Every term my son’s school has a ‘theme week’ where each child is supposed to work on a project with their family on a particular theme. This week it’s ‘Rainbow Week’ so my son’s project was ‘Spinning a Rainbow’ – helping mummy spin yarn of course!

First we took some wool dyed in rainbow colours (from the Rainbow Room):

 

 We had to pull off little strips ready to twist into yarn – red, yellow, pink, green, orange, purple and blue.

 

Then we spun the wool using a drop spindle – you spin the spindle like a spinning top and it twists the wool tightly into yarn that you can knit with.

Once all the wool was spun we wound it off the spindle onto the back of a chair to take all the kinks out – can you see the rainbow? 

♫ Red and Yellow and Pink and Green, Orange and Purple and Blue, I can spin a rainbow…♫

 

 Then we had to soak it in cold water to set the twist

And hang it up to dry before twisting it into a hank ready to use.

 

 My son was so proud taking his wool into school today – and I’m sure he’s the only one taking in hand spun as his project!

As you are reading this I will probably be stuck in a traffic jam on my way South West to Bath. I will be frustrated because I am driving and my 4 year old will be asking to stop for a ‘wee wee’ every half an hour. I hate traffic, especially since we moved from the South East to the Midlands. I have an overactive imagination which means I can see accidents happening, even when they aren’t, so by the time I get to my destination I will be a nervous wreck. Over the last year I have managed the problem of being ‘the nervous passenger’ by taking my knitting along – I can honestly say it has saved my marriage (well made it a little less strained). I can knit happily – paying attention to the pattern rather than the road whilst still not getting travel sick. I normally reserve small projects for long trips – like knitted boobs or preemie cardigans.

Knitting on the M25

Knitting on the M25

Do you think this counts as extreme knitting (if not you haven’t experienced my OH’s driving)? Unfortunately I can’t knit and drive (though I may have a scarf stuffed in my bag in case traffic reaches a standstill).

Can anyone recommend any good wool/yarn shops in Bath?

My reason for querying the lack of ‘stash’ in the Ikea catalogue the other day is because it is a topic that preys on most knitter’s minds – when they can add to it, where they can hide it and what they will make with it. It starts in the wool shop (or website) when our eye is caught by colour or our hands tempted by texture and before we know it we’ve made a purchase, often with no idea of what we will use the wool for in the future.

my wool stash

my wool stash

At the moment in my stash I have: 10 cones of chenille in various colours – bought to make scarves with last Christmas, a large tote bag full of ‘baby’ wool for making prem outifts (much of this has been donated), 500gs of lilac double knit to make ‘something’ for my goddaughter, 3 balls of dayglo fluorescent wool – I think that was for knitting aliens, several 100g balls of double knit in brown and navy for making school jumpers, 300g of green cotton (a birthday present from my mum), about 10 balls of ‘fancy’ wool (with glitter and bobbles, etc) for making scarves, wool for making socks (I’ve yet to turn a heel), wool for making hats, wool for making gloves and some that I intend to one day make a top for me.

The picture above doesn’t look too bad until I point out that it goes behind the chair ….

wool stash 2

wool stash 2

The other side of the chair contains my fabric stash – which is another post …..

I think I may have a problem and I’m trying to cut down on my urge to visit wool shops – at least until the stash has depleted a bit – or until the next knitting for charity challenge from Loving Hands.

I learnt to knit at my grandmother’s knee. Being left-handed I have an unusual style – I knit right handed but hook the needle under my right arm and my left does most of the work – this has ended in many bent needles. My mother taught me to crochet but I never took to it.

I was defeated at 18 by a huge aran cardigan with cables – something went wrong at the shoulder and though I finished it I was disappointed with the result. It was about that time that I met the boy who would later become my husband – up until a few years previously his mother had been the manager of a wool shop and he abhorred everything to do with knitting.  there is one picture of me at uni knitting squares so I must have kept on for a while but I don’t remember when I put my needles away. I always thought that I would knit again when I had children but I was so busy during my pregnancy that I didn’t even think about it. My mother in law and my aunt gave me some beautiful cardigans for my son and that’s when my fingers began to twitch. I found that a lot of the clothes I put him in were knitted and I kept thinking ‘I could do that’. However it wasn’t until he was 18 months that I sat my husband down and gently told him that I’d been secretly buying knitting magazines and I’d ordered some wool and it was going to happen whether he liked it or not. He was a bit hostile at first but 2 years later he’s resigned to the ever growing stash that is hidden behind a chair in our living room. He has even held his tongue whilst that pile has been added to with my ever growing fabric stash with my new stitching craze. I think the fact that I solved a lot of Christmas present dilemmas with Debbie Stoller’s scarves last year helped his tolerance! Over the next few posts I’m hoping to share my reaquaintance with knitting and my new stitching craze (this year’s Christmas presents will be bags). Feel free to comment and offer advice as we go.