Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Say It With Pictures
The yarn is so soft. The wool is dyed Polworth from Joybilee Farms.
They say the difference between the men and the boys are the price of their toys. Well I'm not a boy but I can't think of a rhyme for girls and toys. We weren't going to get this until my birthday because of the wheel. I went to Future Shop and it was on sale and I had tried to get it on line and the website was too overloaded. I couldn't believe when I decided to pop into the Markham Future Shop (because I was driving by, I didn't make a special trip because I was sure they would also be sold out) and they had it in stock. So I got it. Paul is a camera buff and he thinks I made a good choice. I love it.Last but by no means least, a Sony mp3 Walkman. The sound is good and now that I am used to how it works, it's pretty cool.
Getting There Slowly But Surely
On a positive note, I don't think I am doing too badly because when I was at Romni and I took out the noddy that had fibre on it so I could put the purchases in my wheely bag. The guy behind the counter looked at it and said it was nice. I said not really because I want it more even and finer but I've only had the wheel a little over a week. The gentleman said, "now you're bragging." I was seriously considering giving the yarn to Joseph's school. He goes to gifted once a week and they always need things. I just washed the 2 skeins of yarn that I did from the roving that came with the wheel. I'll decide what I want to do with it after it's dry. I'll post more on the trip to Romni later.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
AWeekend of Spinning
I decided I needed to try a different ratio so I changed it to 12:1 and I had a much easier time. I was able to still try and spin fine singles and I didn't have as much overspin. This is the Coopworth light dyed with Magic Colour Cherry KoolAid. The colour is ok. I'm not thrilled with it but it's better than the light undyed. I don't like this yarn at all. I didn't like the rovings and I don't like the feel of the Coopworth when it's spun. It is too harsh and not soft at all. It might be easy for a beginner to spin but I don't think I will get anymore of the stuff.
Now I'm working on the second ball of wool roving that came with the wheel. I've finished one bobbin and this is the second. I should be able to get it plyed today. Then it's back to work tomorrow so I won't have much spinning time before the weekend. Maggie, Kimberly and I are planning a trip to Romni later in the week so I should get more rovings then. I want to try and spin the alpaca I have and shee if I have any better success with the wheel. I didn't have much success with the spindle.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Round and Round She Goes.....
I dyed the yarn with Ice Blue Kool Aid and this is the result. I dyed it in the microwave with 1/2 cup of vinegar, 4 cups of water, and 4 packets of Kool Aid. It is a little heathery. I need to buy a deeper microwavable dish because I used the biggest one I have and the yarn wasn't 100% covered with the water. I had to give it the 2 minute hit 3 times before the water was basically clear. I love the colour. Now I have to figure out what I will make with it. I am thinking a scarf. I have more Coopworth, I think. I didn't label one ziplock bag and I am trying to decide if it is Coopworth or South African Fine. I have to take a closer look at it because once I pull the stuff apart I'll know right away.
We're heading back to the in-laws for Christmas dinner later today and I think I'll bring the wheel with me again. If I don't have time to spin at least it will be with me if I do get the opportunity to use it. I think I'm finally ready to try and use the rovings that came with the machine. I already pre-drafted one of the 100 gram balls of rovings so I'm set to go. I want to practice as much as I can before I have to go back to work on Wednesday.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
After some final Christmas shopping early this morning, I came home and plied the 2 bobbins. No matter how hard I try, I can't get both bobbins to have the same amount of yarn. I Andean ply what is left on the bobbin that has more yarn. It's now resting on the niddy noddy. I am learning the best way to do things. The pying is way overspun at the beginning and I know what I did wrong. When I realized what I was doing things were much better and that yarn is balanced. I am going to let the yarn sit on the noddy for a while to help with the overtwist. I'll give the yarn a bath tomorrow and then wait at least 24 hours for it to dry. I think the skein weight is going to be about 120 grams. When I take it off the noddy I'll weigh it and figure out how much yardage I have so I can figure out what lace I am going to knit.
Friday, December 22, 2006
My Pride And Joy
On the spinning front. I just finished spinning the second Fleece Artist Merino Sliver. I have to admit, because of the parts that I believe felted in the dyeing, that it is a little easier to spin on the wheel then it was on the spindle. The plying is much faster as well and I haven't really had a problem with back twisting when I'm plying. I just have to treadle faster than I am used to. I have it soaking and after it's dry I'll take some pictures. Now I am going to spin the rest of the Northern Lights.
