Old Town Alexandria is full of landmarks. One of these is a life-sized fiberglass horse that proudly stands in the bed of a classic pickup truck on King Street in front of the Hard Times Cafe.

Last night we were driving home and we noticed the horse was sporting what looked like knitted clothing. We suspected he’d been yarn bombed, but it was too damned hot to get out of the car to investigate further, the DC area currently being hotter than the surface of the sun and all. I did snap a picture out the car window to post on facebook for the amusement of my knitting friends.


IMG_2983

Today, the horse was nowhere to be seen. Danielle stopped by Hard Times to get the scoop and learned that the Cafe hadn’t dressed the horse up, so our speculation about a yarn bombing was spot-on.

This evening I was at the store chatting with Danielle when another customer sent her a message that the horse at Hard Times was sporting some mighty swanky knitwear. We grabbed a camera and took a stroll to see for ourselves. Danielle posted about what we found, complete with much better pictures than I took last night.

Recently, I acquired an object. An almighty and all-powerful object.

Almighty All-Powerful Reeling Machine

I didn’t set out to acquire an object of such importance, I just wanted a swift to hold my yarn while I wind it up into a ball so I can knit it into cozy things. Although there are many models, this was the model that was available at Fibre Space, my excellent local yarn store, on the day I decided it was time to get a swift.

A swift expands and collapses like an umbrella (hence the term “umbrella swift”). This makes it adjustable because hanks/skeins/clumps/blobs of yarn come in all different sizes, and you can only ask Husband to sit around holding out his arms while you wind yarn up so many times before things start to get a little tense. Or so I’m told.

You clamp the swift to the side of the table to hold it in place. Then you can take yarn and transform it from something like this:

IMG_1052

to something like this:

IMG_1054

That was obviously not a before and after of the same yarn. That really would be a magical machine.

This is what it looks like when in use (the swift is on the left in the image, the winder is on the right):

Almighty All-Powerful Reeling Machine

Husband and I find never-ending humor in the almighty and all-powerful reeling machine and mention it in conversation whenever we can.

Almighty All-Powerful Reeling Machine

And now, my friends, it’s time to talk about my bowels.

Only kidding.

The kind of fiber I need isn’t found in plants. I guess it could be, but the kind of fiber I’m lacking comes from sheepies. Last year, World Renowned Rheumatologist forbade me to ever knit or crochet again because he believed it would hasten the demise of my joints.

The orthopedists I consulted all concurred.

They didn’t so much concur as shrug their shoulders, say they probably agreed, and then tried to show me more pictures of themselves various Redskins. I’m pretty sure every Orthopod in town is a “team doctor” for the Redskins. Are all towns with NFL franchises like this? My poor Tampa Bay Bucs probably don’t have doctors clamoring to claim them as their own. Someday, boys and girls, someday….

But where was I?

Fiber.

Right.

So sometimes I crochet little gifts for people, but I put away my (read: my grandmother’s) needles a few years ago after finishing a lap-blanket for my mom. I have this delusion that someday I’ll learn how to spin yarn. That doesn’t look like it’s very hard on the joints. In fact, it looks really fucking cool. And watching a spinning wheel spin is probably way more fun than watching the bureaucracy of Grad school spin around.

But again, I digress.

Go into a yarn store some time and ask if they know where you can learn how to spin. I dare you. I doubledog dare you.

I’d say that it gets so quiet you can hear crickets chirping, but that would be wrong. It gets really quiet for a minute and then you can’t hear the crickets chirping because everyone is laughing at you, including the crickets, who are rolling around on the floor gasping for breath and pounding all of their little hairy limbs on the floor as they cackle at you.

The boss and I sneak up to this fair called the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival almost every year. I was sick in 96 and we missed it this year. Maybe next year.