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As seen in Rehoboth


Mark’s been busy making Russian spindles. I’ve been busy trying to photograph them and list them for sale on etsy. I swear, he can made them faster than I can post them. Before he went on this Russian spindle jag, he was busy making top-whorl spindles, which in my opinion, are significantly easier to spin with, but no one asked me.


We were only at Rhinebeck for a couple of hours this year, but it did seem that among a certain crowd, support spindles were all the rage.  Maybe it’s that there are fewer people who make them? Or maybe it’s just the latest thing. I’m not sure. I do still love sitting on the couch, spinning with a spindle that isn’t going to hit the floor (followed by a couple of cogent words). I’m also a bit amazed that with just a bit of fluff and a slight flick of my fingers, I can create the finest lace weight yarn ever.

One of my favorite Russian spindles Mark has made thus far is this one. It’s turned from black walnut that grows like crazy all over our land (and we have the blasted walnuts to prove it. Want to see the dent in the hood of my car?).
Russian Spindles

Every time Mark makes a new spindle, I am amazed and I want to keep just that one. I’ve got baskets of spindles now and I’m actually excited to share them with other people who will enjoy them as much as I do.

I want to keep this brief because I’d like to have a little bit of time to knit at the end of this, my first day back at work after a week off. But before I go, I’d like to say ‘hi’ to Alisa and thank her profusely for spending some of her precious vacation time with me. I had the honor of introducing her to Webs (we call this a win/win situation) and we had an afternoon that included Thai food, ABC Carpet & Home, and Purl Soho. Am I lucky, or what??? All this fun made me miss my Wisconsin buddy Lois so much. She was my usual partner in yarn crime until she moved to the land of Cheese Heads.  For you, Lois, I’m sending my best wishes from NYC, the land of fine taste and high art.

New York with Alisa, 10/22/2010

New York with Alisa, 10/22/2010

Last year was the first year I’d taken a class at the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. Taking the class last year really made the whole Rhinebeck experience so much more than yarn shopping mayhem. It gave me the chance to connect with people who are as fiber obsessed as I am.

As I started to spin more this year, Mark has been humoring me by making spindles. Now that my house is filling up with spindles, it made sense to spend the morning with Russian spinning and Orenburg lace knitting officianato, Galina Khmeleva. She’s an energetic and engaging teacher and I would recommend her classes highly.

Russian Spinning, Rhinebeck

Despite the wet and windy weather, my soul was filled with sunshine, rainbows, and unicorn kisses, just from driving into the Dutchess County Fairgrounds parking lot. I love wandering around as the vendors are setting up, watching all of the dyed-in-the-wool fiber fiends swathed in their hand-knitted wardrobes. I’m glad I got this taste before the weekend because we won’t be heading back to Rhinebeck early tomorrow morning. The NYC Pen Show, which is also held this weekend, has been calling Mark’s name since last year…

Fortunately, we won’t have to consider who will win our personal version of ‘rock-paper-scissors’ known as ‘pens-fiber-woodstove’.  Now that the nighttime temperatures have dipped below freezing, relining and repointing the chimney (and the subsequent heat from our woodstove) wins!


Do you remember when, in 2001, Oprah Winfrey chose Jonathan Franzen’s book, The Corrections, and then changed her mind?

It wasn’t until then that I decided to read the book.  I was so glad that I did because I love this book. Yes, passages made me uncomfortable, but real life can be like that for me, as well.

When I heard the Mr. Franzen wrote a new novel being released in September, 2010, I marked the date on my calendar. I read the profile of Mr. Franzen in Time Magazine and shared it with anyone who had a glimmer of interest.  As soon as the book hit the shelves (and by that, I mean became available on Kindle), I started reading.  What I want to know is, why didn’t I notice him taking notes as he rode shotgun in the Volvo station wagon in my mind?

Moments ago, I received an email from Borders availing me of the fact the Ms. Winfrey has chosen Freedom as the next Oprah Book Club Selection.

I’m ecstatic that Jonathan Franzen stands to profit from this exposure. I’m happy that readers who might otherwise ignore this book increase their chances of encountering such a well written work of modern fiction.  I am a bit incredulous that Ms. Winfrey’s motivation is anything  more than a desire to repair the pock marks in her reputation among the people she alienated with her earlier public interactions with Mr. Franzen’s writing.

Feel free to disagree with me.  I fully support people having an opinion and the courage to stand by their convictions. To that end, why not read the book?

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