Happy Birthday Joseph
This is what I managed to spin on the Joy last night. There are even and uneven spots but on the whole it was a lot better than my first attempt on Wednesday. I'm getting better at treadling slowly. I had problems with the fibre breaking at one point. Everytime I rejoined it would break again but I finally managed to get it done. The plying is so much easier with the 2 bobbins but sometimes I felt I couldn't treadle fast enough or the yarn wasn't winding onto the bobbin fast enough. I'm not sure which one it was. I still might get a Precision Lazy Kate but I need more practice and time to debate if I really need it or not. I want to get a Katie-A-GoGo for my spindles so if I decide to get that I probably won't need the PLK. I have some pencil rovings I want to try next but with the dinner tonight it might have to wait until tomorrow. That's ok because I have a short day at work today and then it's not back at the office until Wednesday, HOORAY!!!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
This morning I was a little hesitant to take Joy out but I did anyway. I'm glad I did. This is what I managed to spin. I had a problem in the beginning. The yarn is WAY overspun. I think I was holding on to the fibre supply too tightly and that's what caused the overspin. You can see the spots on the bobbin where the yarn curled back on itself. The yarn wasn't getting sucked in as it twisted. I changed the ratio the belt drive was on and then I was fine. I know that I have a long way to go. Most of the time when I try to treadle it wants to go counter-clockwise and I have to start the wheel going clockwise so my feet get it right but it is a breeze to treadle. The wheel is virtually silent. You can spin and watch tv if you wanted. I just love this wheel and that's after just a short while using it. I imagine we are going to have tons of fun together.
I don't understand what the different ratios are. I know the higher the ratio the finer the yarn. What I don't understand is what happens with the wheel when you change ratios. Does it change how fast the fibre is fed onto the wheel? I also have to figure out where it's best to start the spinning. By that I mean which hook and how often do you move it to a different hook on the flywheel? That will all become irrelevant once I get my woolee winder but I don't have it yet and I haven't ordered it yet so it will be about a month before I have one. Now I just have to find out if there is a place in Canada I can get one.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I have only played with it a little bit but I do have trouble breaking. I'm not so sure how to break and keep the wheel from going counter-clockwise. I am really exhausted so I am going to get some shut eye and see if things look brighter in the morning. I am sure I will get the hang of this the same way I got the hang of spinning. I just need lots more time to practice like I did with the spindle.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The Bad News Is THe Wait Is Killing Me!!!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Back At It
So here's the plan for the rest of this top. I've split the remaining top into two parts of about 64 grams each. I've started spinning the first 64 grams. I'm hoping it will all fit on this spindle. Once the first 64 grams is done I'm going to spin the second 64 grams on another spindle. Then I'll put them in shoe boxes and ply. I noticed when I rewound the yarn I did that the plying could have used more spinning in spots. I will have to watch that more when I do this ball. I'm having a much easier time now. The yarn only broke once and I think I'm getting more even all the time. My joins and beginnings are improving as well. If each yarn I make is better than the one before that's all I can ask for. I don't need perfection. I'm not a machine.
Well it's off to shopping and laundry. I need another bar stool to use over at my in-laws so I can spin and not be uncomfortable while I am at their place.
Pictures of Lyra coming later today.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I've Been Tagged!!!
Here are the rules as stated on Sande's blog with a small change on what you can write about after I googled. "Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 interesting, weird, facts, things, habits you may not know about me.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”
1: I think I'm obsessive compulsive. When I wanted to finish the Lacevember project I was waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning and knitting inorder to get it done.
2: This might not be weird but it's a fact. I've had 7 children. I had my first when I was 20 and by the time I was 28 I had 6. 10 years later I had number 7. I had 2 girls first and then 5 boys. My oldest, Henny, is 30 and my youngest, Joseph, will be 12 on Saturday.
3. I'm not very neat. I would rather knit or spin then do housework. I do the dishes etc. but I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment with my husband and son (my other children all live in the US) and it is cluttered. I know I need to get my act together but I haven't got a clue where to start.
