Wednesday, October 24, 2007

just keep spinning, just keep spinning...

The weather here has just been incredible. Warm, sunny - perfect fall weather!

This past weekend I spun with the ladies of Island Pond Spinners at Strawberry Banke. It was beautiful, and the weather was perfect - plenty of sunshine, and warm with just enough breeze to remind you it's October. What a place!

The ladies of IP Spinners were unfailingly gracious and generous with their time and their wheels! I got to try just about every wheel there - a Majacraft Suzie, Majacraft Rose, two different Saxony wheels (a single and a double treadle), and a Louet (was that a Victoria, Kelly? I forget!). I'd have to say that the Majacraft Suzie was my favorite. I spent most of the day spinning some more of the Apple Butter roving on it and it was a real delight. The Louet double treadle was also very very nice to spin on. I did not love the Rose, nor the Saxony style wheels - but it was fun to try them and I know alot more about what I like and don't like than I did before. For example, I now know that I prefer a double over a single treadle, and a taller over a shorter wheel. Right now, the Majacraft is my favorite, but I am a little concerned about the composite wheel. I'll have to do some more research, but I'm never crazy about fiber board, even if it is a very nice fiber board. I worry about what would happen if it should get wet; a distinct possibility given that I live in New England and love to spin outdoors. I'd still like to try a Ladybug after finally seeing a photo of one. The wheel is plastic, which I loathe, but the reviews are good.

Here is a photo of the ladies and their gear set up under the maples. At this point in the day, we were playing Musical Wheels.

I did do some spindle spinning as well, which mesmerized any husbands that walked by. Something about a spindle really draws them in...

But the best thing that's happened since last week is this:

I'm so friggin' proud of this yarn.

I finished, and plied, the BFL I bought from Amy at Spunky Eclectic when I picked up the Babe. I did all the spinning on the Babe, as well as the plying, and I must say, not only do I love love lurve this yarn and the colorway, but plying is a BLAST! I put chopsticks into the first hole on either side of the base, divided up the singles as best I could based on weight, and just went at it. Seeing the singles turning into actual, real yarn, right there in front of me... wow. It was quite a thrill. I think I'm actually getting pretty okay at this wheel spinning thing. ;-) I ended up with about 93 yards of bulky weight yarn - not too shabby. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to knit with it, but knit it I shall! And soon!

Some knitting also happened. As you can see, I finished A Sock (no suprise there, right?)

I did love the toe-up thing, and the short rows look pretty good, but picking up and knitting those double wrapped stitches about killed me. Fortunately I have a crocket hook that's about the right size. I used that to do it instead of the knitting needle, then just picked the finished stitch up off the crochet hook and onto the needle. Fiddley, and annoying, but it made the impossible possible, and that's all I was looking for. Julia assured me at knitting circle that there is a way to knit toe up and flap heel at the same time, thereby avoiding at least one set of double wrapped stitches. I will of course take her word for it and wait patiently for enlightenment. ;-)

Also, I made some very good progress on the Cheery Winter Raglan, finishing the body and making it almost all the way down one arm.

I'm going to have plenty of yarn left over, so I'm very relieved. I'm always afraid I've underestimated. But it's taking just a bit over one skein per arm, so I'll most likely end up with two full skeins when I'm finished. Hurrah!

And best of all - I finished those damned bags! *cue trumpets* There's still the i-cords and end weaving and felting to be done, but all that dead boring knitting is over. I will admit, they came out super cute, and once the landlord fixes the plumbing (again) and it's safe for me to run the washer, I'll felt them up and post a photo of the pile of them.

Hey, if they don't sell, at least I won't have to do any Holiday shopping. ;-) heh.

1 comment:

yarnophiliac said...

YAY for finished bags! I have to get to Strawberry Bank one of these days -- it sounds like so much fun. Love your all of your projects, esp. the Spunky yarn and the sweater -- well, the sock too! love em all! btw -- have you started spinning on that little spindle yet? Dyeing to see what you do! (I bet soysilk would be fun on that).