I had two extra hours added to my day due to a mind slip last night. After watching the dvd of Prince of Persia I looked at the clock and seeing it was shortly after 9 decided to reset the clocks to be spared confusion in the morning then went to bed.  A gripping cluster headache woke me up so I got up to take a couple of pain relievers, saw that it was already 7:45. The deep darkness puzzled me: I’d been anticipating the earlier daybreaks and this seemed just plain wrong, although there was a gentle rain and clouds contributing to the darkness. It wasn’t until after aspirin, a few almonds and the first sips of coffee that it hit me. It actually was only 6am! Duh. I’ve never gotten the Fall Back, Spring Forward mixed up before.  While the joke’s on me the extra hours have been lovely contributing to a very relaxed start to the morning.

I am blessed with all the fiber friends who’ve touched my life in the past half dozen year! Today I’d like to share about two people in particular and their projects which have completely inspired me:

A couple of year ago a woman called to order two Standard Turkish spindles. She and her recently retired husband had moved to a remote location in Central Oregon, to a place where they live off the grid (thus no blog) and the closest town is 45 miles away. She’d taken up daily walks along the deserted roads and decided spinning would be an efficient use of walking time. And what spinner, once the bug bites, can have only one spindle? Spindles dispatched post haste we periodically heard from her when she’d order another spindle or gave us updates on the sweater she was spinning for as she walked. Each time the spindle filled she immediately plied it (using the center pull method), set the twist then knit on the sweater until that ball ran out. Meanwhile she continued to walk and spin the next ball of yarn.

Cheryl and I met a year ago at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival – OFFF, she with sweater in hand. She calls it her 363 Sweater – every bit of her yarn was spun whilst walking 363 miles! Mosiac knitting! And such an inspiration to think of how much spinning one can accomplish during daily walks.  We hung out again this year during the sundrenched Saturday at OFFF, spindling and chatting with other spinners in the group.

Saturday’s perfect weather (Sunday was forecast rainy – it was very) brought a large flocks of spinners and knitters to OFFF this year. There were some seriously good spinners among the earnest girls vying to spin the most in a timed contest. Clearly some had been spinning for some length of time. One girl nonchalantly chatted with the other spinners as she continuously spun with her wheel, rarely looking at her hands – a better spinner than I! I saw a number of  boys spinning during OFFF, perhaps they were too shy to strut their stuff against girls.

Jana, Chromo64 has been another huge inspiration this year. She bought her first Kuchulu and a Lark in March to use during her many flights associated with her work. By the end of May she’d amassed a mound of spun balls of different fiber samples and during a chance encounter at Bella Yarns in Rhode Island, Naomi suggested she knit this sweater. Knit it Jana did! While flying all over creation she spun and as each ball was finished she’d knit another section on her sweater. I think Cheryl and Jana have the right idea: spin and knit, spin and knit – it keeps the interest going. Especially using different colors and fibers as they did.

Look at Jana’s Most Amazing Sweater which she started spinning & knitting in June. 2010!  Please check out her website for all the sweater poses and story behind it.

I am in awe.


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 “Inspiration”

  1. Beautiful sweaters! Thanks for sharing. It boggles the mind how many yards are in both sweaters. Mosaic knitting sure does eat up the yarn!

  2. I just bought two of your spindles at SOAR last weekend. These two pictures/stories are very, very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. (I hope your headache is better!)

  3. Cheryl and Jana, I too am in awe of your spinning and knitting! What fun to spin a little, knit a little, spin a little, knit a little…

  4. Thank you so much, Wanda, for sharing those stories – they are truly inspiring! They’re a good reminder that yes, the tiny little bits I spin here and there can add up to something great!

  5. Wow! Those really are inspirational stories – and those sweaters! Man… I need to get my spindles out more often to take advantage of those little moments – they add up for sure. I also need to take some time to really introduce the girls to spinning – they’ve been asking, and it’s not like I don’t have the wheels for them to use 🙂

  6. Wow indeed – those are really lovely sweaters, and I love the stories that go with them! Very inspiring!

    And I’ve done the wrong fall/spring thing too, and went to work grumbling about how dark it was when it was supposed to be lighter, stupid daylight savings, grumble grumble. OH. heh heh, oops.

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