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Posts Tagged ‘spinning wheel’

PVC Loom

PVC Loom

It’s not that I have a burning desire to get a loom, something that will take up lots of space in my already limited crafting space and time. I do want to learn to weave some time, but right now I see a loom of any description and I think….how? Why? What? Weaving is the “final frontier” for me in the fiber arts galaxy.

And then there’s the Babe spinning wheel, also made from PVC pipe.

Babe Pinkie

Babe Pinkie

Some people think PVC pipe is an ugly interloper in fiber crafting, much inferior to turned and worked wood. I do love sumptuous wood and the wonderful Lendrum wheel. But to me PVC is flirty, like a firefighter centerfold. And the thought of being able to build something functional out of materials you can get at the hardware store? I think I want to give it a try sometime. And I can’t forget this DIY drum carder out of PVC pipe and other stuff.

These pics came from The Woolery website. The day’s blogging prompt is from Eskimimi Makes.

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We departed briefly from our normal knitting activities at Wednesday Night Knitting and watched a DVD about Carding Wool. I love that someone at Interweave put the techniques of 4 different “stars” of the spinning world together in one production. I like to see what these folks who’ve just followed their interests in fiber (or, in Norman Kennedy’s case, his livelihood since childhood) have to say.

clockwise from top left: silk noil, raw Corriedale, hemp sliver, combed alpaca/bamboo top, wool hand carders

clockwise from top left: silk noil, raw Corriedale, hemp sliver, combed alpaca/bamboo top, hand carders for wool

I am amazed at how much influence preparation of the fiber has to the final product, the handspun yarn. And because I feel that I am a grouper rather than a stringer, as far as learning styles go, I’ve enjoyed watching videos and reading texts about spinning and its myriad little components.

Lois has made much progress on the afghan

Lois has made much progress on the afghan

Lois worked on her lovely soft afghan, in the fluffy gray and blue and purple variegated acrylic yarn. Someone is going to feel very loved when wrapped up in that plushy blanket!

I made progress on mine, which is supposed to be a “wrap” but it’s really an afghan that will have a wide ruffle around it. IMG_0474

Ethel brought Rattie to show us her Norwegian costume.

Ethel and Norwegian Rat

Ethel and Norwegian Rat

Since Rattie is of the hooded rat species, Ethel wants to make her a hood also. Her little vest is edged with gold and green cross-stitching, she has a golden needleworked necklace, and she is wearing a crocheted flower coronet.

Chevron cowl

Chevron cowl


Ethel put the final touches on her knitted cowl by joining the ends with Kitchener Stitch and a Russian bind-off. We were enthusiastic about all the cast-ons and bind-offs in her new book 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting. That’s a lot of ways, isn’t it?
Cobble-stitch sample

Cobble-stitch sample

Here’s another recent work by Ethel, the cobble stitch.

We discussed possibilities for the new ebay wheel, which appears to not be an antique as misrepresented in the online auction. However, we may get her to spin and see what her cute little self can craft with us.

ebay sheel

ebay wheel

DH is still planning, among other projects, to make a spinning wheel from beginning to end. I also happened upon a cool project for a drum carder for $50 that he may decide to try out. [please,please, please!] We love our tools and other mechanical playthings! I just got an email from a family member today, in which she congratulated me on obtaining a spinning wheel and asked if knitting was a lot easier to do on the wheel than by hand? 🙂

Next Wednesday will be the February meeting of the Gainesville Handweavers Guild; subject Navajo Weaving. It’s the last meeting before their parent organization’s (Florida Tropical Weaver’s Guild) annual conference. I’ve heard that some of the conference workshops are filled up but you may want to check out the small classes and the vendors from all over.

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This week has been a bit confusing and over the top re: holidays. Gotta love America’s melting pot of holidays! On the 10th it was a celebration of Chinese New Year. Time for some General Tso’s chicken. My DH and I always argued about whether it was General Tso or General Tao. He asked one of his graduate students and she said it could be either one, but that it’s really not something you’d eat in China. It’s American Chinese food.

