Sunday, April 27, 2014


I was going to name this post Muddling, but between the smooth touch keypad on the ipad and my typing spelling autocorrect suggested Idling - which in the weird way auto correct works suits better. For me autocorrect is mostly so wrong it's funny and rarely very very right. We have just started the second week of a two week break from work, school, and all that gets in the way of hobbies and interests. I'm old enough to know that holidays don't always mean that lots gets done, and that there is value in spending time as things occur instead of rushing along with an arbitrary self imposed timeline. That seems a long version of saying for someone who has had a week to play there is not much to show. The cardigan is still in the work basket, the socks have made progress ... but mostly last week was all about spinning, and beading, both are slow-food projects.

This is a finished bobbin of singles waiting to ply, the fiber is a mixture of things including some sparkly stuff. I love this wheel, the vintage Pipy Wendy, although I do find she makes a bit more noise than my newer wheels. Not a loud noise, a visitor described it as a bit like clockwork, a quick mechanical metal noise. I love the way the treadle fits two feet, and how easy the tension is to adjust, the minute threads of the screw thread are prefect for teeny tiny adjustments. I love that having found the sweet spot for this project I didn't have to adjust anything for the entire bobbin. I've explored the Pipy forum on and discovered a possible fix where the back bearing is switched out for a nylon one. The fix uses a nylon bush from a auto parts bonnet repair kit, which means a trip to the land of auto parts supply stores and possible weird conversation with a sales person asking what make of car and not understanding when I say it's for a wooden and brass spinning wheel. I'm tempted to try that, but knowing me that means sometime in the next few years, somethings I need to do NOW other things are on my sometime list. Now I have finished spinning this single I think I will replace the drive band, right now it is short and the flier frame sits at a downward angle, ideally I suspect the frame should sit nearer to horizontal. I was wary about changing things that are set up and work well mid project, but am happy to do so now the single is spun.

The adapted legs for my slate frame are working well, a little higher than the table top set that came from lacis - but far more stable. Higher is good, but my arms are getting use to the new angle of working. In use there is still a faint wiff of the linseed and wax mixture I used to finish the wood - not unpleasant but I will be looking forward to that fading away soon. I use the same mixture on all the nice old wood in my house ... Guess that after a while all those things will be the same soft shade of waxed and oiled wood - one way to achieve a sense of cohesion in visual decor that I never planned but is happening.

And a closer view of the frame pinned to the leg. I've found that the frame is the most stable if the legs are positioned at the far corners of the frame. Physics could have told me that, I've also discovered that as the legs add weight the frame is a little more tricky to move around - but not impossible.

I've also found a use for several broke wooden straight knitting needles, as thread spool holders. I just drop the needle down through the spool of thread and pin it to one of the unused adjustment holes in the slate frame! These were some I bought for little cub who prefers straight needles, problem is wooden needles are fragile and there have been a few sacrificed over the past few years. Each was too pretty to throw away ... And now I have the perfect use for them.

I've also been spinning a three ply ... after rewatchingJudith Mackenzie's plying DVD I am leaning more towards three ply for knitting with. The extra ply just evens out any hand spinning inconsistencies more than a two ply can. I've no idea how this yarn will look, as I am not attempting to match the colour runs in the fiber over the three bobbins. I know a two ply yarn where both plies differ in colour are called barber pole yarns - but what is the same effect with a three pliƩ called? I feel that something clicked with my spinning and I'm finally able to become more consistent with drafting - so I am looking forward to seeing and using the results if this spinning. I am near the end of the second bobbin, so only one a pond a bit to go. That last bobbin might be an unofficial goal for this week. I also found a great tip on a ravlery thread about spinning for socks that I have tucked away for the next spinning project. One of the best and worst of having time to read and find and think is knowing that what one finds shouldn't be incorporated mid project that would change everything. Having something to play with for the next project provides a sense of promise, and a quiet excitement about something to look forward to exploring. I think I may have four projects on spinning wheels and less than that on the needles ....I have no idea if that makes me a spinning knitter or a knitting spinner, it does mean I am enjoying this week a lot.

And socks, one gansey sock for the large footed cub is done and the second one started. Like all second socks it's smoother the second time round, and I was so glad I made notes about sizing as I cast on for the 72 stitch size the after the rib deceased to the 64 stitch size. I had a vague memory of mixing up the sizes but without my notes would have been reduced to counting stitches in the finished sock. I guess the artifact is itself a workbook of sorts, but not as easy to acces as a written note of stitch counts.

This sock is top down where as usually I prefer toe up. In the scheme of things direction a sock is knit is a very minor point, but somehow seeing a finished toe is more satisfying than seeing a finished cuff to my eyes. What I do like about this sock is the way the gusset is integrated into both the side panel, the heel flap, and the side of the instep. Moss stitch is used, along with a little section of garter stitch - and it all fits together very very neatly. Th decreases are mid moss stitch but somehow they look like they occur nearer the sole.

Today is wet and dull, to dull or really work on tambour things, for that clear natural light near a window seems best. So today I will spin, and knit, and maybe bake ....bread or cake, maybe both!

Na Stella



Rachelle said...

I've recently decided I love 3-ply as well, the resulting yarn just seems to work best for everything!

Shirlee Fassell said...

Love the legs! I use a slat of wood across the top of the frame to rest my top arm on ... If that makes sence.