Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Time's a Wastin'

This is the perfect progression through the days, from coffee to water to wine.

It really was that kind of day too.  I tried spinning during my zoom knitting but just did not have the space to get the computer close enough to hear and visit with people and to have the wheel close enough.  I picked up my version of Joji Locatelli's Three Color Cashmere Cowl I really enjoyed knitting this and this lovely yarn gifted by a friend from a while ago is really perfect for this cowl.

I did truncate the striped section and I skipped the last lace section completely because my plan is to wear this in the house in winter on the days when my upper back feels a chill aka all the time.  There is a point where it ends up too long and as is I got very close.  But it is a lovely thing and I will wear it a lot.

I did spin in the evening, not tons, but I did reach my target half hour.  I think I am more pushing for the time spent spinning than getting huge amounts done.  I don't think I will ever be a fast spinner.  I am not a fast knitter either but I think my goal, the real one, is to simply make a habit and a dent in the vast amount of fibre I have sitting in the closet.

I was a little concerned about how thick it was most of the evening so I pulled out my control sample and checkd.

Not that the control sample is perfect but it is realistic.  If I can keep the spinning so the plied yarn will be somewhere on the sample, I can work with it in a knitted garment. Yesterdays work was nicely in the middle for the most part so all is going pretty well, I'd say.

Still time is awasting today and it will be another full and busy day for me.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

The Loom will be my Friend.

I mentioned weaving in yesterdays post, just a casual side glance of a mention but it brings up something I really have been thinking about lately.

This is one of three dishcloths I have made on this loom, the only things I have ever woven on this wee beastie and as much as I like the dishcloth, it taunts me.  Having the loom in my oversized bedroom does too.  It stands there looking at me, saying absolutely nothing and I feel oh so guilty that I have not paid much attention to this lovely equipment.  

I think my loom intimidates me.  I know it does.  I wanted a loom with enough shafts that it would be an easy sell later and that it would hold its value.  I am pretty sure that this loom will be that.  I wanted something that I could take almost forever in terms of patterns and designs.  Who knew if It was going to consume me as knitting did?  In the meantime, 8 shafts intimidates me.  It is however going to be part of my plans going forward. 

As my sewing has filled my drawers and solved my lack of clothing problems, I realized that I was enjoying full days where knitting wasn't the only thing I did.  I love knitting and it is still something I need to do to feel normal, but I kind of liked not feeling consumed by it.  I liked finding pleasure in something else.  I don't want to loose that.  

I had already decided that come fall, I was going to address the intimidation and was going to take the same time in the mornings as I am currently devoting to sewing for weaving.  I am going to address the intimidation by removing all but two of the shafts.  It means I have to take the loom off the stand but that isn't a problem, particularly if I can get Keith to help me wrangle it. I have a raddle to add and a beater to change out too, so taking it off the loom was happening anyway.  And then I am going to warp the loom with something other than dishcloth cotton.  

I think I know what it will be too.  When I was on my Epic Adventure in the summer of 2018,  I picked up some spools of Zephyr wool and silk laceweight yarn in a lovely silvery colour and a navy blue.  I was inspired because they had that combination in the shop in a little houndstooth pattern.  I don't know if I will do a houndstooth.  I really would be just as happy to make a really pretty scarf in simple squares of colour, a sort of gingham pattern I guess.  Changing the project will be a plus mentally too.  After all this time, I am more than a little sick of  what sits there looking at me.  

While all things weaving currently intimidate me, this little dishcloth gives me hope.  The selvedges are even enough to be getting on with.  The width is almost perfect for the size cloths I prefer.  And the weave looks really good.  I did that.  I did that and I did it well enough that I would be  happy to show it off to the world.

I came across a couple of really interesting vlogs via the Tour de Fleece preparation.  One of them is fellow International Virtual Knit Night member Grianaig Creations vlog.  I really enjoyed this one because I had met the Vlogger first via the zoom knitting and because it is just really interesting.  The second is JillianEve.  That came up after I watch Grianaig Creations and what drew me in was the historical weaving techniques. The vlog I started with was about using handspun where the twist was one way on the warp and the other twist on the weft.  It's just a different perspective than I heard from anyone else with an interesting result that is quite different than the usual fabric.  Looking at all her blogs, it is clear she enjoys the historic stuff as do I.

