Sunday, July 26, 2009

Meet Rose

I've been a little busy this week and haven't had time to post pictures but my new spinning wheel came on Tuesday. I didn't really get to play with her because I was out attending a memorial for a friend who lost his 15 year old nephew on July 11th.

Lily on the left is my Little Gem. I've decided to name the Ladybug Rose. If you look closely you can see the ladybug on the left rear leg. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this wheel. It is very easy to treadle. I haven't had as much time to play because I am trying to finish the second bobbin of Ashford merino/silk that I am spinning on Lily. Fine yarn takes forever to spin. I just finished the 2nd 100 gram bag of fibre and am trying to see if I can fit 60 more grams on each of the two bobbins. Then I'll use the wild flyer, I hope, to ply the two together. I want to be done spinning the rest of this by next weekend so I have the weekend to get it plied.

Here you can see a close of of the ladybug. I won't deny that I wish it was in a more visible place but I love her just the same. It is beyond cute.

I also learned from the Schacht group on Ravelry how to set her up in hybrid double drive. You can find out more info on hybrid double drive here. I am using the high speed bobbin that I got at the same time as the wheel and the super high speed whorl. Right now I am not having any difficulty treadling but that might change as the bobbin fills. I'm a little surprised that I did not have any difficulty going from Scotch tension to double drive. I've heard people prefer one over the other usually based on how they learned. I find much less tug on the bobbin when I am trying to spin fine singles and that works much better for me. I don't have to wrap the singles around different hooks to slow the take up like I have to do in Scotch tension.

You can see from the close up that the poly band that came with the wheel goes from the drive wheel to the whorl. The cord goes from the drive wheel to the bobbin. The bobbin gets flipped around from the way it is with Scotch tension and that's why I am using the high speed bobbin for double drive. I'm told that for Scotch tension it doesn't make a difference.

Back to spinning the Ashford. Let's see how much I can get done today.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

3rd Blogoversary

It is unreal to me that 3 years have gone by since I started this blog.

I knit small versions of the Widdershins sock pattern from in 4 different yarns. It was to help a friend out with socks for a class she is going to be teaching. I've never knit the Widdershins before and I have to admit I really like the pattern. Now I want to figure out a way to adjust the pattern for larger or smaller feet. I don't remember what the yarns are in the picture below. All I know is they are all non-wool socks.

I also finally managed to separate the sleeves from the body on my February Lady sweater. I am relieved to finally be on the lace pattern. Now we'll see how long the body takes me to knit. The yarn is Tanis green label and the colour is Plum. So far I am really liking the way it looks and the yarn is great to knit with.
I'm still spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I'm still trying to finish the second bobbin of the Ashford fibre. I'll be very surprised if I get it done before the end of the Tour.

My Schacht Ladybug should be here any day. I can't wait to set it up and give it a try. I'm most anxious to see where the Ladybug will be. Will it be somewhere visible or somewhere no one else will be able to see? I hope it's going to be visible.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Day of Spin In Fun

Today was the spin in at The Black Lamb. I was either excited about the spin in or nervous about the drive because I had a horrible night. I woke up too many times and when I woke up at 4 I had a really difficult time falling back to sleep. I finally went out to the living room and sat in the recliner and managed to doze off for a little while around 5 but was up by 5:45 after having the weirdest and disturbing dream. I left the house around 7:20AM and then went to the doctor. From there it was off to Port Hope with Cheryl. I'm so glad she came with me because the drive is so much easier when you have someone with you in the car to talk to. Before you knew it we were in Port Hope. There was a very good turnout and I don't think I have ever seen so many Little Gem wheels in one place. Not to mention Majacraft wheels in general. Makes sense since Laurie is a Majacraft dealer.

The weather was a little chilly but I didn't mind. I much prefer that to being so hot I can't spin because the fibre sticks to my hands. Overall I would say this was a huge success and I will definitely go again if Laurie does it again next summer. I know they are planning a spin in for WWSIP Day but I don't know if I will go yet. If they are doing something at The Purple Purl I will go there instead. You can see from the pictures that there was a pretty good crowd.

Cindy, from Studioloo, brought her Mach I and Travel Bee wheels. I tried the Travel Bee and it really is a neat little wheel. When it folds, and is in the bag you can get for it, it could be mistaken for a sewing machine. It also has ratios up to 36:1. How that is even possible for a travel wheel I don't know. I keep telling myself "I don't need another wheel, I don't need another wheel." If I tell myself that enough times I might actually believe it.

There was fun and games. I didn't try to identify the different fibres because I don't handle them enough and I knew there was no way I was going to get anything right. I did decide to try the spinning fine fibre competition. Laurie gave us some of her pencil roving and you had to spin it as fine as you could. This was my result and I won for the thinnest spun on the wheel. Suzie, a friend from The Purple Purl, won for the spindle. I am so pleased because I have tried for a very very long time to get my spinning fine enough and I think I am finally close to where I want to be. These singles needed more twist but the thickness is just about right.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

It's That Time Of Year Again

It's that time of year again. The Tour de France started on Saturday and so did the Tour de Fleece. This year I am just going to try and get as much spinning done as possible. I have 360 grams of this fibre and I don't think I can get it all spun by the end of the tour but I hope to get at least 200 grams done. I like to spin as fine as possible so things take a while. This is the first 100 grams done. I have just a tiny wee bit on the second bobbin and will get back at it this afternoon after work. Crock pots are great. Soup is cooking in the crock pot so I can get to spinning not long after I get home.

I'm not just spinning. I'm also knitting. I've got quite a few projects on the go. I'm in the middle of February Lady but no photos yet. I am still in the garter stitch section but almost done with all the increases. Also working on a pair of socks for my daughter's doula. Finally, I'm working on this. It's the Alaskan Dreams by Sharon Winsauer. You can just see the tail and the beginning of the fin. I'm almost done with charts 2A&B. I should begin charts 2C&D tonight. I am loving this pattern and it isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. The most difficult part for me is that the charts are on multiple pages.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day

Today Canada turns 142. Happy Canada Day to all.