Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Did you see that week fly by? Or maybe that was the whole month of January nearly gone already. Usually I get the most creative stuff done this time of year. The holiday socialising is over. The garden is still sleeping and I don't have to start raising little plantlings yet. The weather is mostly conducive to remaining indoors. This year has been a bit of a dud so far. But I did finish one thing! Behold the Tow Hill Blanket:

Isn't it lovely and spring-like? I still had a little left over of some of the colours but it was a pretty great stashbuster exercise! I've been sleeping with it on my side of the bed for the last couple of nights and it works well to help keep me toasty. I'm on the windward side nearest the open window (only a crack this time of year) and feel the cold much more than Thom does. I think men come with a higher setting on their thermostat, don't you?

So what else? I've been plugging away at the Licorice Allsorts spinning project. It seems such a shame to dismantle the mill-carded roving in order to recombine it:

That's the only way to get it all thoroughly blended properly though and it does make for nice light and floofy (technical term) new roving:

I've carded 3/4 of the total pile now and actually started on the spinning:

Mostly because I got tired of carding and couldn't wait any longer. Besides I was running out of baskets to put it in! This yarn is being spun on Klaas, my Louet S90 wheel with my new sliding hook flyer. I love that thing. The bobbin fills so much smoother than with the hooks. You can't fill them quite as full though so as usual with most things in life, it's a compromise. This wheel is not great for fine yarns (though there are workarounds) but it really shines when spinning heavier yarn like this. It has a very positive draw-in thanks to the bobbin-lead system (aka "Irish" tension) which helps keep the yarn from becoming too tightly twisted and the treadling is smooth and effortless especially when trying to go slow. There's a reason why I still have Klaas after nearly 25 years! Sadly they no longer make this model (though they did a limited run a few years ago) in favour of other more popular styles. I originally bought it because it folds up, came with an optional built-in skein winder that folds in too and has a lovely wide easy treadle that you could use with either one or both feet. The only drawback with both of my Louet wheels is the steep price because they are made in and imported from the Netherlands. And workers there get paid a reasonable hourly wage. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Ahem.

So all of the snow and ice are gone now. The weather is a little warmer but still not exactly balmy. We still both have a residual cough but are finally pretty much over the Crud. There has been enough nice weather (aka not dumping rain) that we've been able to get out and walk more than we have been. We're tired enough of our own environment that we're starting to discuss whether or not we should head out in the Westie again at the end of February for a few weeks like we've done for the past few years. It's not going to be as warm this time, methinks! I guess that means we have to go further south, huh? Or just take the weather as it comes. We've certainly proven that we can manage long distances and inclement weather with grace and aplomb! Anyway nothing is writ in stone yet. Some google-fu will ensue.


pao said...

Oh how beautiful, Louisa. Yes, men are another species altogether. Glad to hear the crud is on its way out.

Sharon in Surrey said...

There's nothing like a handmade blankie to take the chill off. I have a garter stitch one that I live under in the summer when it's too warm for a duvet. Cant' wait to see your new yarn in a skein. Maybe you should fold up Klaas & head for New Mexico where the living is easier than here right now. On the other hand, maybe you should stay home - you may be viewed as an 'Alien Foreigner' by the new Regime.

Louisa said...

Ooh, if I'm an alien can I pick which planet I come from? Seriously we aren't nervous about travelling in the US. Once you get past the border at least and we are just innocent little old tourists. I love home too much to stay away for long anyway.

Thanks for the kind comments, my dears! The blankie is very cheerful and bright and reminds me that spring is coming soon.

Melanie said...

Holy cow - I ADORE your blanket!! The colours are perfect for getting toasty and springish. And I too rejoice that the crud is gone. Time for some serious weather pay-back on the flip side, the good-weather side.