I finally knit something out of my own handspun! The roving is a mix of wool and mohair (and possibly angora--some parts are very bunny-ish) which I bought at Rhinebeck last fall. I spun it immediately, then hoarded it--I couldn't decide what to knit. I wanted it to be special, but the yarn is so clearly made by a new (and impatient) spinner that it's more suited to something simple and useful. However, I’ve wanted flip-top mittens for a few weeks now, and decided last night that I should just make some. Quick! Before it’s spring! (Realistically, spring is still a ways away… and I did finish mitten #1 at break this morning, so I think I’m ok.)
I bought my spinning wheel at the end of September or beginning of October last year (2006), and of course there's a long and complicated backstory: I purchased a drop spindle and some roving at Rhinebeck in 2005. I’d spun on a wheel once before at a knitting guild meeting, but I’d never used a spindle and I was too shy to get any help at Rhinebeck—I had this idea that I’d just get it when I took it home and tried to spin. I didn’t, and temporarily put the spindle away. It kind of drives me crazy that I don’t have more time to knit, and part of me didn’t want to spin anyway, because spinning would just mean more yarn, but less knitting time. Silly me.
But then Kevin and I eloped to Iceland in September, and went to this great museum, Reykjavik 871 +/- 2. The museum is all about the settlement of Reykjavik (which happened within 2 years of 871) and the exhibits included stone spindle whorls. I’d just listened to the episodes of Cast On where Brenda Dayne talks about Stone Age spinning, and something about the combination of the whorls and the Stone Age spinners made me want to spin desperately. Back home, I pulled out my spindle, conceded that I was not going to magically know how to spin without instructions of some kind, found videos online and a couple of books from the public library, and figured it out. I spin my roving from the previous Rhinebeck into the bumpiest yarn in the world, then decided that—since we’d saved all that money by eloping rather than having a gigantic wedding—I should obviously buy myself a spinning wheel as a wedding present. I went to Webs, and bought a folding Lendrum with a double treadle.
All fall, the wheel lived in Connecticut with Kevin, who I visited only on weekends, so I didn’t get to spin as much as I would have liked. But I did spin up the roving which just became a mitten. And then right before the holidays I bought one of Spunky Eclectic’s almost solid sampler packs. I haven't spun very much since I moved here, but I suddenly wanted to spin over the weekend, so I made this yarn on Saturday--it's three of the almost solid colors, in a 2-ply yarn so that each color is paired with each of the others once. I was worried that it would be too much variation to look cohesive, but I think it worked out pretty well.