Happy New Year, everyone. I thought I’d share some quick photos of what I’ve been up to.
This keeps B’s earbuds from being a tangled mess, and also keeps him from appropriating his brothers’ as his own. This is basically a 4-stitch i-cord with a bit of circular knitting at the join. The idea and recipe are from Dorian Starr and can be found here. I used US 0 / 2.0 mm needles just because that was the set closest to me when I started; I’d go up a size or two next time. The yarn is some leftover Patons Kroy sock yarn in colorway 56603. Ravelry link.
I also plied up a big, fluffy skein of 2-ply oatmeal colored BFL that will be a sweater someday. It was hard for me to spin ‘big’ enough to get a worsted weight yarn. It’s quite squishy and pretty, though, so I’m happy. I was without a lazy kate for a long time, and so it took me forever to get from the spinning to the plying stage. My wheel got dusty, I’m ashamed to admit. I’ll have to show you the pop tart box I finally mangled to make a lazy kate sometime.
So, what are you all up to in the new year? I am spinning my Christmas roving now, and working on lined gloves that are much too warm for our mild North Carolina winters. My husband thinks I’m crazy (and he’s probably right), but I’m having fun.
Yes, that was a Majacraft box! I’m very excited to show you my newest treasure, which is likely the last wheel I’ll ever buy. This is Rose. We actually received our first Rose a few weeks ago, but it was in used condition though we ordered it as new. The seller happily corrected the issue with us, though, and had Majacraft ship us a Rose from their warehouse.
The double treadle is so wonderful! I love being able to stop and start the wheel with just my feet, and I’m finding that it is much easier on my back than the treadle action of the Traditional. Keep in mind that I have a bad back – most folks probably wouldn’t notice. I’m spinning nice and slow, trying to get thick yarn, but I know that I’ll be able to spin sock yarn on this beauty with no trouble at all. The only trouble is finding time to do it.
I’ve finished plying the blue yarn I started ages ago, and can’t wait to start in on my sweater yarn. I’m having a hard time working up to a worsted weight, though. After trying for so long to spin thin, it’s interesting to try to move back towards a thicker yarn. However, my spinning needs to wait until after some other time-sensitive things are finished up. Rosie is a great motivator, though.
There is a lot of crafty goodness to update you on, but I just had to show you what is sitting next to my front door. Any guesses as to what it is? I’ll update later when it’s all unboxed.
Life is full. I am off juggling right now. I’ll be back soon.
Here is my first real skein of yarn. It started out as combed corriedale fleece. I spun it worsted, and also from the fold to mix up the colors. I got a lot of practice in joining. Here are photos of the original fleece, the singles, and the resulting yarn; click on any of them to see the photo in greater detail.
It hasn’t been washed yet – it will likely puff up when it is. I think it’s overs-pun and over-plyed, but it is balanced, so YAY! It’s coming in at about 14 WPI before washing, so I’m going to guess it will be sport-weight.
On a cautionary note, if you are plying for a long time, do NOT prop your back arm over the back of a chair. I was plying in a folding chair and did just that. It has been about a week and a half, and the outside bit of my left hand and arm are still numb; as near as I can figure it, I’ve damaged my ulnar nerve. But, it doesn’t hurt much, and very likely just needs me to leave it alone so it can heal. It’s too bad that the things that irritate it include typing, writing, and knitting. Guitar playing is quite difficult with numb fingers, too. If I’m good, I’m about to have a very boring, restful few weeks.
There is progress on the spinning front. I’m happily involved in my first two bobbins of a lovely blue fiber. I’ll put together the before / after for you all later in the week. Here’s a sneak peek:
This is my very first bobbin full of… uhm… what do you call mangled fiber that is not quite yarn? This bobbin is underspun, overspun, thick and thin, different fibers spun different ways just to see what’s what. It is breaks and slubs and oops and ahh. If you look closely, you might even glimpse an ‘aha!’, though it disappears in the wink of an eye.
The second bobbin is another story. It starts out thick, and gradually thins out to what I guess is my ‘normal’ for right now. I’m going to spin up all of my gray fiber before I move on to my prettily colored combed stuff.
I’m embarrassed to say that I fully expected, in my heart if not in my head, to step up to my wheel and suddenly be able to spin.* I’ve been able to knit and crochet for so long that it just seemed like the next logical step. Easy peasy! Except, spinning is a skill. Like every skill worth knowing, this one is going to take some time. So, baby steps. I’ll let y’all know when I get somewhere. RIght now, Emma doesn’t want to go into her higher gear and becomes recalcitrant when I put her there. We’ll sort it out eventually, I’m sure.
She’s so pretty that I can’t stay mad for long.
* Yes, I’m that bright.
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’re getting stuff done, a little here and a little there, but you don’t have much to show for it? It’s one of those weeks, craft-wise and life-wise!
Here’s a little tour of what’s been going on. Here’s my first mitten.
It doesn’t look quite like this anymore, as I ripped out the tip and reknit it. I originally finished a row too soon, and the point wasn’t quite right. I convinced myself that it didn’t matter, as no one but me or another knitter would notice. I managed to live with it for an entire week, mostly due to the fact that I knew if I picked out the top I’d have to add new yarn to reknit it. Yesterday, I decided I’d rather be happy with the mittens, so I’ve ripped and reknit. (Ahhhh; much better)
This weekend, John finished my new spinning wheel. We named her Emma. My first lesson is in a week; who knows if I can keep from playing with her before then! Here’s a photo from halfway through her first coat of oil – you can see what a difference it makes.
The latest pair of Ollies is over half done. I’ll be sure to show you when they’re done. Assuming that all of this progress actually *gets* me anywhere!
I love my husband – does he know me, or what?!