There’s been a mini spinning boom here in Cordova. Earlier in the summer a couple of people in town expressed an interest in learning to spin, and Dotty had a class. I dusted off my wheel which had been hibernating most of the year and started spinning a little too. Selma wanted to learn, and when The Net Loft put a couple of their old floor model wheels on super-dooper-I-could hardly-believe it-sale, I bought her one as a finishing 3rd grade with honors gift. Dotty has been giving Selma spinning lessons over the summer and she’s now doing great. I’ve been spinning at least a couple of nights a week, and I actually find that spinning long draw is good exercise for my shoulders undoing the tightness that sometimes builds up from knitting, crocheting and computer use. (Spinning as therapy, yeah!). So, when I admitted to Dotty that I don’t really use my handspun, I just spin for fun, and to look at the pretty yarn, she couldn’t believe it. My friends all admonished me too. Peer pressure can be a great thing.

So, last week, I made this:

Handspun - Indigo dyed corriedale w/silk noils plied with osage dyed coopworth/silk blend

Well, two skeins of it, actually, about 220 yards, 9 wpi. The yarn is made from roving I bought at the 2008 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It’s from Handspun by Stefania, and it’s all plant dyed. One ply is indigo dyed corriedale with silk noils, and the other is a coopworth silk/wool blend dyed with Osage-orange wood. The coopworth was a grey wool, and it, blended with the silk has given the osage-dyed yarn an amazing golden quality. The plied yarn reminds me of old maps with blue oceans and baroque golden continents. My friend Erika says it reminds her of bull kelp floating in the inlets where she likes to kayak.

I didn’t spin the yarn with a project in mind (because I never do), but once I had finished it, I knew it had to be a hat. A slouchy hat that I could wear without smooshing my hair, kind of in the style of my Elissa hat, but warmer and more substantial. Good for rainy days–like yesterday when I had to take this picture.


Then the wind really started blowing.

Cartography Hat

No, it’s not blurry, those are raindrops on the lens. Today, it’s sunny and bright, and I had worse luck trying to re-shoot because the shadows were so harsh, but I got this o.k. shot of the back (cropped heavily to get rid of the rotting salmon I didn’t notice was on the beach in front of me–that’s fall in Alaska!)

Back of Cartography Hat

In which I brave a storm to take a photograph
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