To Spin of Not to Spin?

Lately I've been toying with the idea of taking up spinning.  I figured after 24 years of hard work, I would splurge on a retirement gift – something that I could carry with me into retirement and provide me with a new learning experience.  I talked to the nice lady at our LYS who offered to let me come in and spin on several different wheels to get a feel for them.  I talked to several friends who are spinners and I spent time cruising the internet looking at different wheels.  My decision?  Not to spin.  First of all, I don't need to take up something completely new and I figured anything that stood between me and casting on a new project would only cause me frustration.  And there are so many beautiful yarns out there that I still want to sample, I don't really need to create my own.

Instead, I'm going to look at getting a good, high quality SLR camera.  I love photography and would love even more getting good at it.  This is also something that I can share with hubby and something that I can integrate with what is becoming a passion almost as great as quilting and knitting – digital scrapbooking.  I just bought some CD's with three years of back issues from Scrapper's Guide and have been having a blast learning new techniques in Photoshop Elements.  Here's my latest page:


So, if any of you photography buffs out there have any suggestions for a camera, please feel free to chime in!

I've continued my baby sweater obsession and have completed two more:


I decided that I needed to make some little boy sweaters, but when I dived into my Encore stash, this is what I found:


Do you think having granddaughters has skewed my color wheel?  So I had to go out and buy some blue.  While I was there, my local pusher had to show me some new yarn that had just come in, and of course, it jumped right into my basket and made its way home:


This is King Cole "Splash".  Although I usually avoid 100% acrylic, I loved the colors in this so much and it's very soft and not at all "squeaky".  This will be Ivy's Christmas sweater – a simple cardigan from "Top Down for Toddlers".  In the picture, it is actually upside down – the garter stitch area is the collar.  This is DK weight and I'm finding it a rest for my fingers from the worsted.

Today when the mail came, I received a surprise – my Embrace the Lace shipment.  I had entirely forgotten about it!  I think many of us were just a little disappointed with the first shipment, but this one made up for all of that:


Included in the shipment were notecards, two cute heart boxes with beads and a stitch marker, a heart box full of candies, a heart tape measure, a sample of a yarn soak, a highlighter pen, luscious cashmere lace yarn from Mama Llama, a great beaded scarf pattern by Sivia Harding, and a cute bag to put it all in!  Definitely a winner.

And speaking of winner – I won Sonny and Shear's monthly trivia contest!  Woo Hoo!  I hardly ever win anything.  But I now have $25 gift certficate to spend in their store.  Now I just have to decide on what sock yarn to buy.  Thanks Kris!

14 thoughts on “To Spin of Not to Spin?

  1. If you ever have the itch to spin you’re always welcome to come by for a visit and play with my wheel. I must admit that spinning is my primary form of stress relief. The sound, the repetition – it is my therapy. 🙂

    As for a DSLR – My only suggestion is to get a Nikon – you can’t go wrong with any of their cameras. I have the D40x and am thankful that I chose *her* every time I take a photo. You can get a beautiful image even if you never take it off of the auto settings, however, when you do venture into the manual controls – my goodness the possibilities are endless!

    Patrick at Kit’s Cameras is a great resource for comparing models and brands – he’d be worth speaking with when the time comes for you to start narrowing down the selection.


  2. I have shared your thoughts on spinning. So many people I know enjoy it as much or more than knitting, that I’d like to try but will probably wait until retirement. Like you, I don’t want it to get in the way of knitting time. Then again, as I am very unmusical, I’ve thought taking up an instrument might be a better or at least more diverse activity to explore.

  3. As you know I’m owned by my wheel and yes it did usurp most of my knitting time. But… I don’t have grandkids to knit for and I can only use so many shawls and socks (my preferred knitting projects) so it works for me.

    As for the camera, I went with a canon point and shoot because all the dials on the fancy camera made my brain hurt *g* There’s nowhere to take lessons within two hours here so that might have made a difference in my decision. I know you’ll enjoy it if you dive in though, it looks like fun!

