Friday, March 23, 2012

Spinny Spin Spin

It works! The first skein is off the bobbin and washed! The texture is fantastic, and it was so easy- it seemed like the fiber just flew through my fingers.

Since the last post, Willa and I had a several hour pow wow with the wheel and the oil, and decided that the root of all the problems was in the crunchy crispy cracked leather strap on the footman. Problem was though, we couldn't remove it properly because the screws holding it in place are so rusted they started flaking about when I touched them (yes, I realize I could drill them out and replace them, but that's a lot of work and there isn't much room on the footman to go drilling the screws out) so we just snipped the leather and tied a new strap around the remains. Worked perfectly!

We were still left with an overly sticky treadle- so after Willa left, I broke down and did enough dis-assembly to wiggle the treadle completely off, so I could oil all the way down the metal pegs that hold it in place- after re-assembly, it moves so easily- like a hot knife through butter!

So here it is, the first finished skein off my new baby. What's it going to be? Who knows! I had no project in mind- just the joy of spinning this luscious natural brown wool. Maybe it will end up in my etsy shop- keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fiber Camp

Wow, what a weekend at Fiber Camp! So much inspiration, and so many cool new things. And a little pile of yummy swatches to show for it. (that mess of color and excitement is the schedule board)

To start off with, I got a vintage (30-40 year old, untouched in an attic for most of that time!) Ashford Traditional wheel 2 weeks ago (yay!) I've been searching for an affordable and functional wheel for about 3 years now. It was very very stiff, with really crunchy leather bits, dry dry wood and some rust. After lots of help from the lovely people at the BASD meeting where I acquired the wheel, family, friends, and great new friends at Fiber Camp, including the wonderful Lucy from Mind's Eye Yarns- we cranked on screws, oiled, conditioned leather, hydrated wood, oiled some more, pumped the treadle, oiled... and it runs! Its still soaking up oil every time its used, but it spins beautifully now. 

Of course, I learned lots of new things at Fiber Camp- steeking, knitting and crochet with wire and beads, how to read crochet charts, tunisian crochet, brioche stitch, hand carding (without f***ing it up), knitting backwards, Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel, and how to choose a fleece. Whew! I can't wait to put these new skills to work- I'm already working on an entrelac blanket that's been in the queue to practice the backwards knitting, and soon I'll be starting a baby blanket in afghan stitch soon. 

I've been knitting along on other projects too- and finished a few things! I finally finished the train socks- they fit absolutely pefectly. I've made socks before, but never a pair that just fit exactly like they were meant for my feet and no one else's! I almost cried when I tried them on. The pattern for the cable and eyelet pattern will be available soon. Knit in my own hand painted Mir sock yarn! 

I also started and finished a quick earwarmer, which will also have a pattern out soon. It has stuffed pockets over the ears for lots of warmth. It is made with Sublime yarns incredible blend of merino, cashmere, and silk! Super soft and warm, without the fuzz and fluff that could be irritating over ears. 

Kriselle's dress is coming along, I'm about halfway through the skirt- which means its gotten pretty boring since its all stockinette stitch! 

The R2D2s are marching on into the sunset... I'm up to 6 (almost 7) and a zoidberg (thank's Jess!) 

And lastly, my cross stitch is now up to half a letter! ;-p