Tuesday it was Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday. Here the Mardi Gras meal includes King Cake, a sweet yeast-dough ring cake with a cinnamon-sugar filling and purple, green and gold frosting. I’ve read in other blogs that on Shrove Tuesday, folks always eat pancakes. Today is Valentine’s Day and the hustle/bustle is all about luuvvv. Chocolate! One of our fellow gym class members met us at the door this morning with this little treat.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Saturday is our local Gold & Green Ball. Click on this page to see more Gold & Green Ball. Without holidays, what would we do with our time and money?

But that brings me around to yesterday’s “holiday,” Wednesday Night Knitting. Ethel brought chocolate-covered pomegranate pips with which to celebrate. Woo hoo!

chevron scarf with 2 yarns

chevron scarf with 2 yarns

The scarf pattern Ethel chose is a variation of this one in Creative Knitting.
scarf pattern inspiration

scarf pattern inspiration

she used a 100% merino tweedy twist and then half of the scarf has a strand of green sparkly Stacy Charles Ritratto held double with the wool for a little excitement.

Lois' new pics

Lois’ new picks

Lois and Ethel discussed new possibilities for afghans. Lois tried the feather and fan, but didn’t like how the yarn bunched up. Perhaps simple stockinette would make a better blanket? Stockinette with a seed stitch border to keep the edges from curling up? Long circular needles will come in handy to keep the long rows in order. I started a kind of an afghan: the pattern is Lana Grossa’s Mohair Wrap from the Quick Knits mag. Except rather than luxurious mohair, I used Joann Sensations boucle, hence my title variation: Ghetto Mohair Wrap. I have a ton of this yarn in my stash. (“Perhaps the result of a clearance sale?” Ethel asked.) I’m not crazy about boucle yarn, however, I started knitting this and I like it a lot.
Wannabe mohair project

Ghetto mohair project

It’s a big rectangle of stockinette stitch with a wide ruffle border. With this, I have become a knitter who has “more than one project on the needles” at a time–something I could never imagine myself doing. I have evolved! Here’s another current WIP, the February sock from the Sock It To Me 2013 ravelry group. I’m also working on the Laera Shawl via Craftsy and another ruffle scarf.

Ethel's grand haul from Tuesday Morning

Ethel’s grand haul of Auraucana and Ella Rae yarn from Tuesday Morning

On the spinning front, I latched onto this antique flax wheel I found in McIntosh. It’s not quite ready to spin; it needs a drive band and the broken flyer fixed. But I’ve had a lot of fun dreaming of folks in the past who may have spun with her, and the practical projects they may have provided to their luuuvvved ones. Happy early spring holidays everyone!

flax wheel and bird cage distaff

flax wheel and bird cage distaff

flyer & bobbin

flyer & bobbin

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At Wednesday Night Knitting, we continued where we’d left off last week, except for — I got a spinning wheel in the meantime!

Lois worked on her ruffle scarf

Lois worked on her ruffle scarf

Ethel would the grape malabrigo sock yarn on the nostepinde

Ethel wound the grape malabrigo sock yarn on the nostepinde

She did bring a brand new crochet magazine to show.
I did a little spinning

I did a little spinning

As you may imagine, spinning has opened up a new world of fiber management for me! New reading, new You-Tube video watching, practicing. I stocked up on some woolly stuff from ebay and from my stash (mostly small bits I’d bought for drop-spindling).

fiber management


fiber management

Practiced a bit with this bag of unknown fiber I bought 2 years ago at the Florida Fiber In.

Ewephoric Fibers roving

Ewephoric Fibers roving

I met some folks from Ewephoric Fibers at that fiber convention, and hope to meet up with them again at a local guild meeting.

How in the world does one decide which wheel? There are so many. I did some research. I wanted lots of options, so I chose one that came with a regular-size, a jumbo-size, and a fast flyer. I wanted one that was somewhat portable. I wanted one that was made in America (I compromised on that, the Lendrum is made in Canada.) I would have been happy to get a Babe, but my DH, the woodworker, favored wood construction over PVC pipe construction, so let’s just say his opinion greatly influenced my ultimate choice. I joined some new groups on Ravelry, including Lendrum Love. I learned more about sheep, goats, rabbits, and other wool/fur-bearing varmints, and discovered that the Patron of the Campaign for Wool is none other than HRH The Prince of Wales. Wow!

Hey Grayzie, have you ever been carded?

Hey Grayzie, have you ever been carded?

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