Category Archives: Walking Wheel

Red Alert

Be amazed! Take a look at this eyeball-searing shade of red. My poor camera hates it, and I love it! This is the result of switching the normal up a bit.

To explain. In the natural course of events, I ran out of my Crimson dye about a week ago.

Now, I’ve used two red dyes before. One is Crimson (my favorite) and the other is Fire Red. I had always preferred Crimson because of the deeper color tones. (The Fire Red tended to go orangey.) Well, when I ran out I hastened to order more, but the place I was buying from didn’t have Crimson!

Knitters Have It Easy

A few days ago I began a new knitting project, since I had finished the sweater. “Wait!” you say. “You finished and you didn’t tell us?” Well, it’s not finished-finished until it’s blocked, and I’d rather not model it while it’s soaking wet, thank you very much. And pictures of it laying flat on a table get old after awhile.

Ahem. As I was saying. I began knitting my first shawl. The Emily Dickinson shawl, it is called, and it’s available for download on Ravelry. (I’m LoveFiber on there, by the way.) This is my first shawl, my first knitted cobweb lace-weight, and my first time adding beads to a knitted project.

And let me just say it now, knitters have things so easy where beads are concerned! You just pull the loop up through the beads one at a time with no fuss. The last beaded non-knitting project I made required loading the seed beads onto the yarn ahead of time. All hundred and something of them. Then I had to keep scooching them along the yarn until I needed one. Crazy.

New Year’s Dash In The Pan

Alright. So. First off I would like to know who the wise guy is that made me think I had started last year’s New Year dash the day after Christmas? And who kept me from doing some simple math? I was happily prospecting on the amount of spinning I would get done, and possibly even complete spinning all the fiber you see below (carefully selected from the dozens of applicants) when someone casually mentioned the fact that the New Year was a mere six days away.

Crash. Bang. Shriek of car brakes. WHAT?!?!?!??!?

Last year I took ten days. Started on December the twenty-second. There I was, December twenty-sixth, thinking I would get even more fiber spun then last year. Ha ha ha. Ha ha.

Wool Gathering

Believe it or not, I haven’t fallen into a fiber-induced coma and vanished off the face of the earth. I’m still here trying to make time for spinning and fiber in a rapidly filling schedule. (While juggling a change of work, vacation plans, writing, and getting ready for a friend to come visit.)

Every single scrap of Iowa fleece I have left (except for one chunk that had lots of VM) has been pre-soaked twice. All of it. Excuse me while I go collapse.

I spent I don’t know how long outside in the backyard hauling pots of water, wrestling fleece, spinning out the excess water, and shooing away any curious insects. It wiped me out. I have this feeling that the neighbors think I’m some sort of odd person — constantly lugging pots out there, whirling around spraying water in every direction — yeah. Well, if they want some wool they can have it. I just want to get it all washed by the second of August.

Why the reason for this sudden haste? A certain special friend is coming to visit next month, and she’s bringing a toy with her. Something very beneficial for those who have lots of fiber to process. Any guesses?

The Heel Turned

SockThusFar
Ta-da! Behold the latest in footwear fashions. (No, the photo is not sideways.) The unique design enhances ankle warmth and circulation while leaving your toes to cool off and wiggle about as they desire. The spikes protect from any little nippy dogs, and the ball of yarn drags along in case you have a sudden knitting urge.

Yes, I’m planning to finish it. And its mate. This one will have some queer little lumps and bumps in it. Things like “repeat rows A and B until x amount remains on the needles” should not be listed after “continue.” What do they think I am? A knitting guru? Ahem. Well, anyway, it seems to be turning out despite the difficulties. I can get it on. And off.

I’m enjoying knitting something that small. I like tiny things. Tiny stitches, tiny needles, tiny yarn. I even have a pattern picked out for the next pair! It’ll be a very special pair due to the fiber choice. (More on that later.)

Spinning Fur

Last week was a tough one. Long and tiring. That’s why I’m so pathetically behind on this update. By the time I hit last Saturday I was ready to chill. Really chill. Chill to the point of not having the oomph to pump the treadle up and down. So, I sat on my bed with two or three big glasses of ice water and enjoyed a great book. At least, that was the idea.

I’d been trying to do some fiber-related something every day so I’d have lots of interesting things to blog about, and that afternoon I wound up pulling out the Aussie Fur. That stuff was incredible.

Aussie Fur

Yes, you read that right. A very good friend (and fellow spinner!) sent me some fur from her dog for my birthday present. AussieFurclose

That stuff is so soft! It’s unwashed at the moment, which is driving my dog nuts. I can hardly wait to get started with it. I think I’ll spin it first, then wash it. That will help keep the fibers from felting or getting tangled. Which is pretty much the same thing, now that I think about it. (Unless you want to get into the molecular structure of felted fibers.)

I’m going to spin it on the Great Wheel as soon as I finish up the fall colored fleece. Talk about motivation! Let’s get that fleece done! She also sent some rescued cotton bits from pill bottles. I’m very curious to see how they will behave on the wheel.

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.