Handwarmers and wedding reception

September feels as though it’s folding in on itself. Was Aurora’s birthday just last weekend? And how is it that while it seems September is just beginning it is already closing in to the half-way point? I want to deny the ending of summer. Cold darkness is seeping in replacing the wonderfully long daylight hours too quickly. Perhaps my mind and body is rebelling at the appearances of Autumn because the cold wet spring stretched into the first week of July. An early summer month drowned. I’ve had two tomatoes ripe from the garden, the rest are struggling to shed their green but it’s a race with the warmth of the sun. Ed has been faithful to bring truckloads of wood down from the woodlot friends filling the woodshed against the coming cold.

The Scrunchie Handwarmers were finished, washed and dried in time to wrap them for Aurora’s birthday party, actual knitting finished on August 31st. Probably a number of knitters devise spur of the moment, materials at hand, methods for keeping track of rows, increases and decreases. I have a row counter, and stitch markers but usually a contrasting piece of yarn is handier and does the job quite well. About the time I was rounding up to begin the thumb gusset I happened to read a great tip on Bananaknit‘s blog which improved my rudimentary yarn counter.

Using some silk yarn I made I tied a bead to mark the beginning end and then a series of loops. Increases happen every third row in the scrunchies but I went ahead and made five loops including loops to keep track of the gusset edges. It’s such a handy-dandy method! I’ll be making a few more with varying loop counts but with handspun linen.

I modified the pattern a bit to fit Aurora’s long, narrow hands. After Casting On 72 stitches and knitting the the first couple of inches I tried them on and knew they’d flop around on her arms (she has strong but small bones) so the wristbands were frogged, then cast on 60 stitches and knit a number of rounds. Perfect! I also cut back on one pair on gusset increases, and knit a longer length in the hand.

Yarn: My Handspun, 3 ply, Merino from Freestylefibre Jo’s Limegreenjelly colourway: Just Can’t Get Enough
Approximately 230 yards.  I was afraid of running out of the yarn so only did four scrunchie patterns instead of five. As it turned out there would have been enough. Maybe. I regretted that I’d split the top into three strips the longways for the three singles, I should have chain plyed them. The colors blended more than I wanted except for the one area across the middle of the right hand. I was sorely tempted to tink back and use a different section of yarn but was getting to close to the deadline. On the whole they were a fun knit and I’d love to make some more for gifts. Next time I will spin for two ply.
Needles: #1/2.25mm, 2 pairs of 16″ circulars. One pair made with Bolivian Rosewood, the other with Pink Ivory to aid in grabbing the correct tip when knitting two at once.

Aurora loved her handwarmers. She’d had no idea I was making some for her and not only surprised but very grateful as the medical office where she works is often rather chilly.

Thanks to all who’ve suggested a name for the new chip-carved spindle. We’ve not totally decided but the field has been narrowed down to two. They’re temporarily on the back burner. Last week was such a madhouse of a scramble trying to keep the various orders straight, especially the orders for extra Jay shafts to go with Larks. My head was fairly spinning with info, names, weights, email addresses… The days were a blur of making sure I had details correct so Ed could make the right assortment of Jay shafts to go with the orders. By Thursday the dust was settling and I’m feeling like I have a handle on the various bits that need to go together. Friday the first wave of Larks/Jays were taken to the Post Office before dashing off to pick up gear, people, pizza to set up and rehearse for a wedding reception. I’m planning to get the rest of the finished spindles in the mail tomorrow.

A young woman I’ve know since she was about 4 was married yesterday. Aurora was three years ahead of her but their paths crossed often since she’s been a close friend of our daughter-in-law, Mandy and side-kick Emily. So it came about that Stacey asked Crooked Finger to play for the reception. Mandy drove from Idaho on Friday arriving in plenty of time to make the rehearsal. There were around 400 people at the reception which was held in the chapel/gym at a summer camp/equestrian center where the fiance is on permanent staff, and Aurora attended camp as a child then was an assistant counselor for a couple summers as an older teen. It was interesting to see a number of people whom I’ve known in the past but seldom see. Some going back to my childhood. But, playing in a gym full of people, well, it was like playing for a bunch of kids at recess time. 🙂 We had a blast playing, and it was great to have Mandy join us again. We played for the guests while the bride and groom were having the official photos taken, they estimated it’d take about 45 minutes but we had a song list for twice that, just in case. Good thing! We ended up playing over two hours.  It’s rather amusing to play background music for a noisy group, when the crowd is so loud there’s a sense that no one can hear so it feels more like a jam session in a corner at some busy location. The down side was that we were in cramped quarters and couldn’t use the monitor due to feed-back so it was hard to hear each other. There were a couple of songs that felt slightly disjointed and on one of my breaks the lead guitar had a hard time hearing me and thought we’d gotten off. But all in all it seemed to go well. (The catering people, who had set up behind the curtains on the stage on the far side from where we were said they could hear us just fine.) It was interesting to mingle with the crowd and feel a part of something much bigger than is ordinary in our lives. The hours flew in chatting and eating then packing our gear. Putting the violin in the car the damp smell of the small Drift Creek running through the middle of the camp caught my attention. Most of the crowd was gone and the murmuring water could be heard in the quiet.

The tops of the trees were catching the light from the sun.

My thoughts drifted to Ed.
When Mandy made plans to come to the wedding Ed decided he should go to Idaho and spend the time with our son and the grandkids while she was here. His back does not do well with sitting in a vehicle for very long and so Aurora suggested that her husband also take a much needed break after the hectic pace of farming the past two months to drive with Ed. The two men left early Thursday morning with fishing gear, fresh baked cookies and goodies for the kids. From reports they’ve all had a grand time together. Mandy returned home today, and they left from that end but are moseying towards home fishing here and there along the way home. Originally they were to arrive back here on Tuesday but they’ll be here tomorrow. When Ed turns his nose towards the shop there’s little stopping him from galloping all the way. He gets a hankering for the shop and working with wood. Three days away is usually his limit before pining for his tools and wood. 🙂  One huge advantage to loving fiber arts – it goes on breaks with me. Shoot, it even goes to wedding receptions.

There’s a perfect pocket in my violin backpack for fiber and spindle. 🙂


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

7 thoughts on “Handwarmers and wedding reception”

  1. Glad to hear Aurora appreciated the handwarmers – I always think they’re such a nice gift!

    How special that you were able to play for Stacey’s wedding, it must be an odd feeling to watch all these young people living adult lives, when just the other day they were in kindergarten! :o)

    Love that shot of your spinning in the violin pocket!

  2. Hi Wanda and Mr. Jenkins,

    The Scrunchie handwarmers are lovely. Aurora is a lucky girl!
    The handcarved Turkish Spindles on previous post are very
    beautiful. The carving must be very time consuming and difficult.
    Mr. Jenkins is Turkish Spindle maker extrordinaire! Are these
    carved spindles standard or smaller size?
    I really like the graceful shape of my Lark, like a Ballerina with
    Tutu. Looking forward to Jay shaft and larger lark.
    Warm Regards,

  3. You have so many good things going on all at once — I can see why September is disappearing! The handwarmers are wonderful; I know Rick loves his pair for exactly the same reason — typing in a cold office.

  4. What a good tip about the stitch markers! I’ve never thought of using one long piece of yarn with loops. And the “legs” of my markers always get in the way of the knitting. Also, if you look at the carpet around my knitting chair, there are always a few loops lying there. Love the handwarmers, especially the scrunchy wrists. Aurora has beautiful hands!

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