I never planned to learn to spin. Though I surrounded myself with spinners, and learned the technicalities of the spinning world, I was sworn against the craft. My yarn stash is big enough, I didn’t need to add fiber to my collection as well. But my friends were patient, and politely waited for me to come to them to tell them it was time. That day came just before Christmas, 2008.
Over the next couple of months I played around with fibers that I could scrape together, on both drop spindles and wheels. Friends, of course, were generous, and I also bought some inexpensive roving at the shop to play with. I didn’t really have a goal for any of the resulting yarns; it was just practice. Then one day Celena walked into Hanks with a big bag of merino/nylon pencil roving. I knew immediately which colorway would be mine, and I didn’t even put it on the shelf for the customers to see. I knew I had to have this big poof of lovely shiny, and I knew that I would knit socks with the yarn that I made from it.
I spun the singles and chain-plyed the yarn on the shop’s Louet Julia, the finest wheel on which I’ve had the pleasure to spin! There was definitely unevenness to be had, but plying the yarn helped even it out.
I don’t know how I came to the conclusion, but as I spun the yarn, I just knew that these hand-spun, hand-knit socks would be for my cousin Bill. Bill is a gem of a man. He has made it a point to collect hand-made items from each of his aunts. He has a quilt of my mom’s, an afghan of Aunt Shirley’s, and a recipe book from Aunt Betty. He treasures the small, meaningful things in life, and is the kind of person who will appreciate the time, energy, and love that was put into these socks.
These socks for Bill are just a simple rib pattern, but that helps to ensure a good fit on a pair of feet that I don’t happen to have on the end of my legs. They are the first real product of my handspun yarn and I am quite pleased with the result. I hope these simple socks help keep both his feet and his heart warm and cozy.