growing things

People are always asking me how long it takes me to spin something. The past few days, I decided to actually spin with an eye on the clock to give an accurate answer to this burning question.

clicking any photo will get you a larger version, should you want one


4 grams of silk top + 2 hours spinning singles (on a spindle) + 20 min winding into plying ball + 10 min detangling + 1 hour plying (via spindle) =

46.5 yards of 2-ply silk sewing thread

I am not a fast spinner. I’m not a slow spinner. And yes, spinning silk fine enough for thread does entail a bit more effort that spinning my average, spin-it-in-my-sleep sock weight yarn. But hopefully it gives the curious amongst you some idea of just exactly how crazypants I am.

I’m at the end-stage in several projects, and it’s to the point where I feel guilty trying to finish one while the other nearly-done ones sit there on my worktable and whimper. The request0rs of each project are asking after their progress, not in a bad way, just in a how’s-it-going kind of way, and of course that just makes me feel a wee bit more guilty when I can’t get All The Things Done Right Now.

That’s my current whine. (I know, you were curious about that, too, and you were just way too polite to inquire.)

However, I find the end stages of projects really, truly fascinating, and I don’t like to rush through them. Seaming a sweater, sewing on trim, washing and skeining a bobbin of handspun yarn; all of these are magic times, when hours and hours of work suddenly start becoming Something, right before my eyes. Random oddly shaped bits of knitting become something pretty I can wear; thousands of treadle-pushes with fluff whishing through my fingers become wonderful yarn I can imagine into more pretty knitting.

The possible slowly starts becoming The Real. I like the process of that becoming, sort of in the same way I enjoy watching the baby doves in the nest on my porch hatch and go from wee fluffy cheepies to young curious birds flapping their wings on the edge of the nest, ready for that first uncertain flight.

See the baby to mama's right? There's actually a second baby hidden back in the corner behind mama.

I also like raising kittens from little wiggly blind earless critters, but then I think you probably knew that without me saying so.

It’s here…sort of

In cases your sinuses have not yet announced the obvious to you, it is spring.

Even the weeds are being shameless in their sprawling glory.

Watching the tiny birds peck at the dirt outside my window, I wondered what the world looked like through their eyes. I put my camera at sparrow-height on the ground:

Kind of makes you think. And dream wingéd dreams…

I took those photos ten days ago. As I type this, it is snowing. Welcome to Canada, says the amazing AnnieBee.

Promises, Promises

I promised blue-purple sparkly yarn pictures.

Merino fibre with real silver bits in it. Hand-dyed by Jennifer at Holiday Yarns. She has more (not in that exact colourway, but close), plus she has a new fibre club where you can get sparkly stuff, gradient stuff, and cool stuff. (Tell her Sandi sent you, she’ll get a kick out of that.)

Why do I feel as though I am posting salacious photos right about now?

It’s like some sort of yarn-fetishist’s centerfold…


1.  Picnic pants. No, I am not going to spoil the fun, you’re just going to have to go look to see why I think the picnic pants deserved a place in the Chispas.

2.  I would like to know why there is not some sort of international grant to ensure that there is one of these in every home. (Watch the video. It’s really almost too much for the human heart to bear.) (OH, and yes, it’s for reals. I checked, thinking it was just too good to be true. TRUE.)

3.  These are breathtaking. If there was one nearby, I might never leave.

4.  You know what they say about people resembling their pets?

5.  Ah, Texas and traditional southern values. This Mama understands the value of a good moisturizer AND a good PR campaign.

6.  And finally, Buddy thinks it is high time for a belly rub.

P.S.: Oh, great.

Now she tells me. Not at the beginning of the post, but at the end. Naturally.


The Giveaway Llama would like you to know that she has a couple of goodies for you…for next time.

Hint: One sparkles. One doesn’t.

And with that, I click Publish.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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20 Responses to growing things

  1. InJuneau says:

    Nice to read what you’ve been up to and see the baby dove! Hope you’re surviving the snow.

  2. deltadawn says:

    I miss the doves nesting in a very similar spot to yours inside my front porch, but I’ve had to block access to it. Three years running neighborhood cats took the doves and crashed the nests, eggs and all. Made me too sad and nothing I did to block access to them worked. I’ll live vicariously though yours!

  3. btownknitter says:

    I believe what you have posted is yarn porn. Beautiful yarn porn.

  4. Carole says:

    Enjoy your posts so much, so nice of you to share your life with us. Please post more often. Thanks

  5. iriegemini says:

    I love the sewing thread! It’s super fabulous. Hope Buddy was appeased – he begs with great style that one! L

  6. maryh says:

    Was excited to get a message of your post and to see what you’ve been doing. Beautiful yarn and lovely pictures. And the wisteria pictures were wonderful

  7. Naomi says:

    I like your philosophy re. the end stages of projects. That will require some thought.
    And I wish I could reach through the screen to give Buddy a belly rub.

  8. Pat says:

    Hi Sandi,
    Sounds like things are going better since your last post. (I hope) Love the yarn. Oh to be able to spin like that! Still practicing but haven’t quite got the hang of it yet. MORE PRACTICE! The pictures of the Wisteria gardens are unbelievable! Wonder how long it took to create those beautiful arches? Doesn’t it feel good to get to the end of a project and dream about the is next in line?
    Take care. Good to see your post
    Pat aka westies

  9. Mardi says:

    Awwwww, hi, Buddy!! Tummy scritchies!

  10. Tamara says:

    Oooooohhhhhhhhh the coffee faucet…. I could watch that dreaminess all day.

    And I don’t think 3.5 hours is too long for such gorgeous and thin 2-ply silk thread–honestly. I could spin for days on end and not end up with something like that.

    And yes, this is yarn porn. But no one is watching, right? 🙂

    I had to share the picnic pants. Had to. And the wisteria–the Japanese really know how to live.

    So glad that it does sound like you’re feeling better, mind/body/spirit I hope.

    Spring will be back (I think). Though, I haven’t taken my snow tires off yet, either.

  11. Dorothy says:

    It never occurred to me to spin sewing thread…..
    The picnic pants made me laugh.

  12. audrey says:

    and you even appreciated the weeds for growing…..

  13. molly says:

    i think weeds come up first so that we can enjoy and appreciate them whilst they are the only really green and growing things around! a dandelion in april is a beautiful thing – not so much so in july….
    and boy – does buddy ever know how to get his message across!

  14. Angela says:

    I love Jennifer’s silver roving. I’m actually spinning up some now in shades of blue. Every time I get it out to spin I’m in love so I spin it on my spindle to make it last longer!
    Thanks for sharing your process with the silk sewing thread. I always wanted to hear more about that 🙂

  15. spingirl1961 says:

    Oooh, I wonder if one of the Somethings is Something That Isn’t. Or not.

  16. Arla says:

    good day to you Sandi!!! been thinking about your spinning, and was wondering if you have any thoughts on spinning dog’s hair…it is long and I’ve never spun anything before… love the silk…so rich looking….blessings!!!

  17. Karen Frisa says:

    Your blue-purple sparkly yarn is very pretty!!

  18. Gail says:

    Snow? Spring is supposed to be the tonic after the gray of winter. As I go about my day, and see the trees in bloom, it makes me smile. Makes my kids sneeze, though.

  19. ikkinlala says:

    Pretty yarn!

  20. donna lee says:

    I watched the coffee video twice. I love my keurig but I’d give it up for that. (I wonder what it costs but am afraid to look). The wisteria photos are gorgeous but I laughed as we spent yesterday pulling up wisteria vines in our yard. It is impossible to get rid of once you have one.

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