Friday, June 08, 2007

It's my Birthday and I'll Spin if I Want to

Yesterday 'twas my birthday, and so I decided that I really should break out my beautiful new fibre and do some spinning, even if I haven't completed all the things I said I would before I started. I spun whilst watching a made for TV version of the Odyssey (1997) version, which was rather rubbish. I haven't finished it yet, and it was rather good fun, but completely destroyed the characterisation of a lot of the figures, as well as deviating from the tale a lot (must every telling of the Odyssey bar Homer's start with the Trojan War?!).

Since I haven't done any spinning [on the wheel] since I had all the pain in my ankles, I was very cautious. I put my old whorl back on, and my old drive band (I kept a new bobbin though). I oiled my wheel and rubbed beeswax on the drive band. I also made sure the wheel was on a rug, and I sat on the edge of my sofa, rather than the low footstool.

Lookee what I made:

I probably did overdo it. I spun for about 2-3 hours, until my friend said I should go to her house instead to get me away from the thing! I was glad I did, otherwise I'd have probably kept on going for another couple of hours.

I only treadled with my right leg. I figured that if I was going to hurt myself, there was no point in hurting both legs ;) And I did have twinges in my ankle yesterday. I haven't really noticed anything this morning, which is positive, but I haven't really done much. I'll take it slowly.

This is the Forest Sun batt - forest green and forest brown merino, with flashes of pale sunshine. I mean silk. It's beautiful. I tore a 2 oz batt roughly in half, and then tore one half into smaller strips. Each strip I predrafted out, drafting them together into one long roving. This is most of one half of the batt - I was forcibly removed from my wheel before I could finish it off.

This is [eventually] going to become 2-ply yarn. I'll do the other half batt on another of my new bobbins, and then ply them together onto my old one (which has a slightly larger capacity). Hopefully. Hopefully my feet won't fall off.

(Last night I realised that I have a spare sewing machine motor - I know, of all the things to have lying around. I realise that if my feet do fall off, I may well be able to hook up my flyer with the motor and spin electrically. But let's hope it doesn't come to that).

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Monday, June 04, 2007

FO: Branching Out

Continuing my finished object reports, here's Branching Out!

This was my first lace project, and I'm really pleased with how it worked out. And it taught me the best thing about lace - it groooooooooooooows. This scarf got about 6 inches longer during the blocking process. This was fantastic not only because it meant I got 6 inches worth of scarf for the price of no hand movements, but it also made a slightly too-short scarf just right for a neck warmer.

I had been slightly concerned that the varigated-ness was totally hiding the laciness, and vice versa, but it actually works very well when on (I don't normally wear it quite like this obviously!).

I got this yarn for 1 euro (about 70p!) in the Wolle Rödel store in Hildersheim, Germany (I was at the M'Era Luna festival). They only had the one ball in their sale basket, but how could I resist? I was never quite sure what to make with it, until I saw a girl really working the non-winter-scarf look at a friend's wedding (and it helped that she was amazingly beautiful with wonderful dress sense).

(The book is 'Ancient Greek Love Magic', and the apple just sets everything off).

Pattern: Branching Out
Yarn: Superwash merino from Germany - I'll edit this post with the details when I find the band.
Needles: Erm... let's say I edit this part in too when I find my notes!
Modifications: different yarn, different needles, totally different gauge. I just knitted until I ran out of yarn.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Not really cheating...

I haven't done too well at posting in the past week have I? In true Wave-Gotik-Treffen weekend fashion, I have had a horrible cold (the year I went to the WGT I got horrendous flu - and I mean full-on flu - on the last day. I ended up lying on the floor at the back of the Agra - because I couldn't get back to the hotel on my own - trying to listen to the doodlesac bands in a sort of haze, and trying not to breathe on people).

The other day I posted pictures of my first two spindle-spun skeins ('skeins' is pushing it, I will admit. Neither can be more than 20 yards!). I was a leetle hard on myself for saying they really suck. But that's because I was coloured by my knowledge of my third ever spindlings...

Isn't it amazing? This was my experimenting with my fibre from the Sanguine Gryphon. If I spun it on a spindle, it didn't count as spinning ;) I had been unsure as to whether to just spin a mix of colours/fibres or to try and separate things out. And then I didn't know whether I wanted to do a regular 2 ply (with barberpole effect) or try out Navajo plying.

I pulled off a small sliver* and spun it finely on my spindle, just as it was. Then I Andean plyed it together. It looked so lovely, I just had to see how it knit up. It's so glorious! I was so excited when I finished that teeny swatch - I said to Mr Bee "I have something amazing to show you", and he rolled his eyes as he always does when I show him yarn-y stuff. But then he said, "oh, that is very nice"! It must be nice ;)

I was pretty surprised that the yarn came out so well, since it was my third ever attempt at the spindle, but obviously my wheel skills have come into good use here.

The above swatch is done with 3.25mm needles, and it's just beautiful. Before I knit up all the yarn I cast on with the other end on some 4.5mm needles:

Beautiful in a whole 'nother way. This time each stitch has multiple colours in it.

Can't wait to spin the lot!

* Note: 'sliver' is not being used in it's Official Fibre Term designation.

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