Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Needles, wheels and Yoga

   Yoga first.  When I retired, after being a librarian for 36 years, I had back problems.  They came from  way too many years of moving books, moving libraries, sitting at computer desks that were ergonomically incorrect, sitting too long , standing to long, wearing the wrong shoes, yada, yada, yada.  I had tried yoga before, but my friend Susan, also a librarian with back problems, suggested Svaroopa  Yoga.  I was skeptical, but tried it.  I'm hooked and have been taking classes for a couple of years at Hartland Yoga Center  which is about 30 minutes north of me.  Because this type of yoga is aimed at one's back, lower back in particular, it seems to help.  While knitting, spinning and weaving do not really challenge my back in the same way that moving books did, all three provide some challenges to my posture that I believe can be improved by practicing yoga.  Last year I got a little book for my birthday called "Yoga for Knitters".  I keep it in my knitting basket mainly to remind myself to take a break every so often and do some poses and relaxation breathing.  I don't pretend to know anything about any of the many other types of yoga other than Svaroopa, but I imagine there are other styles that work as well.  Give it a try!
   I got a new wheel, and I am having serious wheel love.  It is a Louet S90, a much coveted, no longer produced folding wheel from Holland.  The wheel came to me from Alaska and brought with it the salty memory of my years there.  Now a S90 is not a wimpy travel wheel. I could not throw it in an overhead bin on any airline. It is a sturdy girl, 20" x30" ( tall) by 61/2" deep when folded.  It is also pretty heavy, but it spins like a dream and has a nice high orifice.  It has one wide treadle, so it can be treadled with one foot, either one, or by both at the same time.  Because my Majacrafts are both double treadle I thought that I was a double kind of girl until this summer when I started spinning on my single treadle Canadian Wheel.  I must be ambidexfooturist, or some such thing.  I am just finishing up 8oz of golden colored BFL from The Painted Sheep which is intended to be a small scarf or a cowl to wear with my grown up lady winter camel hair coat.

    Now for the needle.  I was buying a new needle to knit a Herbivore scarf for the Kid for Christmas so I thought I would try a Kollage square needle.  I bought a size 5/3.75 mm 24" circ and started knitting.  Although the knitting looked fine I found I was ignoring the scarf in favor of the endless cotton sock.  Then when I knit on the scarf I noticed that my wrists hurt.  Now I am VERY careful of my wrists.  A few years ago I knit a Koigu cardigan closely followed by a Koigu mitered square  vest.  In between I knit a brioche stitch scarf, all were on size 21/2 or 3mm needles.  I acquired a serious case of carple tunnel requiring the use of really unattractive wrist splints, and cessation of all knitting for a couple of months.  I was one unhappy camper.  Anyway, this scarf is dead simple, but very attractive, and I really wanted to finish it.  So, yesterday I went to the Elegant Ewe and bought a size 5/ 3.75mm  Crystal Palace Bamboo 26" circ.   Happy knitting.  Happy wrists.  I had a chance to try the needle out today as I had appointment with my financial planner.  He was late.  What do these guys do anyway that would make them late for a meeting?  He had the audacity to ask me if I watched the early morning trading on the NY Stock Exchange? And miss coffee with Harry Smith, I don't think so.  Do people watch that stuff on TV?  Yowzer... So the Kollage  Square Needle... not for me, but other folks love 'em.

   What about Rhinebeck?  Yep,  I went.  Will I go again?  Nope.  Been there, done that.  I got some cool stuff, met up with some friends, refused to wait in line for an hour for lunch, had no choice when I got stuck in traffic for nearly 45 minutes both coming and going.  I'll stick to NH Sheep and Wool .  The best part of the trip was the 7 hours in the car listening to the book on tape of  The Secret Life of Bees.

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