Friday, April 3, 2009


In case you haven't noticed, I have a problem. That problem can be summed up in the phrase, "lack of willpower". It's been the same my whole life through.

I grew up lower middle class although, when I was younger, I would have said poor. I've since seen truly poor and I definitely was NOT. Foolishly, I thought that since we were living in the projects (brand new apartments that were subsidized), we were poor, but really, it was just a single parent household with 2 (later 3...) kids. My mother raised all 3 of us on her salary as an accountant for Federal job assistance program called CETA (late 70s). This didn't leave much for my obsessive compulsive need for toys, comics and candy, so I applied for and got a job delivering newspapers after school in the 4th grade.

It was the first time that I had money to spend any way I wanted. My mother would have preferred I open a savings account and put aside a percentage of my earnings (she was a book-keeper, after all), but in all things fiduciary, I was my mother's son. Shopping was therapy and more things meant more love and more happiness. So, all my subscription receipts from the paper route furnished me with an unlimited supply of Now & Laters, DC Comics (with a sprinkling of Marvel) and Micronauts. There was no greater pleasure to be had than riding that sugar high and reading about the exploits of the hunky Green Arrow or sultry Spider Woman.

And, it's been the same with each new level of "maturity". Comics gave way to books. Toys gave way to music (albums, cassettes and finally cds). And I never stopped eating candy. Just ask my dentist or orthodontist.

My current shopaholic tendencies revolve around all things fiber: yarn, books, tools, patterns, bags and now, god help me, fiber, spindles, rigid heddle looms and wheels. Fortunately, wheels are a much bigger hurdle to clear, but that doesn't prevent me from constantly looking at Carolina Homespun to see what new wheels I should test drive. It doesn't matter that I have more than 40 spindles (at last count) or that I have a lovely portable wheel and a nice RH loom. I'm always seeing other people's tools and thinking how efficient or proficient I would be with their equipment. Oh, the sins of envy and covetousness.

That was a lot of confession to get to the essence of today's post and that is about simplicity and the joy of living (and spinning) in the moment. I truly love spinning. I love doing it on a drop spindle. I like teaching it. I love doing it on a wheel. Perhaps in the future, I'll teach that too, but for now, I am smitten with spinning. There's something about it that never ceases to amaze me. The moment that the twist travels up the fiber is always magic, no matter who is doing it. And then there's the plying and the combination of color and texture that arise. Finally, there's the knitting or weaving that creates even more glorious patterns.

This latest entry into the halls of my spinning FOs is the December 2009 "Wooly Wonders" fiber club shipment from A Verb for Keeping Warm. It's 4 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) that is postively glowing with reds and peaches with a splash of purple/gray. This skein marks the very first fiber club installment that I have spun up and I'm quite proud of breaking the inertia and of the finished product. I'm going to add it to my handspun stash and figure out what it needs to be, but for now, I'm enjoying admiring it and petting it.


  1. 40 spindles! Sweet Jeebus, are we going to have to have an intervention?

  2. I think it would be fun to see a picture of all 40 of them:)Hugs Darcy

  3. Love the yarn. And, you can never, ever have too many tools.

  4. You have just the right tool for any contingency with 40 drop spindles! Pretty, pretty yarn.

  5. Such an awesome post, Mikers. Yes, Gary recently pointed out to me that 'yarn was my new lipstick' after discovering a crate of about 200+ lipsticks in a closet. Oops...

  6. I love this essay. And, I love that you have started spinning your fiber club shipments. You're almost done with the Hello Yarn too, right? Another one checked off :)

  7. It's beautiful yarn!

    I, too, had a rather financially "tight" (but not really poor) childhood and even now there is nothing like the happy little glow of buying something pretty.. and better yet brand NEW (not used) and NICE.

    Luckily I get the same glow from finishing a project (be it knitting, spinning, or even something like fixing my toilet myself this week, or painting a room). It's a lot more time-consuming to get that finished-project glow than to go out and buy something, but when I remember to channel myself towards finishing, rather than buying new, I'm rewarded twice over--with something new, beautiful and high-quality, that I made myself.

  8. No interventions, please. I do, truly use them all.. just not at once.

    I promise to take a group portrait soon... if I can find them all. They've started hiding from me in project bags and boxes!

    Yarn/Fiber is the new CD for me!

  9. The yarn is gorgeous - those reds are so rich and warm! It only took me a few days of spinning to come to the conclusion that one spindle is not enough - wonder how long it will take me to get to double digits?