Where a window slams shut, but a portal to another world opens or how I learned to love spinning

Spinning has always been intriguing to me. But investing hundreds of dollars into equipment I might not be able to master is not very appealing. And so I have been yearning and dreaming but did not take any action.

Going to see the San Francisco Giants on Stitch and Pitch night was a dream of mine and about the only item on my bucket list. The only arrangement needed was a dog sitter because our Daisy was not allowed at the park. That’s when the window slammed shut when absolutely no friend was willing or able to take care of her. And Toby was out on a fire during that time. Daisy is absolutely one of the sweetest dogs we ever had, but that did not help.

Wallowing in pity and lamenting that my birthday sucks this year and how I could not even fulfill my one dream, I get a phone call. A 95 year old friend of mine needed some assistance over the next couple of weeks and could I help out a few hours a day. It flashed through my mind that this is the time of my birthday, a very big and important experience every year with big party and all, but I was in the middle of feeling sorry for myself and had not planned a party, remember, the failed attempt at a Giants baseball game, and I just said yes. Might as well do something useful.

My friend Meg and I had a great time together, talking wool, and yarn, and politics, and spinning, and weaving. Meg had been a spinner and weaver for a long, long time. My drop spindle I treated myself to for my birthday arrived and as I always have everything any human being could ever need around the house I of course had some fiber to spin. What fun it was. I invented the extra, extra, extra bulky yarn for which there were no knitting needles large enough.

But let’s get to the portal opening. Meg had a spinning wheel in her bedroom. I dared and asked if I could take it home for a week to give this a try. She not only said yes, but told me to keep it. Talking about generosity! If this isn’t the best experience of my life, and still is. I LOVE spinning! I can’t shout it enough: I LOVE spinning!


My Anthony Cardarelle spinning wheel number 325 from 1969. My portal to a new universe. Ok, the drawback is less knitting time, and I wish I was twenty and could start over and have a lifetime of spinning ahead of me, but hey, I take what I have and try to make the best.

Yesterday I remembered what I decided to make last holiday season for our daughter for this year’s holidays. Big sigh here because I’m so way behind in my holiday knitting that if I don’t take deep breaths now I might just go into anxiety attack mode. And wouldn’t you know that Hanukkah starts on Thanksgiving this year! Thanksgiving? Does it get any crazier? That’s like what, 2 months away? There oughta be a law….

But back to gift for daughter. It’s the biggest challenge in my knitting life. I will attempt anything and feel competent, but I have this one mountain that I usually don’t climb. OK, there might be a couple of mountains. Though I have made fingerless gloves/mittens, I have never made gloves, but how hard can that be. Just keep on knitting, right? The real obstacle is multi color knitting, changing colors within a row, call it what you want, I call it difficult to impossible. But I will give it a try. Bought the yarn in a panic attack yesterday. Actually walked to our lys to pick it up. And wouldn’t you know, there was some gorgeous other yarn I just had to have, what else is new, and see here my loot.


The bottom yarn is 1200 yards of fingering weight Blue Ridge Yarns Transitions in the color River Rocks. See how easy it is to sidetrack me? I want to make stuff with this yarn, right now.

Above this yarn see the black and white stuff? Yes, that will make the deathflake mittens. You have to take a look so see how cool our daughter will be with these on. If you are not registered with ravelry and you knit, resistance will be futile. One can spend hours there looking through patterns that will last beyond anyone’s life expectancy. Way more fun than any other online site I have been to. Here is a challenge, find me a better site for a knitter!

Do you see those mittens? Did I mention that the pattern is free? First there is a scarf to finish in Zombie BBQ from Lorna’s laces. I have run into a little snag with the self patterning. The second skein does not behave as well as the first and I have to keep on cutting the yarn and starting at another spot to keep the pattern alive. But I’ll post a picture in the next few days after it’s finished.

In other news, especially health news, I’m going to a shoulder class this evening. Since the beginning of 2007 I deal with shoulder pain. Trying to show the twist on ice to our exchange students, the Yuba river had frozen that year, I fell and braced myself with my hands and arms. Not avoiding falling into the water and being soaking wet, but at least I did not hit my head. I can’t afford any further damage to this priceless appendage on my shoulders if I still want to attempt projects like deathflake mittens.

Well, something jammed in my shoulders and off and on I deal with the consequences of the twist now. But hey, I had some stellar dance moves before the humiliation.

What I have is impingement syndrome and calcification in the shoulder. I have to attend a class before orthopedics is willing to take over. I was OK for a few years but I fell again and since then the pain has not let up. Lately it’s keeping me from sleeping and enough is enough. Considering our monthly health care premiums are $1430, I can expect some care.