Sunday, June 05, 2011

There are some universal truths

One that I recently had reafirmed is that there are some very very clever creative and lovely people out there sharing what they know ... and that results in me almost always spending money. I'm talking about Handmade at TePapa, where I met the absolutely amazing and friendly and wonderful Sourkraut who sells the most amazing spindles on etsy. Of course her away from Ravlery and etsy name is not really Sourkraut ... but Francis, and I am such a language klutz that Sourkraut was always the first name to surface in my mind.

I bought these, how could I not? The first is a 29gram spindle with a Purri whorl and a rimu shaft with a stg (silver?) Bunny, the second is a Nostepinne in Pukatea. All native to New Zealand woods and all beautifully made, shaped and finished, a designer jeweller by training her work is jewelery ......I really tried hard not to buy more. I have already asked Bear if he would consider gifting me one of these for my next birthday so I resisted and resisted taking one home with me as well. I love this bunny, I have a deep appreciation of pre-victorian Arts and Crafts work and motifs and the history that inspired them and this has that feel, an object well made by some one who knows how. And I love the floppy feel of the hard silver bunny, the weight of the spindle and that the hooks and yarn stop are silver.This spindle and nostepinne feel like luxury things to use, and yet are very easy to use and defiantly practical.

I had a mental note to take a wee snatch of fibre with me, as I had booked into Francis's spinning class, one hour 45 minuets of teaching. Now I'm not the worlds best packer, I always forget something (this time it was my toothbrush - still sitting in its travel box on the bed at home waiting for me to pack it when I returned). So as I dashed around the house collecting and packing I kept thinking of the fibre I needed to select and pack .. and then didn't pack any. Francis was so organiseed that she had little kits with plain spindles ... and a selection of lots of little bits of fibre. Even her 'budget' learner spindles are amazing, look at the neat grain in the wood, and they are small and light, and nice to use. By then I had done my dash so to speak on spending what was in my purse ... so I had no ready cash left and the automatic teller nearby was out of order. We did come to an arrangement where Frances went home with a project bag .. and I got a starter kit with fibre and spindle.

oooooo this may be a little misleading, as Francis started us all on white combed perendale, and once we were spindling - suggested we play with the colour fluff. Look she even put in pencil roving! Now yes I can already spindle, but I learned things, like spinning from the fold and even more simple had the idea of the importance of staple length and amount of fibre to hold for spinning reinforced. Some times I need little reminders to keep me focused on the little easy things that make 'doing' more successful.

Even better we covered Andean plying .... and making an Andean bracelet. This is for me a little leap into one of those areas where my mind can't quite work out how it works ... but it does. In time I know my mind will put together all the bits so I understand how looping yarn around your hand in a figure shape ends up in a bracelet that then allows you to ply from both ends at once - but for now it is a magical moment along the lines of - 'Look it works". This is my plying ..... just enough for proof of principle.

So what did I knit whilst I was away .. well fish, until at least Sunday night on the plane home. At that stage ... the fish in progress had an 'unusual stitch count' .. so I decided that was a clear sign to stop. Several fish were added before that point, so I will update the fish count at some point.

Then I came home to family, including this fluffy one, so I'll leave you with a triptych of Yo-yo in the living room window. (Please ignore the lack of window cleaning ...)
take care
na Stella


adriene said...

In my own ignorance of New Zealand, I would have never understood what Handmade at Te Papa was, if it wasn't for the fact that I met with an educator from Te Papa Tongarewa via videoconference a couple of months ago. At least it's on my radar now!

It sounds like a really cool time. I'm super jealous of that spindle!

Knitting Linguist said...

What a lovely spindle! You're right - that rabbit really needed to come home with you. (And I've got my eye on one of her nostepinnes - I don't have one, and I really do need one, as I'd like to try plying two-ended directly from a nostepinne; see me justifying?) The spindling class sounds like it went really well, too, thank for sharing!

Shirley Goodwin said...

Oh lucky you to go to Handmade! I have a wee spindle somewhere but my one attempt to use failed dismally. Perhaps I'll try again when I've mastered spinning on a machine. said...

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