Monday, July 16, 2007

Looming on the horizon... spinning my wheels...

So - The Kid has helped me find my first wheel. I had found this metal monstrosity that was devoid of any personality and looked like it might come with a boot scraper/lazy kate for winter that I actually kinda liked, when she asks me about a HitchHiker... no it's not a guide to the galaxy, but a key to my sanity as spinning has become very therapeutic. Best thing? It's not gonna cost a mint to buy it. I may sell off some of my Merino roving I just bought to help finance it...

That microphone on Ebay? Oh yeah, what it sells for will go to the wheel fund. Textbook too, aAs will other items I'll be selling in my de-cluttering.

This isn't going to mean much to most of my faves, but a couple of you will completely get it...
Constructed of Baltic Birch ply, ash and cherry. other trim woods optional
unfinished or single coat of teak oil. painted drive wheel optional.
friction drive
single treadle - left or right
orifice hook
3 bobbins and on-board lazy kate
14" wheel
floor to orifice - 17-1/8"
orifice diameter - 3/8"
4-1/2" bobbin
3/4" bobbin core
4-1/4" flyer width
6 stationary thread guides per arm
no drive band - rubber whorl drives directly off side of solid wheel
standard ratios of 7:1, 9:1 and 13:1.

Oh the lovely lovely yarns I can make on this....
It will fit in a book bag, and is compact enough to use to spin while in the car. ooooooo the possibilities.

What I was looking at before?

What the Lazy Kate for it looks like See? It looks like a bootscraper.

And then I came across this trailer - which had me laughing so loud I woke the baby...

Friday, July 13, 2007

On becoming more fiber addicted

So – having made my first drop spindle, and then buying an Ashford Top Whorl drop spindle, then having spun up three skeins of yarn (some commercial pencil roving from Lyon Brand that taught me the basics, some black finn that my mother gave me and some Corriedale that I picked up at the local fiber arts store) I’ve decided that this hobby is one that gives me some peace, and I want to get into further.

So – we’ve begun wheel hunt 07. I’ve discovered that spinning is the cheapest form of therapy for me, as when I get wired and want to kill something/someone/wring marketing’s neck (long standing frustration point at work) I just pull out the spindle and some roving and let the hypnotic pattern of snapping the whorl, watching it spin and drawing out the roving settle me in.

I will likely be saving my self a mint in hand spun yarns as well – although I still have to say rocks and you really really want to check her out if you’re looking for a source for hand dyed and spun yarns. She has some pretty hand dyed rovings too.

I have been fortunate – the yarns I’ve spun so far are absolutely beautiful, and my next step is to learn to ply. I’m going to ply the Corriedale with some Merino that is known to pill in hopes that the next wool soaker I make from it isn’t so bad on the fuzzing factor. I have grand designs for a lot of my crafts, and hope to be able to get my own etsy store stocked with some of my own spinning relatively soon. I’ll also be putting up some of my wool longies once I’m satisfied with my design. I’ve got a gap in employment coming up so getting a cushion set aside would be a good thing.

I also plan on doing some weaving, and making diaper covers from the weaving... will they be of interest to anyone but me - who knows, but I'm going to give it a try.

Finding free time at this point in my life is a bit harried and hectic, so I may sell off one of my sewing machines, clearing space for and potentially financing my first spinning wheel… I already have a barely used professional grade microphone listed on ebay

Yeah – I know – where do I find time. I honestly don’t know, as the kids come first and I either have to do things with them or when they are asleep – or failing that at grandma’s.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Name that sheep?

So I've been busy on eBay lately - I've found some auctions for wool in the grease that I'm going to have to lanolinize (Suffolk - 9 pounds of it unprocessed,) and also a large amount of what appears to be processed Merino roving from the description of it... we'll see when it gets here next week and I take the picture of the sheep and a sample of the wool to my knitting night (which I'm missing tonight as I have an assignment due for my writing class tonight.)

Anyhow - to those of you who made it to B&N tonight - I hope it was a great evening! I hopefully will be there next week.

So - can anyone name that sheep breed?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wool Shorties

So the nice thing about wool for a diaper cover is that it breathes, and allows for a far better level of vapor exchange than any PUL cover or disposable diaper ever could.

And then there's the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself...

Became this:

These were made from a beautiful hand dyed hand spun skein of Merino Worsted wool in the colorway "Slipstream" trimmed with a commercial Merino worsted super wash yarn in "Canary Yellow" although I'm considering removing the present trim and replacing it with a different yellow from the same maker. (see next paragraph)

"Slipstream" came from a lovely fiber artist over at Etsy - and this was made on a long green Knifty Knitter loom. I am not 100% satisfied as I am not overly thrilled with the crotch join, but other than that it's an awesome pair of shorties made in little time. I'll be starting on another pair the next size up in a colorway called "Dandelion" (merino and mohair ooooooo) and I will be making a sweater to go with it and trimming that with the remaining yarn from the skein I made these from..

Whether you knit with a loom or on needles, I highly recommend the handspun yarns from Fabulosity - I've not been disappointed yet.

So - how did I make this?
It came together on the long loom really easy - the long green is 24 pegs long on each side with one on each end, so I knit the legs first - 17 pegs on each side with 6 empty pegs on the ends for 12 rows, then I did the body - all the way around. I'm not happy with the inseam between the legs, I tried to double knit those, and I should have just crocheted them together later... I then knit about 30 rows on an e-wrap and did the next 12 rows in ribbing with flat stitching. It came out nice and while its a bit loose for my tastes, it's actually perfect for this weather. I cuffed in the legs by rolling them in and whip stitching them in place. I really like how they turned out.

To make it tighter instead of e-Wrapping the body 1 over 1 you can eWrap 1 over 2 or even use 2 strands and do 1 over 1. I have a soaker that I did with two strands and it was crazy warm and a nice tight knit that way. I'll be making the next soaker from a bulkier yarn, but once I'm back to using the weight that this one was I'll be doubling up for a tighter knit.

I'll be making the "Dandelion" colorway on the Blue loom shortly - as my son is already showing that the shorties are already getting tight in the waist. Yay for growing sprees.

So - I'd say that the green loom will make a small pair of longies with a nice tight flat knit for the weight range of 10-15 pounds.

This design is my own and I have no problem with others using it - have fun, and enjoy the benefits of wool on your little one. You'll really appreciate it.

Add This

Bookmark and Share