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sock wars

see, it can be good to be very busy. now i don't have to make a choice whether to take part in the sock wars that josé wrote about. i would like to, obviously, being a frantic sock knitter. but i do think south african post would let me down. or would they be an advantage..? we'll never know. or at least not this year.
or..? my, it's tempting!

magic in the making

when i finally came round to watching the little instruction video on navajo plying i just had to try it right away. no scrap yarn available - what the bleep, just try it on live thread. eek. great mistakes have been crafted with that type of thinking, especially after midnight.

but it worked like bliss. that, and the mere feeling of being behind the wheel again (or in front of it? your choice) made me feel very, very content instantly. that really surprised me.

what made my heart jump too was that the thread was no longer the vulnerable thin breakable stuff, it became Yarn. wow. i was so impressed. silly, really, but i was so very proud of myself when it turned into workable yarn. of sock weight even. hurray for me!

why this wheel

a while ago i promised to elaborate on why i chose this spinning wheel (louët s10dt) of all the available options. yes i do still knit, but nobrainer socks and the likes are not quite something to blog about, eh? and the wheel was only announced here in a time of travel, meaning hardly any internet.

like arja pondered at the time, eventually i decided rather quickly. i had been trying to find 'live' wheels to scrutinize, at least have a look at. but it turns out spinning wheels are not exactly fmcg. so no one keeps demos in their shop. carina, the nice lady of de schapekop, told me about her experiences and informed me about the dutch ashford importers. but they were in den haag, way out of my route, and only available by appointment, wayyy out of my schedule.
a pity though. i would have liked carina to earn the commission.

so the next day i did execute my original plan and went to the louët factory in lochem. they have a cute little showroom, mostly filled with weaving looms, and six or seven spinning wheels. i told the friendly salesman i hadn't spun for at least twenty years and was now looking to pick it up again. he gave me some roving and said, i'll come back in about ten minutes. enjoy.

obviously i mostly tested whether i could still spin, instead of testing the wheels. but after these ten minutes i did see some preferences surfacing. i could throw out half the possibilities because i figured double pedals would be nicer. much pondering followed about the three wheels left. i really couldn't decide yet. so the nice man described where i could find his desk, proposed i'd come there when done, and on top of that brought me tea and biscuits!

who would want to buy an unseen (and much more expensive) competitor after this??

re-inventing the wheel

baby booties are ugly. but they must serve a need as there are so many of them. and i have learnt which need that is. because today rikki wore distinctly longer and tighter socks, and still they trail around halfway her foot all the time. it has to do with the flexing and unflexing of her feet while she stands up and tries to walk.

she does that in a manner which invites even tight socks to come off right away as she is just learning one needs to stretch the toes in order to do the standing up stuff. until then she had made sort of a foot fist. anyway, after lengthening that first pair of sockies that turned out too short, i gave in. they now have shoelaces.

baby sitting spinning

two weeks ago i complained i could no longer spin with the little one around. luckily that grief was already over after a week, when we could borrow a play pen. now i often sit spinning next to her, each happily doing her own thing. only i do need to give the impression i'm all with her, so doing anything else (see below) is out of the question in these first precious weeks.

after jayne taught me how to spin properly i have lots to practise. and though the result often actually looks like something it is of course tremendously s-l-o-w to spin this thin! sheesh, i'll never make a hat for my brother before it's winter over there.

nico fished a good idea from the edges of my conciousness so at least i know where i'm going with that hat. it also uses the bit of orange from jayne's twelve step rainbow i did out of boredom with all the white. this should be enough, i'd say. so i'm looking forward to try and do some navajo plying soon. that is, if i ever get enough time to myself to both view that handy little instruction video and practise a bit.

pre-sale sale

buy over 150 rand (€16,85) and get a 20% discount. now that's what i call a proper pre-sale sale. however i've been rather modest. in size that is. see?the catch of this catch is all those little ones... they are 100% bamboo. woo hoo! i had been eyeing them ever since they entered the shop, some six months ago.

ag. and the sale is yet to begin. on monday; nicely decorated with a sign on the notice board noting contact details of the local snb group. that's us! and the shop owner hand made the sign himself!! we hope to do lots of collaborating, where we for instance do a free public knitting class and hopefully the counter measure is something like a discount at this fantastic shop. arthur bales in linden/joburg, people, that's the place to be!


ag there are so many things i should have blogged about. like my daughter's first sockies, that fit perfectly until she actually started using them and stretched her feet to a (ballet) flex. so i made her a second pair a bit quicker than i would have otherwise.
other project for her, mostly out of a sense of urgency and not so much for fun: a pair of trousers.

the ideal holiday

look see, the ideal holiday destination: a sock cruise. it's a bit out of the way from here (some 20.000 kms) but it must be bliss - to sit on a boat and knit, and nobody can do anything else.

ah! to knit

to my surprise the care taking of an (almost) eight month old leaves quite some knitting time, once you get a bit used to each other. an hour here and there seems possible. that's decidedly more than i allowed myself before she came. (spinning has become out of the question in daytime. boo!)

so i finally finished my zanzibar socks - it's been ages since i knitted a pair of socks for myself - and started on rikki's first socks. in bright colours naturally. since i (we?) heartily dislike baby colours we keep getting asked whether she's a boy or a girl. small price to pay for choosing colours you actually don't mind being seen with.

not lost

yeah i'm still here, still doing the usual stuff like knitting in public, showing off socks, converting people etc etc but i'm a tad busy in my personal life so forging blog stories out of it turns out to be a struggle. i just try and bother you on your blog in the meantime.