Category Archives: The Wheel Itself

Scarves

It’s been rumored and hinted at, long in the making, and longer in person. dsc01323
It’s the alpaca scarf! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s so squishy! My sister knit it for me. Thank you again, Mama Mentor, for the beautiful fiber. The yarn was very fun to spin. In fact, if I close my eyes I can still feel the alpaca pulling through my fingers. Ahhhhhh. For the record, it turned out as a sportish weight three ply, spun on the Walking Wheel.

And, though not quite as impressive, here’s the finished merino/silk scarf. My first big knit project. (If you don’t count the little red scarf, which didn’t involve yarnovers.) It’s almost done blocking, and it turned out huge. It’s really more of a narrow wrap than a scarf. But I like it.
merinosilkscarf

If you’re wondering, the tam hasn’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve worked on it a bit. The dyeing has taken up a lot of my attention, but I haven’t forgotten it! In fact, I’ve graduated in my “knitter-ness.” I’ve thought about bringing the project with me on two occasions, decided not to, and regretted it. Maybe I should just strap the project bag to myself.

Wha-Hoo!

Alright. So the question is, “Are you officially a knitter when you get a wee bit giggly, adrenalin rushy, and over-the-top over whether the gauge with turn out right?” If the answer is yes, I’m officially a knitter. So I really like the yarn and the pattern. I tell you, this tam might be the death of me. If I got that excited over the swatch? This doesn’t bode well.

Not to mention I’m suffering from a little beginning knitter’s naivety. On being told that my gauge was seven and a half stitches per inch instead of eight, I promptly thought I would have to knit more loosely. Because, as everyone knows, if you want seven and half to become eight, you have to add.

I’ll just leave that one alone for awhile.

Less Flax, Please

Well. Let me put it this way. I thought I would never find a fiber I didn’t enjoy working with. This last week, I was proven wrong.

Flax on the Wheel

Flax on the Wheel


Of all the (few) fiber kinds I’ve worked with in my (short) spinning life, this is the only one that has failed to inspire me on the wheel. The stuff feels like dental floss, for crying out loud. Not to mention it makes my fingers feel funny.

Now, I’m not saying it’s the worst fiber ever, and I love the idea of spinning fibers right out of a plant, but I’m glad I only ordered four ounces. It drafts in a very different way from wool, and it’s going to take a ton of twist. And I mean a ton. Right now it has just as much twist as I normally give wool, but it won’t double back on itself at all! Maybe I spun it too thin. Anyway, I’ve reeled the little bit I spun off the wheel so it can dry, then I guess I’ll run it back through with way more twist, and carry on from there.

Rainy Day

At first I didn’t think I was going to get much done yesterday afternoon. It was rainy, and my enamel pots were still sitting out on the back porch getting soaked. I didn’t quite have the “oomph” to go and bring them in, then scrub them out and dunk all that yarn in hot water. But then it occurred to me that I couldn’t start on either of the knitting projects until the yarn had been dunked and dried, which meant get them in the water now.

So, once I got the pots ready for use I started with my newly re-claimed Rebecca yarn. The beginnings of the sweater unraveled fairly well, except for this largest skein. We call it the clown wig. I had to dunk it really well to get rid of the crinkles.

Kinky Yarn

Kinky Yarn

Heigh Ho, and Away We Go

And now, back after a long absence, I bring you the reluctant blogger. Sorry about that, everyone. I’ve been just plain lazy, doing odds and ends and juggling work schedules and what not. So, I’m going to attempt to change that. I’m now going to start thinking of projects as “long weekend” things instead of “squeeze them in whenever.” The old “set a goal and accomplish it” ply. I mean ploy. See? It’s working already.

So, here is the first break’s goal.

Two Projects to Finish

Two Projects to Finish


Finish spinning and plying the merino/silk batt, and preferably knit it into a scarf. And, since I don’t seem to know when to stop, I also want to knit the shiny red yarn into a scarf for a friend of mine. It’s spun from the roving I dyed with the cochineal. You may have noticed, I used the “k” word twice! Yes, I’m serious about this knitting thing. Therefore, both scarves will be knit as practice for the sweater I’m planning to make. And before you say “Another sweater? ” let me explain. It will not be another sweater, but a re-do. I’m unraveling the teal Rebecca sweater.

I’ll wait for you to collect your wits.

Are we good now? Okay. Let me explain.

Crochet Frenzy

I’ve been crocheting away for the past week or so, working on the merino sweater, and now I’ve finished the body piece! It fits quite well, and I’m excited to see how it will block.

Completed Section

Completed Section

Not That Sick

I did it. I asked my sister for a pair of knitting needles and a refresher course. Another sister claimed I must be really sick. But I wasn’t! It was starting to clear up. (And is practically gone now.) I just wanted something to do while waiting for the merino yarn to dry. So, here is my little practice knitting swatch, knit from the “Thistles” yarn.

A Lengthy Swatch

A Lengthy Swatch

I’m now keeping one eye open for any easy looking, but not too easy, knitting patterns. There’s a scarf pattern I’m thinking about doing, but I’ve got to get or spin some yarn for it first. My main trouble is that I love lace knit stuff. Anything thin and lacy and delicate. Not good for beginners. There has to be a middle-road somewhere, and I’m trying to find it.

Cochineal: Part 3

I tell you, this pot of dye was like the Energizer Bunny! It just kept going and going and going!

The first batch of wool came out a sort of mauve color. And the bag seemed to have worked!

Darker Fleece

Darker Fleece


Then I popped in a second batch to see if I could get a lighter shade for two-tone purposes.

Back In The Groove

I never thought I could get out of the habit of spinning incessantly, but somehow I managed it while we had company for two weeks. I am now trying to get back in as fast as possible. Here’s the second bobbin-full of merino. That thing is so soft!

Merino Bobbins

Merino Bobbins

And then I pulled the Walking Wheel out from where it had been buried during the visit (it takes up our entire living room, so we had to move it temporarily) and was planning to start in on the alpaca again.

A Discovery

I got to looking closely at my spinning wheel. The light was hitting it just right and I could see marks through the milk-paint finish on it. It looks like there are decorative rings around the spokes in the flywheel, on the maidens, the knob, and around the footmen.

Lines on the Knob

Lines on the Knob