I got one. So by Monday I was scanning for a Traveler or a Minstrel.
Then Tuesday happened. Tuesday I had a stroke (the genius kind, not the medical emergency, promise). What if I could broker a trade? Several years ago I was gifted a circular sock knitting machine by one of our reenacting friends. A wonderful little contraption that saw it’s hayday in the early part of the 20th century before socks came 12 for $5 at Walmart. The one I was gifted was as complete as complete could be- originally purchased by our friend’s grandparents, kept in tact for 80+ years right down to the shipping label and crate. I was very excited when I got the machine, thrilled when I got it working, amused when I turned out my first actual, wearable socks, and then bored with it.
Well not bored, per se, just not in love. It turns out the CSM requires constant babysitting and concentration while knitting and that’s exactly the opposite of what I am looking for in a hobby. I knit to unwind, to relax, and to lose focus, not sharpen it. So, as amusing as the machine is and as much fun as it is to say I have one, really what is the point when all it’s done is collect dust for 2 years? And take up space. I should mention the space…
So here’s where the idea was born- Ravelry has a group dedicated to sales & swaps of CSMs. It occurred to me that if I have a CSM I’m not loving, who’s to say someone else doesn’t have a wheel they’re not loving? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could swap our unloved tools for things we really want? I’d already talked to the friend who gifted me the CSM about selling it, offering to give it back first, give him the cash if it sold, anything you could possibly suggest and he turned down every idea. He was happy to have it out of his garage and wanted nothing more to do with it, but I felt guilty making a profit on his gift, so I hadn’t really pursued the idea. Until Tuesday. When I reasoned that a swap was reasonable. Something I’m not using for something I will use, no cash needing to change hands.
So I cross posted to 2 other boards Tuesday night. And by Wednesday I had a line up of “buyers” willing to purchase the wheel I wanted in exchange for the CSM. By Thrusday the chosen “swapper” and I were nailing down the details and by Friday all monies had been exchanged with the appropriate parties, 47 pounds of sock knitting machine was giving the UPS guy a hernia and a new wheel was on a truck headed to Wisconsin! Because as it turned out, none of the early inquiries had a wheel to rid themselves of but all had the cash on hand to purchase the brand new wheel in the style and finish I wanted. And it was ordered through another Raveler’s Etsy shop with a few substitutions to his wheel package, a couple of different invoices so I could get extra bobbins and THREE very happy people in the end. So this is coming to live with me by Wednesday
And I swear I am going to burst my buttons with excitement!
So, while not so patiently waiting (Seriously, I stalked UPS before I had a tracking number. Because I wanted to know how many days it SHOULD take to get a package from Thomasville GA to Milwaukee WI) I’ve been furiously spinning and knitting on things on my list of projects. Because I know whatever happens come Wednesday, I am going to become wheel obsessed. Who wouldn’t, right?
So, as promised, this being a YOP update post, here’s the scoop on the list:
Carry Overs from Year 1(2)
- Movie Socks- Cast on in 2013- These are headed for the Frog Pond in August. August is the month to thwart WIPs…
- Elphaba the Sequel
- Semele– Cast on 5/27/13, past the half way pioint and starting to decrease. But it’s been put on hold while I work on another project with a deadline.
- Epic Blanket of Insanity– Poor thing really needs to feel some love soon
New and Exciting
- Derecho– Cast on 7/1/13, Growing, slowly, but growing.
- Sock Monkey for A
- Sock Monkey for O
- Circle Line for G
- Circle Line for S
- Deep Blue Sea for Orville
- Deep Blue Sea for Jennnnnnnnifer
- Ursula Cardigan– Guess what I’m going to spin first on my new Minstrel? Yep. MOAR yarn for Ursula
- Peerie Flooers Hat– Cast on 7/28/13. This is a semi-stealth project you’ll hear more about as August continues. It’s also a tie in to the goal to spin more of my own yarn. Stay tuned for details
- Peerie Floores Mittens
- Stella Luna
Bring Out Your Dead (WIPs)
- Deranged Dad Socks. Still undecided- To Frog or to make a Dobby Sock
- Easter Egg On Acid Socks-August Frog Pond Project
- Fishnet Socks- Hoping to get these back into the knitting rotation after the Stealthish projects in August.
- Knitting Basket Socks #1-Stay tuned for a decision in August
- Knitting Basket Socks #2- must finish by Christmas for hubby.
- Clog Socks- Frog Pond in August
- Car Socks- Frog Pond in August
- Merlia Scarf- August Finish. for real, I want an August Finish
- Shawl Test Knit- August Frog Pond.
- The sweater of supreme bagness- I’m drawing a blank on the pattern and too lazy to look it up. It’s one I knit last year and while I love the yarn and the pictures of the sweater in the magazine, the actual finished object is nothing short of awful. I wore a bag on my head when Mr.Me took my picture in it. The fit is entirely horrid and there is nothing I really liked about it in the end except for the yarn. So it’s going into the Frog Pond. One does not waste that much Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sport on a buried at the back of the closet never to see the light of day sweater. So in August I reclaim the yarn!
So there it is. Not a lot of actual progress on the list but there’s been a lot of spinning. And a lot of dreaming about spinning. And a lot of plans for future spinning. For real, this has all happened in the last 2 weeks:
So it’s not like I haven’t been doing anything, right?