Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wheely Good News

A Finished Object! Well, actually two objects. I work on both socks alternately so they're both done at pretty much the same time. Saves me from the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. Believe me, SSS is a definite problem for me! These are in Confetti self-patterning yarn but I'm not sure of the colour # since I misplaced the ball bands. There are a lot of Confetti ball bands around here — it could be any one of them!

Gee, look at the skeeter bites on those legs! I thought they were gone by now. I got them weeks ago when I went camping in Manning Park. And we won't discuss the fact that I refuse to shave my legs anymore. Underarms maybe, but only in summer.

I'm calling these my Blogger Socks because I did most of the knitting on them while reading other people's blogs. I'm going to have to put down the knitting and actually leave a comment on somebody's blog one of these days. Soon. Meanwhile I'm liking that I'm actually accomplishing something while peeking into others' lives.

On the hat, I have only one more of those darn corkscrews done — three more to go. They hurt my hands so I have to be careful. Ivy the Physio has made enough money from me lately! The day is young yet.

And yesterday's spinning news. First meet Klaus:

My Louet S90 spinning wheel is definitely industrial-looking rather than pretty. That's how I figured he was male. They don't make this model anymore which is stupid because this is a great wheel if you have little space or need to take it places. It folds up flat and includes a built-in lazy kate, and (for extra cash of course) a folding skein winder. It has 3 ratios, large bobbins (4!), and a wide treadle that can be used with either foot or both feet if you like. The draw-in is quite strong as you might expect from a bobbin-lead wheel but that can be compensated for by zig-zagging the yarn across the hooks once or twice or more if necessary. Notice I don't use the leather brake hanging to the side of the orifice. I rarely need it.

That bobbin I'm showing in detail is all I managed to spin yesterday. It's all the rest of the dye-painted roving that matches the stuff I plied into last Tuesday's skein. Now I'm spinning up more black roving to ply with this bobbin and I'll actually have 2 skeins. Maybe enough to make something or maybe I'll have to find or spin something else to go with it. I don't know what it's going to be yet. I'll let you know.

I have other spinning wheels besides Klaus. There's Sleeping Beauty. She was my first wheel, a Saxony-style kit from New Zealand. We stained her parts dark walnut and assembled her ourselves. I've had her since 1976 and she's getting a bit wobbly in the legs from all her adventures over the years. She's a lot gentler than Klaus though so I use her when I want to spin something delicate. And there's the twins, Lillian and Frances. They're cottage (sometimes called Indian-head) wheels with one huge bobbin and an orifice big enough to stick my thumb into. (Hmmm...Sorry, that sounds rude...) I have no idea who made them but I suspect it might have been someone local sometime in the 1970's. I got them from two different people on different occasions who were giving up spinning and indeed, if they were my only wheels and I was trying to spin something finer than a ship's hawsers, I'd give up spinning too. They're great for spinning very heavy yarns and for plying slubby hairy novelty yarns. I would sell one of the twins but I'm not actively looking for a buyer. I can't tell you which one I'd give up because I've forgotten which is which! Lastly there is La Grande Dame. She lives on the coffee table in the living room and she can't make yarn because her arms are gone. She's missing a few other parts too but Thom promises one day to restore her to her full glory. Maybe after he retires? LGD is an antique parlor wheel with bone decorations and a teeny tiny orifice. Contrary to her large name she is very small. Unfortunately I was given no provenance for her but I suspect 1800's sometime by her elegance and frou-frou decorations. No idea on country of origin however, though Europe rather than North America is my closest guess. Oh yeah, there's also Sleeping Beauty's twin who belongs to my weavers and spinners guild. She lives in one attic space with the twins and the guild's other rental spinning equipment. One day I'll post pictures of the gang.

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