November 18, 2009

A Learning Experience

Earlier this year I started out wanting to learn how to knit lace. Little did I know at the time that this would lead to a whole year of learning.

Undertaking the task of lace knitting required learning many new techniques and knitting stitches, learning how to knit with beads, experimenting with new yarns (and learning which ones are NOT appropriate for a first lace project), learning from experience that there are simple ways to avoid disaster and developing the patience to stick with projects that required a great deal of time and effort, especially once I got to the rows that had 680+ stitches.

My delving into the world of lace knitting also opened my eyes to some new and exciting hobbies that I wanted to learn, for example; spinning.

Recently I made a post about making a drop spindle. Since then I have learned to spindle spin very fine yarn. I made a second even lighter spindle upon which I can spin yarn fine enough to ply into a 2ply laceweight yarn.

About a week ago a very good friend of mine loaned me her Ashford Traditional spinning wheel and I have been spinning for a couple of hours every day since then. My goal is, of course, to spin super fine laceweight yarn that I can use to knit my lace projects. I have been buying fibre and practising a lot and hope to improve my technique fairly quickly.

Looking back, I'd say I've learned a great deal this year. It's had its moments of extreme excitement (spinning my first bobbin of single ply) and absolute devastation (discovering the destruction of my cap shawl) but all in all, I'd say its been an enjoyable experience. Armed with all my new knowledge and a plethora of new ideas that have been inspired by new hobbies, I look forward to next year being another year of growth and discovery in terms of knitting and spinning.

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