Mother Earth Me: How Pencil Roving Made Me Look Like A Goddess

 Let’s put it this way: I am the most unlikely person to have become a knitter. The other day, I turned to my mother.

 “If you had to pick between any of your daughters,” I said, “Would you have ever picked me as the person to start knitting?”

 She grinned slightly.

 “No,” she answered and I could tell that she still couldn’t believe that I was knitting.

 This Friday, I added a new skill—spinning. Heidi, at Ravelry under the name knittinggalore, took pity on me. I wanted a spindle, badly. She had a spindle that she no longer needed. In fact, the exact spindle that I wanted; a Little Si spindle from Cascade.

Guess what came in the mail on Friday?

 It’s light, smooth and beautiful. But Heidi didn’t just sent a spindle. No, she knew that I was learning how to spin, so she tucked in a little surprise. A light, fluffy merino surprise that weighed 3 1/2 ounces—hand-dyed pencil roving in the colorway, “Woodland,” from Enchanted Knoll Farm.

 That pencil roving made me look a genius.

 I grabbed the roving, my spindle, and used the leader that Heidi had already thoughtfully attached.


 Yeah, and…well…as you can see from the picture above, I was kind of sucked in. I spun all of it. Every last bit. I washed it, and now it’s dry, fluffy skein of amatuer, spindle-spun yarn. I didn’t have to draft anything. I spun. I wound. My family gaped.

“Let me try,” my younger sister insisted.

 Left to my own devices, I never would have picked this color. But that name, Woodlands, instantly reminded me of that famous comedy, A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Maybe I have it on my mind because my older sister is acting in a college production of the play. She causally strolled home and announced that she had snagged the role of Hermia. The play starts next month; meanwhile I am forced to read everyone elses’ lines so that she can practice.

 I would guess that it’s around a worsted weight. It’s single-ply, because I have no patience (or skill) to try plying it yet. Did I mention that this is soft?

 At the yarn store this Saturday, LeAnne was forced to listen to me prattle about how much fun that I had, and how cool this was, blah, blah, blah. She offered some advice–don’t weight your drying yarn; that’s what you do to weaving yarn, not knitting yarn. I grabbed the phone and told my younger sister to take off the (literal) hand weight that I was using because a book—oh hallowed book—that said that I should. Book VS LeAnne, who do you think won?

 The pencil roving spun very easily, and it made me so much more confident. The beginner spinning class starts on the second Saturday next month. Pat, the owner of the yarn store, will be teaching the class. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, my friends.


 Oh, no.

 Now I have to make something with my yarn!


June 15, 2008. Tags: , , . Knittin' Porn, spinning.


  1. jinniver replied:

    If I had that yarn in front of me, I’d be putting aside my current WIPs to knit it up. I have no idea what I’d do with it, but I’d be doing something! I love the color. Well spun!

  2. Daria replied:


  3. Mary Ellen replied:

    That is gorgeous! I have a spindle, I just haven’t gotten up the nerve to try spinning yet…

  4. KnittingGnome replied:

    Gorgeous!! I keep resisting the urge to take up spinning. I know I will cave soon. Posts like this make it much more likely!

  5. Sarah replied:

    Wow! I love your yarn!

  6. Leanne replied:

    Eeeeep! Leanne V/S the expert that wrote a book?!

  7. Liz replied:

    Love your spinning. I too am a new spinner and having mixed results. Need to look for some pencil roving. Also loved your piece on Tim Russert. I am 58 years old……….and can do it self!

  8. Lulu replied:

    Wow, talk about spinning being in the water. You’ve done more than I have. Can’t wait to see what else you make on that thing!

  9. Feeling Puckish « The Lumpy Sweater replied:

    […] this story has a happy ending. Remember this yarn? Named Wood Elves, it instantly brought to mind the play that my older sister is starring in. She […]

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