Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures in handspinning

I couldn't wait 'til the clock hit 4:00 today so I could zoom over to Knitch. Melissa brought her Kromski Sonata for me to to play with. This wheel is very easy to set up, and I was spinning in no time at all. (not well, but spinning none the less) I can see that this is going to be much like knitting in the fact that the more you practice, the better you get, and if I'm going to practice, I need a wheel. I think I'm going to have to have someone hold my credit cards for me because I'm pretty much sold on the Sonata. It's taking every ounce of self-control I have, (which ain't much), not to just go ahead and order one tonight. The only thing keeping me from it is the anticipation of going to my first handspinners guild meeting tomorrow! (I'm so excited! I hope I'm not too big a pest! I'll try to behave.)

In the mean time, to satisfy my lust for handspun yarn, I ordered two skeins from baba black sheep yarns on Etsy. Here's a photo of it next to the yarn I spun tonight. See if you can guess which is which.

(I know it's hard to tell, but the ones on the left are mine.)

I want to spin yarn like the skeins on the right!!!!!

It is so soft and luscious and plump and EVEN and (did I say soft?), and beautiful! I am determined that some day, in the not too distant future, I too will be spinning yarn like baba black sheep!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Which wheel?

I had no idea there would be so many choices in spinning wheels! I've been doing a lot of reading, and I've pretty much decided I want a folding wheel. It would be fun to be able to take it with me when I want spin, and the compact size would be convenient for storage. I found a great side by side comparison on four different models at The Woolery. I've seen the Ashford Joy, and Melissa's Kromski Sonata in action, and I think I've narrowed it down to these two. They both weigh about the same, despite the taller height of the Kromski. (which I find attractive, since I'm a tall guy) Aesthetically, I like the look of the Kromski. I noticed the Kromski has bigger bobbins. I'm assuming this means you can spin more yarn before you have to change bobbins? (in this case, does size matter?) I also like the fact that it is made of real wood, and not plywood and laminated MDF.

Sounds like I've made up my mind, doesn't it? OK, here's the one thing I think I don't like. I really think I want a single treadle wheel. I took a day long spinning class once a couple of years ago, and I couldn't tell you now if the wheel I used was a single or double treadle. At the risk of sounding vulgar, I can't imagine myself sitting for any length of time with my legs that close together. (oh dear, have I said too much..... again) I'm sorry, but I just don't sit that way. (at least not comfortably for any length of time)

I guess it all boils down to a test drive. I'm sure Melissa would let me take her wheel out for a spin, and we have a single treadle Joy at Knitch that I can try. Also, if I do buy the Joy, I can buy it at Knitch. If I buy a Sonata, I'll have to send away for it. Decisions, decisions. At this point I would welcome any feedback at all.

Despite all the spinning wheel shopping, I have been doing some knitting. I finally frogged back the sleeves of my Cobblestone sweater, (I made them too long), and reattached them to the body. see......

So it's back to knitting garter stitch in the round. And what's more fun than holding two pounds of wool in your lap when the temperature is 80-something outside. Now I understand why y'all knit socks!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To spin or not to spin?

Yes, I have gone completely mad, but y'all drove me to it. How can I sit idly by and watch you spin such incredible colors and fibers, and then ply them together into something altogether different. I saw the beautiful yarns that Jared spun and must admit I lusted after them. I watch the spinners the second Sunday of each month at Knitch and think, "I wish I could do that." I've started putting color combinations together in my head, and thinking about different ways of blending fibers to create the exact yarns I want. I actually registered at Etsy just so I could buy a couple of skeins of handspun.

OK, here's the really crazy part;

Do I know how to spin?

Do I have a wheel?

Do I have time to spin?


Am I gonna do it anyway?
(yeah, I think so)

I figure I can learn how to spin. I've managed to learn everything I know how to do now. I know plenty of spinners who could offer helpful hints. I'm SURE I can find someplace to buy a wheel. I don't really have time to knit either, but you make time to do the things you love. And I figure Andrew will be turning 18 next year and moving out, so what am I gonna do with all that extra space?

P.S. Y'all did pretty good on the movie quote meme. The only one I was able to stump you on was #8. It's Billy Crystal as Mitch in City Slickers. Not exactly my most favorite movie, but a damn funny line.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Movie quote meme hints

OK, there are four movie quotes that no one seems to know, so I'll give you a hint. I'll tell you the name of the actor or actress that said them. You still have to guess the movie.

#4 Tim Robbins
#8 Billy Crystal
#9 Ruth Gordon
#10 Steve Martin

Sorry, no knitting content today. Working crazy hours for the upcoming Mother's Day holiday. I need to change the title of my blog to "Famous Steve wishes he had time to knit!" I am knitting the scarf from the cover of Knitting New Scarves, by Lynne Barr. (the book ia a lovely birthday gift from my friend Nell) I'm using the Manos Silk Blend. What a wonderful yarn to work with! Come to Knitch and get you some! The scarf will be a shop sample, so come by and see it when I'm done. I have SO MANY things I want to knit! Especially some new sweaters for moi, but next Wednesday, I will be attending my first, (in many, many years), Weight Watcher's meeting! And, of all the places this meeting could be taking place, it will be in one of my favorite places of all! Knitch! So I really dont want to start knitting XXL sweaters, since I plan on being more of an XL next winter. Of course, I do have many other things to work on.... finish the lace shawl for Nancy, start the lace shawl for Beth, start that second pair of socks, start some baby stuff for Shirley to take to Berea, knit some scarves for John to sell in his shop this winter, not to mention the pile of stuff that has fallen into the dreaded pit of UFOs, that I have almost completely forgotten about! (almost....)