149: spinning around

Disclaimer: before I begin, any typos are the fault of trying to type at an angle due to having a lap full of cats. Attempts to dislodge them proved futile, as they just sat on the laptop. You have been warned.

As mentioned last week, my partner in woolly crime Heather and I were off to the Waltham Abbey Wool Show on Sunday to fondle yarn and to have a go at spinning on a drop spindle – something I have wanted to try for a while. An excuse to have a go at using all those gorgeous piles of fluff and colour and sparkle that are on offer at the shows, and also to learn a new skill.

Led by Michele Turner, aka Craftyheffalumpus, it was 90 minutes of woolly happiness: fluff and squish and colour and interesting crafty gadgetry. Many of these gadgets are surprisingly spiky (hackles and wool combs, for example) and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find them popping up in a gruesomely bucolic (bucolically gruesome?) episode of Midsomer Murders. The Midsomer Weavers and Spinners Guild could be a force to be reckoned with. You read it here first.

There’s also a whole lexicon of new vocabulary: as well as the aforementioned hackles, there are batts, punis, roving, staple, noils, tops, rolags, slubs, and of course the fabulous niddy-noddy. We had a go at using some different types of spindle, working with different forms of fluff (assorted sheep! sparkly things!) and we all went away with small balls of yarn and a new excuse to go and squish (and sniff) different sorts of yarn at the stalls. My favourite was YarnTings with beautiful hand-dyed batts inspired by photos the dyer had taken.

I came home with some lovely things to spin, some sock yarns (of course) inspired by Doctor Who, and a spindle. There were some stalls missing from previous years but many new ones – I have some linen yarn to try making some jewellery with, which I haven’t seen before, and it looks as if it may need less starching than cotton thread. You’ll see from this week’s reading list that I have been doing some research, but so far I haven’t convinced my beloved that we need an alpaca/small flock of sheep for the garden.

Further adventures with Evri

Well, the missing parcels finally arrived! Having been declared lost in the previous week, they then reappeared and re-entered the delivery process on Monday with a ‘your parcels are out for delivery’ notification. They were not delivered. Tracking on Tuesday showed them as actually going backwards in the system to the sender’s local depot. They finally arrived on Thursday. Ordering something this weekend, I was offered the option of free delivery with Evri, or £3.50 for DPD. Want to guess which one I picked?

Swimming with the (frozen) fishes

Between starting this post and now, I have been up to Redricks Lake for a swim – well, a dip. The lake is covered in an inch-thick skin of ice in the dipping spot, and we did have to talk ourselves into getting in there today! I went up in my wetsuit for the first time since last March, and then took it off before I got in as the thought of wrestling it off again was daunting to say the least. I wore 5mm boots and my 3mm boots on my hands which looked very silly but meant I didn’t have to struggle getting the winter gloves off.

It was definitely only for the hardy today at a surface temperature of 1 degree and an air temp of -5…! Thanks to another swimmer for taking pics of Jill and I in the water…I have my new sparkly red bobble hat on, made by Jill’s mum, and my skin matched it when I got out! I lasted about two minutes and then made a dash for the hot choc and my heated gilet. My foresight in putting my pants and thermal leggings into my hot water bottle cover was excellent and I feel amazing now, honest…

Other things making me happy this week

  • Kick off meeting to sort out the handling collection before we move back to Young V&A
  • Omelette at The Full Monty in Bethnal Green
  • Going public with our plan to do Race to the Stones in July to raise money for Parkinsons UK in memory of David Anderson (my Uncle David)
  • New shoes, finally delivered by Evri.
  • Starting to construct the Sew Different Sunrise Jacket – happiness tarnished by discovering that I’d cut one set of panels out the wrong way round. There was swearing.

And that’s it – I’m going to go and defrost in a hot bath now!

Kirsty x

What I’ve been reading:

Fool Moon/Grave Peril/Summer Knight – Jim Butcher

Hand Spinning – Pam Austin

Spin to Weave – Sara Lamb

Spin Art – Jacey Boggs

The Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool – Kate Larson

Thud! – Terry Pratchett (Audible)

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