On a lunch break then back to work - definitely the Spin Zone today! (Sorry Mr. O'Reilly)

So I have to make this fast.  Three Things:

First: Yesterday, after work, I was home basically doing nothing very new (I was knitting, OK?), John came in with the mail. (It gets here late in the day in our neck of the woods - sometimes as late as 8 PM).  Well, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a little box filled with yarn goodness from Amber herself! Amber and I have met through various knitting groups online and of course through blogging and our shared political similarities:).  Otherwise, how else would I have met a person about 10-15 years younger than I am who lives in out New Mexico? Another one of the joys of knitting.
The box had two beautiful - and I mean beautiful - little "biscuits" of yarn in blues, and greens and all sorts of loveliness.  Well, here, see for yourself:
Doesn't it look like the balls are two different colorways?  They're not - it's just that I have them set at different angles and they catch the light differently.  According to Amber, the colorway was "Vineyard" and it seemed to say "Joan."  LOL! Of course a vineyard would be calling my name! Especially if the grapes create Cabernet! I was so awed by this hand-spun and hand-plied yarn! It is just beautiful! Amber said it's about 4 oz or 100 grams of yarn - and that it might be enough for a scarf.  I'm taking ideas if anyone has them! THANK YOU, AMBER:)!!!!!
If you want to get a really good crash course on spinning and plying, visit Amber's blog - it's really helpful! 
On a similar note, I'd like to share a book I have been going through, albeit slowly.  I have wanted to get this book for a while, but because I have so many "craft" books, I held off  to be sure it wasn't just a passing fancy.  It wasn't. I bought it with an Amazon gift card I got for my birthday a couple of months ago.
Written by a young woman who spent a good part of her early childhood in the Andes in Peru, and learned to spin on a spindle from the older women of her village when she was five (yes FIVE) years old, Respect the Spindle brings spinning to life for us newbies.  Like the other children, spinning became a part of her work and her play and one could easily say that it is now a viable part of the author's persona.  Abby Franquemont gives about a thorough education in spindle spinning as any  books I've ever seen on the subject - and does with well researched instruction jammed into 136 pages, complete with beautiful photographs.  The table of contents is straightforward and so is the book. There's a section about spindles themselves and their usefulness viz a viz the spinning wheel. The largest section is about how to spin using the spindle, plying and other topics and the final section includes a few hand-spun projects.
From the time as a child I first saw the antique spinning wheel my stepmother had in the house in which I grew up, to witnessing the more modern spindles and spinning wheels of today, I have always been fascinated with the concept of spinning fibers into thread and yarn.  This book has fueled my curiosity and desire to experience spinning even further.
As for my own knitting, not much more done on the Green Sweater, but it is moving along a little bit at a time on the first sleeve.  I also decided to wind the yarn and cast on for the Mondo Cable Vest  - related closely to the Mondo Cable Cardi, but hey, I like it!

 It's on my list of projects for this year, so I don't feel too badly about starting it.  This is the week to do something new, so that was it.  As you can see, I've really only just begun.  Before I started I had to upsize the largest size to create something that will fit me.  I  used percentages and the math from the gauge and I think I have something that will work with this pattern.  The good thing about top-down patterns is you have a chance to try things on before they get too wonky. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I did frog a project or two and cleaned up the work area a little yesterday after work. 
Well, speaking of work - gotta go.  Hopefully I'll be back soon.  Until then,
God be with you 'til we meet again!
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