May 2024

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Swift less no more

Let it be known that I have not, nor ever will be swift. I could never run very fast nor was I ever quick on the draw or uptake.
None the less I am now the happy owner of a beautiful handmade yarn swift.
I found this beautiful handmade work of art on made by Hornshaw Wood Works. It is wonderfully balanced, so easy to use, & folds up nicely to store away.
Seems strange that having been a fiber addict for as long as I have been that this was something I had never acquired before now. Perhaps I needed to really get going with my spinning to realize the need for such a basic tool.
Perhaps I always had a set of willing or unwilling hands that I could coax into assistance.
Not that having this has changed my life but it sure has made it a great deal more fun.
Besides using it for my hand spun, I recently used it to turn some old crappy worsted acrylic from my stash into a basket of pure joy for our cat Duane.
I had been keeping this nice little basket on the end table next to my chair in the living room and was filling it with my hand spun as I went along. When I had spun a skein, into the basket it went. This made me happy to see my progress every day whenever I passed the table. But Duane also found this basket full of fluffy new wool irresistible.

 Little did I know that this basket was just the right size for cat naps. Duane quickly adopted this space as his own. At first I thought this was so cute as he looked so happy & peaceful sleeping atop my nice new yarn. I was glad he was enjoying it too, until I tried to pull a skein out to swatch for a project I had in mind.
Well needless to say it was covered in cat fur.
Nuts to this idea I said to myself! Duane will have to find another place to nap. Out came the vacuum cleaner & I had to vac off all his bleeping furry deposits. I then sorted all my hand spun & sealed them in plastic bags, safely away from cat hair.
This then left the basket sadly empty, while I waited to decide what to use it for. I liked the way it looked on the end table, but couldn’t decide what to put in it. So it went empty exactly one night.
I sat down to some knitting & TV watching that evening & Duane was there to join me. But alas, no cushy soft fluffy yarn basket for him to crawl into! He circled and clawed at the basket all the while throwing what I perceived as nasty glances in my direction. What is going on here!? Where is my yarn!? His eyes were glaring at me very disapprovingly.
Now I have had my share of guilty feelings thrown at me in my life, but from a cat?? Come on now get over it I told myself.
Since I did not get up to remedy Duanes’ predicament, he proceeded to leave in a huff & went upstairs to nap & deposit furry bits on my bed.
Well the guilt took over & the very next day I was out in my garage studio sorting thru my stash for yarn that I would not mind getting covered in cat fur.
There were three prerequisites for the yarn I was looking for. 1) It had to be something that I couldn’t see myself wanting to use someday for a project. 2) It had to be washable, so if I should ever need to clean it, I could. 3) It had to be “old” stuff from way down back at the spawning stage of my stash.
So I’m f….ty something, that would put the spawn sometime around 1960 something.
Here’s the hidden treasures I pulled from the mouth of the beast (my new pet name for my stash).
All 100% 4-ply acrylic from back when acrylic was really acrylic, pantsuits & tube top epoch.
And I was excited to find three colors that would actually match my couch. This was turning into a home decorating project!

There was this horrid green acrylic, along with some rose, & an off white that looked like it was from the dawn of time.  The only one with somewhat of a label confirmed my treasure hunt had hit gold.  Melrose Orlon Sayelle,color “ANT ROSE”, made in good old  Brooklyn! Ah those were the days – who am I kidding the yarns available today are to die for, we have come so far.

                                                                                                                                    Onto the swift it went, and magically it transformed into loosely wound skeins of fluffier than I had imagined basket stuffing feline heaven.

                                                                                                                          Since Duane was there all along supervising the yarn winding and skein forming, it didn’t take him long to crawl right in, give his new yarn some soft kneads, and settle down for a nap. Sigh – yarn has kept me content for so long, and now I have shared the peace & simple joy it brings…….Yeah, with my cat.

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