Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I've been spinning! Just last week, I got my spinning wheel back from the fellow who made it. It had been making a funny squeak, and he took a look at it and fixed the problem, but my wheel was traveling for a few weeks. You wouldn't think this is such a sacrifice since I hadn't been spinning much these past months, but I had just gotten into it again, and I was happy to have my wheel back after all its travels. At first we sent just the round part of the wheel by itself, but that wasn't enough to diagnose and fix the problem, so we had to send the entire wheel cross country to Maine. Gilbert, the guy who makes the wheels, was most obliging.
I've been wanting to improve the quality of the yarn I make, and that's all a matter of practice. The photo above is more yarn from Happy's fleece, a sheep from Homestead Wool and Gift Farm that I've posted about before. This batch came out differently from the other batch, so I don't know what I'll end up using it for, since the two batches are different weights, one being finer than the other. One thing that caught my eye was this:
A handspun shawl called Indigenous by Lynne Vogel, pattern online at Knitty Fall 2010. I like the irregular look to it, which would suit my irregular yarn.
I also cranked out samples of some other fiber:
The top is some BFL, I think, from Weaving Works in Seattle (note to self: record what the fiber is when I buy it, for goodness' sake!). Very soft and easy to spin. The bottom not-in-focus one is from a big ball of mystery fiber I got off eBay when I first started spinning. I'm trying to come up with some 4 ply yarn to do a fair isle project I've been thinking about, and I think it just might work.
On another note, my mom stopped by this week with a gift of yarn. She'd bought this beautiful yarn in Victoria BC a while back and didn't think she'd get around to knitting it. It's from Fleece Artist, and the label has a pattern on the flip side for mittens and socks. The recommended needle size is US 8s, with a gauge of 14 st/4". Candy the dog is trying to identify the fiber content--ah, 100% mohair!
I thought it might make a nice Opal by Kim Hargreaves. What do you think?
And, if one gift isn't enough, there has been more stash enhancement to report. Funny how I've started thinking of November as my birthday month; that way, the celebrations go on for more than a day. This was a treat to myself. I love the feature on Ravelry to search stashes for sale/trade yarn. One can find really good deals on yarn in general, but also yarn that has been discontinued and can't be found in any shop. (This can be dangerous!) I was searching for anything by Rowan and found many treasures, but I could not resist 10 skeins of Rowanspun 4 ply in charcoal from a Raveler I trust, Susan Crowe of the entertaining Damn, Knit & Blast It blog.
A Season's Tale, a collection of classic designs by Kim Hargreaves. Here are two other designs from that book I'm considering:
The first is Berry, which has a Kidsilk Haze border on the bottom. The KSH is used doubled, by the way, which would make a cozy border. The other is Isla, and it has a Lurex Shimmer rib in two colors. I like the look of it, but may just do the very edge in Lurex Shimmer. It's also a discontinued yarn, so I'd have to scramble to find some if I wanted to use it. I'm really torn between the two designs. The top one is something I've admired for a while, but the cardigan would be more useful.
Xmas update: I'm still plugging away on the Lizard Ridge throw--on square 8 now. Seems like it will be always with me.