Today is going to be good and busy.  It is a zooming afternoon with a morning full of things I couldn't do without power yesterday.  So off we go, looking forward to the time when the loom will be my friend.

Monday, 4 July 2022


We have wheels.

We have fibre.  This is all Shetland Top from my back when I purchased my first Louet wheel, There is another bag of the cream just out of sight being prepped gently teased apart for spinning.  The top is much much easier to loosen out than any of the dyed fibres I have worked with.  It will take next to no time to prep.

And then it took a while.

I got everything set up on Thursday and was going to start spinning Friday on the S51, hoping to do it all on that wheel just for fun.  But the new drive band cannot be right. It was a standard band, but I have a feeling that these older wheels had a different height than they did at the end of their production. Even with zero tension on the brake, the smallest whorl, and a well oiled bit where the flyer rests, the single kept being yanked out of my hand.  It was simply too much pull.  I have to go back and either put on the old drive band, go to a cotton drive band that I make myself or wait till I get a new drive band that is right for the S51.   

I know me.  If I was going to do this Tour de Fleece ( #tdf2022teamivknmwooligans ) at all, I had to get spinning and it had to be now before anything built up inside my head and became a wall I would never climb.  So I made my mind up to spin on the Vic and ply on the S after I do whatever I end up doing.  And that was a very good choice.  It did mean I had to clean off a bobbin but spinning on my trusty Vic was effortless.  I confess, I was concerned.  Two years where you did not spin an inch is a long time, but it just came back and I had a great time.  Friday, my whole spin on the S was about 5 feet.  Saturday it was about 10.  But Sunday, lovely Sunday.

Sunday, late in the afternoon, I spun for a good half hour.  It went well and I stopped lest I get too cocky.  I debated about doing some more after supper.  

After supper, I sat down to spin again.  It felt right and I was relaxed and calm.  And it was lovely.  Spinning could easily become an evening joy.  This modified long draw I am doing is allowing me to bring the drafting close so I can easily see what is going on.   Spinning may very well be the perfect solution for long, too quiet evenings.  An hour or so of spinning in the evenings and then a bit of prepping for the next day, be it combing, carding, or even just floofing out prepared top would fill an eveing nicely and would fit well in the routine of my days.  If I could keep up spinning in the evening, it won't take long till the fleece I have, gets their turn.  And once the fleece get their turn, I can pick up more pretty fleece.  Now that sounds like fun.

Now before all the spinning joy was  F1.  Honest, if a race was any better than that, I don't think my heart could take it.  There was a serious accident at the start, where Zhou's car slid through the gravel upside down for a very, very long way and then flipped and got stuck between the tire barrier and the fence.  The first thing you think if no way is he coming out of that alive.  And but for the safety halo that was put on the car three years ago, he wouldn't have.  His roll bar was ground off in the slide, but the halo kept him away from the grinding surface.  There was no fire and the biggest struggle was to get him out from how jammed he was between the tire barrier and the car itself.  He went to hospital and was cleared and was back on track before the race was done.  There was another smaller looking high speed crash sort of connected to Zhou's  and Alex hit a wall hard and straight head on.  Alex ended up in hospital for observation because of the g forces involved and the possibility of concussion, but he was tweeting from his bed by the end of the race.  No human in their right mind wants a crash.  No human can look away.  I wonder about our species.

And then there was the race.  It was quite simply epic.  It was close and the passing and the back and forth was beyond breathtaking.  A late safety car meant that for the last 15 laps any of seven cars could have conceivably had second or third place.  It was epic and I had just the best time.  Calros Sainz won and he massively deserved it.  He had to fight the whole way and it was brilliant.  But if races keep on like this wonderful thing, I need to change my blood pressure meds.  Just sayin.

If I could fit spinning into a daily routine, sewng or weaving (I have already decided that) or something visually complicated in the morning like embroidery, knitting in the afternoons, spinning in the evenings could be just right.  It almost sounds like balance.  My always and forever reading has come back to me in every form.  I have found a sport I really really enjoy and did even as a girl.  And all the fiber things.  It really almost sounds like a balanced sort of life.  Wow.  Did not think that was going to happen.