Thursday, July 29, 2010

Speaking of fiber . . .

I vacuumed yesterday . . . at least I tried to vacuum.  For some reason, my Oreck just wasn't picking up the way it should and there was a strange sound.  So I unplugged it and turned it over.


We've had this Oreck for about a year now (it's our second), and I'm sure I haven't turned it over--ever.  And boy was I missing a lot.

You're looking at the roller brush, completely enclosed in fiber.  There was barely a bristle that was showing through all the fibery goodness.  Did I say it was enclosed in fiber???  Guess I'll be changing my habits and removing fiber pieces from the floor before vacuuming from now on!!  Yikes.

Fiber phenomonon . . .

My introduction to fiber began when I was maybe four or five years old.  My mother gave me a piece of cotton, a needle, embroidery thread, scissors, and a hoop.  The cotton was printed with a house, gobs of flowers, and the saying "a man's house is his castle."  I finished it.  It was quite cute, actually, although certainly not professionally done.  The wrong side looked like a whirling dervish had done a number on it (what a mess!). 

I began sewing clothes when I was about 11.  My mother had bought a new sewing machine and I was intrigued with it.  I made an a-line skirt as my first number--cotton, sky blue.  It turned out OK, and led to a lifetime of sewing--made baby clothes, blankets, coats, prom dresses, even made a wedding dress once (wow, what a job!).  I was lucky I had a high school that had the full range of sewing classes and a sewing teacher who was brutal--Mrs. Krosky--who never allowed a mis-stitch to leave her classroom.  In other words, if it wasn't right, you redid it.  Can't tell you the number of "redo's" I did in my four years of high school.  When I was in the throes of making prom dresses, however, I said a prayer for her and thanked God she had taught me so well--no patterns for this girl, fit to the girl, and nearly couture (I still have one of the dresses to prove it).

So when my kiddos were born, I began to do needlepoint, inspired by my sweet Aunt Barbara.  She made beautiful piano bench covers hand painted to match her draperies, backgammon boards, and needlepoint tennis shoes custom created for the wearer.  What an inspiration she was! 

And through it all, I knit.  I loved knitting.  Well, really, let's be honest here:  I really loved the fiber, and loved the fabric it created after it was knit.  I learned to love the knitting part.  And, of course, in the past six months or so, I've learned another step in the creation process:  spinning. 

Cindy, of the ever famous Jacob's Reward Farm in Parker, TX, has been my enabler (bless her!).  I bought a share of her CSA and then found out it came in the form of roving (unspun fiber), so I had to learn to spin.  I also found out about Spinderella's Fiber Mill from Cindy (they process Cindy's fiber for her before she metes it out to her shareholders).

I emailed Lynn awhile back and asked her if two pounds of her thrums would spin up to enough fiber for a sweater.  She assured me it would.

I got the package and it seemed a little on the small side, but I'd never seen a box of two pounds of fiber before, so I wasn't too worried . . .

When I opened the box, the fiber literally popped out of the box--like a big ol' jack-in-the-box, except the good kind.
So I  began to spin, spin, spin . . .

And ply, ply, ply . . .

Coming up with this fabulous fiber . . .

All ready to knit!
I've still not completed quite enough for the sweater I'll make for Phil (Big Daddy), but it's well on its way.  Really do love this fiber.  Of course, I'm told that it's mostly alpaca, which is my favorite fiber on earth to date, so how could I not love it!! 

Spin on!!