  4. I agree about the spinning issue. I just want to buy everyone else’s yarns. Don’t need to spin my own. Having run a portrait studio for 22 years and been raised in the business, I can tell you that Konika and Minalta cameras were the ones we used. However, since I retired in 2002, I don’t know which digital cameras are the best. My suggestion is visit a few camera stores, talk to the people who know about these things, do some research on the net, and then decide which one has the features that suit your needs. The museum uses Nikons. It’s a whole new photography world out there. Just have fun!

  5. I just bought a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR and I love it. I have a 35mm Canon that I bought way back in 1984 for a trip to England, and I just love it too. don’t use it any more, but the Canon just seems to fit me. Good luck!

  6. Your scrapbook pages are awesome.

    There are so many good cameras to choose from you can hardly go wrong with any of the top names.

    Your retirement is going to be so much fun to watch. Hope you plan to keep blogging so we can enjoy what you’re doing.

  7. I took up spinning a couple of years ago – now I can’t imagine what I did before… It’s very soothing, especially when I’ve got something stressful going on in my life. Knitting can do that too, but I’ve noticed that the effect is much quicker with the spinning.

  8. This is funny! After years of saying I’d never be a spinner, here I am, learning. Having said that, I’m not committed to anything so far any more than the spindle I’ve bought. It will have to really “click” for me to shell out that much cash for a wheel.

    I have a Canon Digital Rebel, and would buy it again in a heartbeat. It’s been very dependable, and unless I become a much better photographer than I am, I won’t outgrow it. Our DIL has the comparable Nikon (D70, I think), and it’s an equally nice camera, just heavier.

  9. Well my plan has been to save spinning for retirement (not too far off now!), but I sort of feel the same way you do about it – who knows what will happen when the time comes???
    Your scrapbooking pages are so creative and special! Keeping that going is a great idea!

  10. Hi Dorothy,

    I feel exactly the same way about spinning. I have thought about it, but like you, I think there are so many goreous yarns out there. I have thought about weaving though. I’ve seen scarves that have made with a weaving loom, and they are beautiful. But that will be later, as my kiddos are still young. I have also heard that weaving is a great stash buster, as it uses up large amounts of yarn rather quickly!
    I have been using a canon digial eos 30D, and I can tell you that it takes amazing pictures. I see a huge difference in these pictures compared to other digital cameras I’ve tried. The only issue I have is that it’s a little heavy. So I keep a small point and shoot with me in a bag for some pics. I also print my own photos, and I think they turn out better than what I’ve gotten at walmart or walgreens. I’m using an epson photo printer, and I always use epson photo paper. I also like that the printer has separate ink cartridges, so I only replace the color that runs out. I don’t know if it’s cheaper, but I know that it’s much easier and less running to stores to pick up my pics. And I can edit and change the size of the photo I need.
    take care!

  11. I’m with you on spinning. Much as I’d like to try it, spinning would require more stash additions (and there’s barely room for the yarn and fabric I have now), and it would take away the fun of browsing for spun yarns. Every now and again, I think of a yarn I’d like and is hard to find, but I think special requests to spinners might solve that problem.

    Last summer I got a Nikon D40, which is the entry-level SLR, and I’ve been happy with it. The prices are very good now because there are newer models. But it is enough camera for me right now, and it does take the huge array of Nikon lenses. You’ll have to resolve the Nikon-Canon debate for yourself. Both seem excellent. For me, it was price that made the difference–and I have (and liked) a Nikon film SLR. I used the ratings at Consumer Reports, Macworld, and personal testimonials to influence my decision. There are also photography groups on Ravelry that address this question.

  12. I just checked. I have a copy of the Baby and Bears Sweater pattern that I’ve had for over 20 years , or whenever it first came out. Looks fun. About time I gave it a try.

  13. I’ve decided not to spin either. Tried it, discovered I could love it, but then realized I have a life of other interests as well!

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