I decided to carve a spoon before seeing this thread... and now here we all are! Must be the permie zeitgeist.
Here's mine: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsnlpbVlVK2/
I cheated on the bowl and used my Dremel after cutting my hand in the exact same spot as Nicole. BLOOD BROTHERS NOW!
That wood is beach hibiscus, which carves easily and it pretty strong but tends to be a bit thready.
After working on that one, and then losing it when the children cleaned the porch, I tried to go all by hand last weekend at the beach, carving a piece of seagrape wood. That didn't work out, as I had the same problem as Raven. It was invisible until I started carving, but sea grape also has pith through the middle. My piece of wood was looking very nice... and then I hit a very soft core and found out it was worthless for a spoon.
I'll try, try again. I'm using a Mora knife that Marjory Wildcraft sent me as a gift. It holds a very nice edge, but I think a blade with zero curve would do even better.
I also found my first spoon again and am going to work on it some more.