15 October 2009

Opening a New Door

At the beginning of October, Cuddly Hubby and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. And the gift I got will count through our anniversary, Yuletide, Valentine's day, and my birthday in the spring.

The box still had the paperwork on the outside indicating where it passed through customs. The paperwork identifies the place of origin as Tauranga, New Zealand, and the value is listed in NZ$. The blue label in the upper right indicates it came by air rather than cargo freighter. The big white "ATL" label further indicates the shipment came into the country at LAX and then arrived at ATL on the 4th of August. I can't help wondering about the interesting things customs officials must see on the job. For some reason, I get misty-eyed thinking about the distance this package traveled, crossing from eastern to western hemisphere and southern to northern hemisphere on its way to my home, leaving winter in New Zealand for high summer in Atlanta. And it sat quietly in the back room of The Whole Nine Yarns for a couple months before the gift-giving occasion arrived.

Of course, when I opened the box, what I saw was this:

And then the next layer was this:

After an afternoon of slowly and carefully following the instructions -- good ones, but I'd have been comfortable with more diagrams -- it looks like this:

Yes, that's a Majacraft Rose. Someplace with more sheep that people is likely to be just the place to find a fine spinning wheel. Several friends, including Jenna the Yarn Pimp, have been encouraging me down this path. I'm truly not sure what I'm going to spin on this, but I have heard many knitters speak of how understanding yarn through spinning has made them better knitters. So a certain amount of this I am doing on faith that it will make me a better designer. And although there are a number of more budget-friendly wheels available, I wanted something well made and versatile. And this one is just that. It is very well-made and well-balanced. It comes with two different flyers, two different whorls, four bobbins, and a lazy kate. It is a double-treadle design with scotch tension. And it folds and has an integrated handle to make it easy to transport.

I'm starting off with 4oz of Blueface Leister from local dyer Gale Evans of Gale's Art. Jenna helped me pick it out on Monday "spin night" at the shop. Lydia, who is a fabulous teacher, helped me get going. And the other spinners were all very encouraging. Pictures to follow later, I am sure.

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