cynthookneedles

A few words about my daily life and crafting journey

Archive for the category “Crafting”

I’ve got a wheel!!!

A very relaxing and fruitful wheel-shopping at Clevedon.

A very relaxing and fruitful wheel-shopping at Clevedon.

After much consideration and choosing, I have finally decided on the wheel to have – an Ashford Kiwi 2, purchased yesterday at Spinning Weal in Clevedon.

I cannot begin to thank
– my friend Sarah for first teaching me how to spin, making me realise the characteristics of different wheels, then pointing me in Spinning Weal’s direction;
– my friend V who was very helpful in giving me pointers on what sort of wheel to look for and where to find beautiful and manageable tops and fleece;
– Sarah at the shop who was very knowledgeable about a wide range of wheels, giving impartial advice, allowing me to test the Kiwi that she teaches with and even giving me a quick refresher tutorial on how to spin;
– my sweet other half J for helping me in finalising my purchasing decision.
(this is beginning to sound a lot like Oscar Award acceptance speech, isn’t it? :P)

Sarah was very nice and threw in 3 wonderful boxes of delicious fleece to start me off with.

Sarah was very nice and threw in 3 wonderful boxes of delicious fleece to start me off with.

It was lovely that as soon as I bought the wheel, J was as excited about decorating, painting and treating my wheel as I was! We used Dark Jacobeans wood dye for the wheel, coffee mixture to stain the Kiwi and edges of the treadles, and treated the wood and MDF with linseed oil into the small hours. I am a very lucky girl to have such a loving partner who assembled the wheel for me.

As soon as it was all done, he requested a quick demonstration. Although it took me a lil while to get used to drafting and tension again, as shown below in the ‘wire-like’ yarn, I think I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it.

The wood dye and linseed oil are still lingering in the air; I can assure you that they give off pretty strong fumes, but I am over the moon with the results.

 

 

One very fantastically engineered wheel, nicely assembled and customised by me and J.

One very fantastically engineered wheel, nicely assembled and customised by me and J.

A coffee kiwi

A coffee kiwi

It's all about the drafting and tension ... More practice is needed.

It’s all about the drafting and tension … More practice is needed.

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Birthday presents 2014

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For the past few birthdays and Christmases, J has given me lovely tools of the art I love most – fibre art; and, it’s no different this year. I got my beautiful presents in the post this morning –  a Turkish spindle and a niddy-noddy – both of which I’ve longed for sometime. Thank you, honey!! xx

Let the spinning begin!

Knitting = yoga

Knitting is a form of yoga that I practice passionately. It slows the mind down, focuses the attention on each and every stitch, requires the appropriate hand-eye co-ordination, and above all, works best when silence is observed. I do appreciate the social side of a knitting group, where we get together and appreciate each other’s completed work, and perhaps, exchange new techniques and skills we have learnt, but I do enjoy practising this beautiful form of traditional art in solitude.

To knit, one needs a good pair of needles, scrumptious yarn and a well-written and/or well-charted pattern; this is where the fun begins. There are such a wide variety of beautiful things to choose from, and like most knitters, I may end up spending hours upon hours searching for ‘the right one’ before settling down with a project. Yes, it does somehow resemble the search for the perfect partner. The perfect ones can be quite elusive at times, but it is all worth it.

When I find the perfect match of yarn and pattern, it makes knitting both serene and exciting at the same time. Knitting becomes serene when the yarn and pattern work in harmony. I always find knitting exciting for I usually cannot wait to see how the end product looks like. The pleasure and satisfaction of completing a project are also tremendous. This is especially so when the project is to be gifted to a loved one. After all, nothing is more rewarding than to see your loved one smiles as he or she receives the gift you tenderly and lovingly made by hand.

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Some say knitting causes RSI (repetitive stress injury), neck aches and all other pains. This might be true. Like all sports and activities, when it is done in a correct manner, peppered with sufficient breaks, it reduces injury, aches and pains to a minimum. It, however, requires both discipline and mindfulness. When my mind tells me to knit another row while my body is screaming for a rest, I need to exercise a certain amount of discipline to put the needles down, rest and stretch. I have to be mindful and listen to my body for any signs of discomfort when I knit. This helps me become more in tune with my body. With the busy life that I lead, knitting has helped weave my sanity back together stitch by stitch.

Yarn beneficiary

Colourful, colourful yarn!
What shalt I do with thou?

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Oh yes, and there’s more!!

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I have indeed become a very lucky yarn beneficiary. A dear friend was destashing in preparation for a move, and I was honoured and grateful to be on the forefront of her mind when it came to re-homing her beautiful fibre.

It is my absolute pleasure to start thinking which yarn goes well with which project!! Squeee!

Once again, a million thanks to my sweet friend V. xxx

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