Now and then, the Yarn Harlot talks about how the time-space continuem gets warped, and either you get to the point where you knit and knit and knit on a project, and yet nothing seems to get done, or where you knit and knit and knit and suddenly…you are finished. WAY ahead of schedule. I was experiencing the first one for awhile, my Christmas projects just seemed to take forever, and nothing would get finished, until yesterday of course. 2 out of the 3 have seen completion, and the third isn’t too far behind either. I think a good day of knitting tomorrow could possibly see it off the needles!
Socks for Little Witches for Morgan. This pair came out of one ball of Crystal Palace Yarns Maizy, and while the yarn itself wasn’t my favorite to work with, I know they will be soft enough that she won’t complain about itching, and the purple alone should be enough to make her want to keep them on her feet. I have an extra ball of yarn though, so I guess that means I’m making another pair of socks for her…
For Neil, Gentleman’s Lozenge Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks.
You will notice that one of the toes of the sock is done in a different colorway of the same yarn, Rancho sock yarn, and that’s because the skein did NOT have enough yarn in it. Yes, I cut down on the length of the leg, and yes, the length of the foot is right, but for some reason, everytime I try to knit a pair of men’s socks out of Rancho, they never work out. Oh well, Neil said that he could live with it (after having a conversation with me where I managed to evade the actual details of what he was getting, and where the color change would happen), so I’m living with it.
And last week, I got to spin on a spinning wheel for the first time! I brought my wheel to a guild meeting (where I was a “guest”), and we tried to get my wheel up and running. After several attempts to get the drive band on and stay on, it worked, and turned properly, but then, it wouldn’t draw the fiber in…no matter what we did, no draw. Luckily, there is a Master Spinner in the guild, and she is not only experienced with my wheel, but was generous too. Another spinner allowed me to use her antique Ashford Tranditional, Louise 1, and Louise 2, the Master Spinner, then took the time to investigate my wheel and figured out what was wrong with it. She graciously offered to take it home with her, as she and her husband have a shop, and they fix wheels all the time. She called me last night to tell me that it’s up and running, though it will be very, very difficult to learn on.
It seems that the Nilus Leclerc and the Ashford Elizabeth that my wheel closely resembles have a serious difference that makes learning on my wheel the equivalent to trying to herd cats from a wheel chair. My wheel has no Scotch Tension. And the maiden arms don’t move. (If you are a spinner who has worked with wheels like mine, I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t understand, just nod your head yes and we’ll move on. It’s not important enough for me to take the time to explain). But somehow, Louise 2 and her husband got everything working, where the wheel not only turns, but it also draws too! Just really, really fast.
And that really fast part is great if you want to spin fine yarns (which I do!), but learning, well, that will be a challenge. Louise 1 and 2 have suggested (along with the rest of the guild members I met) that I learn on a similar wheel first, like an Ashford Traditional, and then progress up to my wheel. And lucky me, the guild has those kind to rent! For cheap, too! Once I join the guild in the new year (I’d like to have the baby first before I commit myself to going to meetings, etc), I will rent a Traditional until I’ve got my technique down, then I can work with my wheel at home. It’s not exactly transportable though, so if I do want to spin on the go at meetings, I will have to purchase one that does transport better, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for good deals (and if you know any, let me know!). But, I did want to show you my first ever spinning on a spinning wheel, which was accomplished last Thursday. I’m very proud of it!
Very nobby, very uneven, but very, very cool! I was amazed even at my stop-and-start pace, how quickly I turned fiber into yarn! And everyone says I caught on very quickly, whether or not this has anything to do with the fact that I’ve spun on a hand spindle before or not, I don’t know, but apparently I caught on quite well, so I’m happy!
And my last little bit of news to update you with, is that I finally got the bug for baby stuff again. I think it was hitting the 6th month and going, OMG, I have tons of baby yarn left! I need to get cracking! that did it. So, another Fixations hat is on my new extra long bamboo DPN’s, and I plan on making a simple feather and fan baby blanket as well. My goal is to try not to have idle hands whenever possible for the next three months, and books are being reserved for the bus, lunch hours at work, and bedtime sleepytime-makingness. I think I can get a blanket churned out by the time the baby is born if I stick to it!