4: I snore. I think the snoring has improved since I've lost some weight but I think I still snore.
5: I used to have horrible heartburn. I would have to take Pepcid AC all the time. If I ate pizza or anything with tomato sauce or paste I was a gonner. I haven't had any heartburn since I lost the weight. I'll post about that later this week when I reach my 8 month anniversary on the program.
6: I was born in Bronx, NY. When I was 6 years old my parents moved from the Bronx to Queens. I got married when I was 20 and moved to Brooklyn. I separated from my ex when I was 31 and I moved to Potsdam N.Y. A small way up in Northern NYS. At 36 I married my second husband and moved to Toronto where I have been ever since.
Ok. So now I guess I have to tag people. Here is the part I'm not sure of. Do they have to be knitters, or spinners, or just bloggers? I hope they don't hate me for this. Paul told me not to do this that it's like a chain letter and is frowned upon but I didn't want to be the person that wimps out so I am going to tag some members of my Snb and hope they'll talk to me on Tuesday night when we get together. Maggie, Chelle, and Kimberly you've been tagged. Hillary you've been tagged. Sherri you've been tagged. Sandi you've been tagged.
Wonder of Wonders Miracle of Miracles
Time For Reflections
I've also started a Yahoo Group KAL for my sock pattern. I was asked by some people and I thought if there was enough interest people would join and if there isn't I'll attempt to figure out how to cancel the group. I was looking around at that because I wanted to change the name to BrancedFernSockKAL with the first letter in each work capitalized but I can't figure how how to do it or delete the group and start another one. I'm new to all this so I'll see if I can eventually figure it out.
There has been suggestions of sending the socks to the SocksForSoldiers and I think that would be wonderful. I just don't want people to feel that they have to do that and that's why I started the group this way.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The yarn I had such a horrible time plying is finished. It weighs 106 grams and has 330 yards. I suppose that makes it somewhere between fingering and sport weight. I was hoping for laceweight to fingering. I originally bought 225 grams of the pencil roving from Lettuce Knit so now I have to decide if I want to wait for my wheel to arrive before I spin more of it or do I just want to spindle spin. I have fibre on 4 different spindles so I might just work on the same pencil roving I have but in a different colourway. It's amazing how much different the yarn looks after it's spun in comparison to the roving. I want to get some more pencil roving. It's so easy to spin. I just love it. I also want to dye some of the SAF I have. Mixing different colours will be fun. I'm just not sure if I want to dye it before or after it's spun. I don't want to have to worry about the roving felting when it's dyed and then I'll have difficulty spinning it. The Fleece Artist Merino Sliver I'm spinning has that problem and it's extremely difficult to keep the spinning even.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sock Pattern Update
The Nightmare Is Finished!!
I love spindle spinning but plying is enough to make me not want to do it. I think next time I am going to try and spin as much as I can on one spindle and then leave it on the spindle. I'll rest the spindle in a shoe box and rest the second spindle in another shoe box and try plying it that way and see if it works. I should have my wheel in about 2 weeks and I imagine that plying will have to be easier from bobbins then it is with the spindle.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Branched Fern Socks Pics
Monday, December 11, 2006
Looking At The World Through Rose Coloured Glasses
Maggie is a GENIOUS!!!!! That girl ROCKS!!! She is just amazing. As noted in my post from this morning, I am trying to two ply the 100 grams of wool top I spun over the weekend. I've been having an awful time because it keeps curling back on itself. The makeshift lazy kate I did with the shoe box wasn't working because the yarn on one of the tp rolls kept wanting to wind itself around the needle. Maggie came up with the wonderful idea of stuffing the tp roll with tissues and then reinserting the needle into the rolls. This way the rolls would be tensioned and I'd have a tensioned lazy kate. I should mention that the needles I am using are the only pair of straights I have (I don't use straights anymore and I gave them all to my daughter). Said needles are 10mm bamboo needles and not very easy to push through a tissue filled (well paper towel to be exact) tp roll. I did finally manage it and it works!!! The rolls don't turn around easily anymore and with the shoe box directly below me, instead of at an angle, the yarn isn't wraping around the needles anymore. The plying is still going to be a LONG and SLOW process. There is a lot of yarn and if I am not mistaken I will have pretty good yardage out of it when I'm done.
