Monday, March 12, 2012

Three !

Really, there is no way to justify it I know.

But why is it that once you are bitten by the 'spinning bug' you see the beauty in these amazing pieces of craftmanship.
I saw this (second hand) beautiful wheel and just could not resist.

Who could????

It is a Grace Wheel, made (still) by Mike Keeves of Nelson in New Zealand.
You can find some info on his wheels here;

It is a large Spinning Wheel and has a very different feel to it then my little Pioneer Wheel (by Majacraft) on which you can see Kiki spinning in the photo below, or my first Wheel an Ashford Traditional.

This is solid and heavy and the huge flyer wheel is amazingly decorated with pretty.

It is a double treadle, but this one you treddle with both feet at the same time up and down.

The whole wheel seems very well thought out.

Up the top are spaces to insert the orifice attachments, stopper key and yarn-guide for the skeiner when not in use. It has 3 ratios and a interesting tension control system.

The Flyer is very easy to remove, it has 7 bobbins.

The Skeiner you can attach simply to the front of the wheel and then it turns when you treadle, winding the wool from the full bobbin on to it. So Handy!!!!

There is a lot of detail and helpful handy gadgets on this wheel.
You can see here the copper stopper key to hold the bobbin on when skeining as well as the eyelette through which the yarn is guided and kept in place while tranfering the wool from bobbin to skeiner.

It is going to take some time for us to get to know each other but I'm sure we'll get along just fine!

Sunday, March 4, 2012



This is how it started 20 years ago.....
A barely started, never finished jersey.
I know it is amazing I even had it in my cupboard somewhere but I found it recently, just after I learned about sock-blanks.

So I thought 'could this become a sock blank?'

I loosely sewed the two layers together (it was knitted in the round with double thread) and on went the dye!

Unpicking it was a bit of a job as because it was knitted in the round the thread kept twisting on me.

With washing and a bit of weight the yarn became manageable.

But I decided to make mits instead of socks.

I chose the Mojo pattern for a pair of fingerless mits, you can find it here;

Even though the mits look very funny when you're done they are truly wonderful when fitted!

You can see that the gloves are opposites in pattern. Where one has a vertical rib, the other has a horizontal rib.

Much fun to knit.

Glamorous blue.

Some more yarn spun....
Quite a glamorous outcome.

Given Romney fibre, dyed blue with left over dye from a pot at a dyeing workshop, so that was a bonus lot.
And then I found a bag of 200g of Nylon Sliver at a second hand shop, dyed in a metalic dark blue.
I bought it for NZ$2.00 actually thinking it was wool at the time.

Carded together with hand carders and spun up, then Navajo plied this cheapy fibre combination now sparkles happily!

I'm sure it will make someone something warm sometime.

Angora treasure.

I am having a go at spinning my first ever Angora.

Wow this is so light, so slippery and so soft. It literally feels like I am spinning from a cloud.
I think I am achieving a nice thin thread, I want to make it last and get many yards out of this.

Angora is the hair of the Angora Bunny (Angora goats produce Mohair). Hair is different from wool in structure and this requires different skills in spinning. It is also a reasonably short staple compared to what I have bee used to. So it provides for a nice challenge.

This particular Angora came from Holland. I swapped it with Ariette when I discovered she is working on a big project researching different Sheep Breeds, and I send her 100g of Arapawa wool. In return Ariette send me this lovely Angora from her own German Angora bunny, as a thanks.
Hence we both enjoy something new to try and learn from this exchange.

Ravelry offers so much to fibre crafters all around the world. Without it we would not even have known each other. Cool!

This thin thread I intend to ply with something else quite scrumptious.

It deserves it don't you think?

Something like this;

Its a Merino/ silk blend called Cherry Ripe, also very fine.

I'll be busy for a while as with this stuff little goes a long way!

A gift.

I made these little potholders and this pot scrubby as a gift for a Tutor. She loved them.
The potholder patter you can find here;

But the scrubby was an experiment. I just knitted a random sized rectangle with 1 strand yellow cotton and the other strand was unraveled plastic baling-twine. This gives the scrubby a firm and rough texture great for scrubbing those nasty pots. I am hoping it will also prove lasting.....
Any way this is one form of recycling that is fun and useful, isn't it?