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…at least for me. I have never done any regular workout except for weekly pilates after the birth of my son. Inspired by my colleagues’ post-Christmas guilt I decided to attend my workplace’s weekly yoga lesson, and I was hooked. I went to that class last Monday, and every night since I have tried to do some form of yoga at home, partially displacing knitting as an evening activity. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s class!

In the meantime, I’m inspired by Lollygirl‘s yoga adventures and her Yoga Wednesday pictures. I thoroughly enjoy Yoga Journal’s practice videos.

I received my long-awaited package yesterday:

Bosworth

Two Bosworth midis, the top in maple (25 g/.81 oz) and the bottom in bocote (39 g/1.34 oz) and 500 g of BFL Humbug – a striated blend of three natural colours. I love them! I ordered from P&M Woolcraft, which I can heartily recommend (the delay in receiving spindles was not due to them, but to an earlier order with another firm, which fell through due to a backorder).

Bosworth 009

I started trying out my new spindles immediately, and I got to thinking about something. If a viking-era woman were to enter my home, chances are she would be completely mystified by it. Nothing we have would be recognisable to her (we don’t even have a fireplace) – except this little tool, with its tail of unspun, fluffy fibre. For some reason I like the feeling of having something, even so little as this, in common with my foremother. Spinning is a fairly obvious source of symbolism, and the Norse mythology is no exception. I was very fascinated with Norse mythology when I was younger, so you’ll have to excuse a little lecture:

In Norse mythology, the ash tree Yggdrasil is considered the centre of the earth, and its branches encircle the heavens. Its three roots run from three different well springs – one from Mime’s well, one from the Norse hell Helheim and one from the dwelling of the Norns (Urd’s well). The Norns are Urd, Verdande and Skuld (the past, the present and the future). They spin the life thread of every newborn baby as well as the gods (who are not considered immortal in Norse mythology). Skuld spins the thread (birth), Verdande plies it (life) and Urd cuts it (death). Considering that the Norse myths were mainly told by and for men, it is interesting to consider the power which was attributed to the Norns and their spinning. Were women and their activities considered mysterious and incomprehensible by the men at the time?

I have seen spinning mentioned on knitting blogs since I started reading them almost two years ago, but I’ve always thought it looked a bit silly, kind of like making your pasta from scratch. However, the spinning pictures on the {by elin} blog have finally pushed me over the edge. I have ordered a learn-to-spin kit, but it will be a little while before I get it. In the meantime, I have been experimenting with a crude homemade spindle and some needle felting fibre I found at a hobby store. The fibre is not ideal for spinning, as it is short and very curly, so it’s almost impossible to draft it well. However, I was determined to see if my first two handspun lengths of yarn (about 10 grams each) could actually be used in a project. It’s a good thing I’m stubborn, because this was just about the most unpleasant knitting experience I’ve ever had.

My first handspun/felted coin purse

 

Project: Felted coin purse, my own pattern.

Yarn: Two strands of Sparkjøp Safirgarn in brown and my own handspun “yarn” in colours red, sunflower yellow and grass green.

Needles: Knitpicks Options 7 mm. I could have used a larger needle, which would probably have eased the felting process a little.

The handspun was quite a lot thicker than the commercial yarn, so the purse is a little bumpy, but mainly the rose design sticks out a little, which is an effect I kind of like.

Do you have a few yards of lumpy handspun you’d like to use? You, too, can have a felted purse:

You need some handspun (colour B) and some commercial yarn of a different colour (colour A), both should be feltable. Needles of a large size for the yarn’s gauge.

Using A, cast on 42 sts and join to knit in the round. Follow the below diagram* (shows one side of the purse).

eight petal rose chart for felted purse

 

(click the diagram to go to the Flickr photo page, where you can find larger versions).

After completing the diagram, work a three-needle bind off to seal the bottom of the purse. Work a round of single crochet (UK: double crochet) around the open edge to avoid curling.

Lightly secure ends (felting hides a multitude of sins) and felt/full the purse in your washing machine. I had to use 60 degree water and wash it with a load of towels to achieve proper fulling. Remove from the washing machine as soon as the program ends and shape, lay flat to dry.

* I didn’t have enough handspun “yarn” to work the diagonal lice pattern, so I worked only the eight-petal rose design, placing it according to the diagram. This isn’t ideal, because the floats on the back get a little too long and unmanageable.

My daughter was born a few days ago, quickly and without complications. Thanks to the incessant baby knitting of myself and several other members of my family, she is constantly dressed in several layers of cozy wool. I’m sorry, I know it would make excellent blogging material, but to protect my daughter’s privacy there will be no pictures. You may have noticed that I never show pictures of my other family members, and she will be no exception, however unbearably cute her chubby baby cheeks ;-)

In other, more bloggable developments, I’ve finally started on my Ravelry queue with the Argosy scarf. I originally intended the yarn, Rowan Tapestry (bought at Liberty of London in January) for a crocheted shawl, but I was inspired by several versions of Argosy on Ravelry. So far, I love the pattern and the resulting scarf, but the yarn is a little hard to work with. It is very sticky and fuzzy, and tinking it ages it a lot. I absolutely LOVE the colours, though:

tapestryargosycolors

I’m also working on a baby hat for a friend whose child was due five days after my daughter, but has still not made an appearance.

gift baby hat WIP

I’m using leftovers from my moderne baby blanket, of which there is an astounding amount. I’ve asked for the new book from Nøstebarn, which has plenty of patterns for this kind of yarn. For this hat I’m using aluminium circulars and knitting magic loop, a combination which is driving me absolutely batty. I’m waiting anxiously for a delivery of Knitpicks fixed circulars from Get Knitted to help me with this.

So what’s next once I’ve finished Argosy and the baby hat? With the new circulars, I’m hoping to learn to knit two socks at once using magic loop. I’m planning to start with a pair of baby socks to ease the learning curve. Also, I haven’t forgotten my first knit sweater. Now that the baby is out, I can begin to take measurements and plan. I’m beginning to realise, however, that I’m a little nervous to begin it. I try to tell myself it’s only yarn, but I really want this sweater to work out, and I’m not sure I’ll do it correctly. Am I just being incredibly stupid to be nervous about this?

I have always intended this blog to be about knitting and crochet only, but there are a few things I’ve seen recently that have made me think. You know that I’m pregnant, of course, but what I haven’t told you is that we’re expecting a girl. Somehow, that knowledge makes reading stories like this and this even harder than it was before.

I find it incredible, unbelievable, sickening, how children are treated just because they belong to my sex – and that of my unborn daughter. And I can’t find a constructive way to deal with this anger and bewilderment, if there even is one.

About

I knit and crochet. This is my log of ongoing and completed projects, mistakes made and lessons (hopefully) learnt. You can contact me at ceecrochet (a) gmail.com

My patterns

Airy Baby Blanket Tiny Party Clutch Notions and Trinkets Bag One Skein Baby Set First handspun felted coin purse

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