On a positive note, when it is done it is going to be great!! I believe it is a lace/fingering weight yarn and it is the most beautiful yarn I have spun to date. I can't wait to get my Katie A Go Go from Gemini Fibres. Cheryl can't get that thing in fast enough for me. Anything has to be easier than what I am doing now.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Spindle spinning is a blast. I just have one problem. I have horrible back problems. If I stand for too long it just aggravates the back pain. I did so much spinning yesterday my back was just gone after the first hour. Sitting and spinning I have to wind on a lot more often and it slows me down and I had horrible shoulder pain this morning. I'm not sure if it is a chill or the result of my spinning. So, I decided I needed a higher chair. Sears didn't have anything so I went to Wal-Mart. This is the stool I ended up getting. The seat is nice and soft, it swivels and it has a higher back than most of the bar stools I've seen. I can spin for a lot longer too. It's great. I'm so happy I got it. It was a little more expensive than I wanted but I got this one because of the higher back and this one is sturdier than the other model they had. I'm a big girl and I didn't want it falling apart on me.
We had a semi birthday party for Joseph today by my MIL. Joseph's birthday is December 22nd and my in-laws great-granddaughter's birthday is December 6th. Every year we have a party for both of them before Christmas. I have to do something so I was spinning. I'm discovering that people don't get it. They can't figure out why I would even bother spinning my own yarn. I guess if you don't do it you just don't get it.
I'm 2/3 done with the second 50 gram skein. I'm still a little sore today so I don't think I will get the rest of it done tonight. I will get it done tomorrow and then I'll ply it with this makeshift lazy kate. I'm going to put each 50 grams that I wound onto the tp roll onto the needles and ply away. I am excited about this one. If it comes out as good as Maggie's did it will be fantastic.
My biggest problem with spinning now is the starting and the joining. I don't use a leader. Maybe I should. The beginning and the joins are always thicker than the rest of the skein. I suppose that will improve with time as well.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
One Down One To Go
What was I thinking???
I actually did some spinning in public today. Joseph needs a new winter coat so we went to Fairview Mall to look for one. My back has been bothering me all day so I went to sit on a bench while Paul and Joseph did the shopping. I had Bossie with me so I was spinning while they shopped. That was just as much fun as KIPing.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
My Sock Pattern
On the knitting front, the Fisherman Stocking is coming along. I should have it finished by the end of the week. I have about 15 rows before I get to the heel shaping. Once that's done the rest will go quickly.
P.S. For those of you that are having trouble finding the pattern - look to this button on my sidebar and click on it. The pattern should come up in a new window.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
My Dyed Yarn!!
P.S. Looking at the yarn after it has dried I really like it. I noticed that where the skein was tied by both ends of the yarn the colour is a little lighter under those ties. I also was very surprised to see that the crochet cotton ties I also used did not dye. I am going to finish knitting the rest of the single ply I have and then dye that as well. I have to buy more no sugar KoolAid
Handy Andy And Eye Candy
I FINALLY received my Victorian Lace book yesterday. I had to be very careful not to drool all over the book. I have to agree with all the great things I have read about this book. The photography is stunning and the patterns are breath taking. I don't think there is a pattern in there I didn't like. Not to mention the fact that it has a lot of patterns. I know I wouldn't knit all of them but they are all nice. If there was anything I could change it would be to have the charts printed a little bit larger. These old eyes can't see them the way they are. I'll have to enlarge them when I copy them and I don't have a problem with that but bigger charts would be nice.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Am I Spindled Out Yet?
On another note, Joseph tried spinning last night. He did it first with the yarn and couldn't wait to try spinning with fibre. I showed him the park and draft and he is having some challenges with it as we all do when we first start but when he decided to put it down he told me I had "infected" him. I told him that if he wanted I would let him take a workshop at Gemini Fibres the next time they have one. I think he is becoming interested. When he was younger he expressed an interest in knitting and it quickly passed. Maybe this will rekindle that interest. I showed him the You Tube segment on Real Men Knit that I saw on Haley's blog. If it will help I might just buy the dvd as well so he can see that real men really do knit and you're not weird if you do.