Friday, January 25, 2008

Binge shopping & Scarf patterns

I have not had much luck with my spinning. My main problem seemed to be that the twisted wool (not sure if I'd call it yarn yet) wouldn't pull itself up onto the bobbin. It just kept twisting and twisting till it kinked up against the orifice. So I went to googling images of spinning wheels, flyers, etc and noticed something was missing. My spinning wheel, a traditional, should operate with a scotch tension braking system and mine had no such animal. This may sound complicated, but essentially it is a length of what looks like thick fishing line that attaches on one end to a spring and on the other end to a knob (I had the knob). The line passes thru two metal hooks (those were there too), and runs over a grove in the bobbin. Thus, you tighten the tension knob, which tightens the string, which stretches the spring. This is the part that makes the bobbin go slower than the flyer, allowing the yarn to twist onto the bobbin.

Feeling like a total wanker, I realized I needed a some line and a spring. I probably could have rigged something up myself, but I decided not to tempt fate any longer, so last week I went by the Walking Wheel Studio, a spinning studio in Adelaide with the most gracious of women running it, and explained my dilemma. She had the line right there, but she was out of springs. They would be in with her next order, arriving in a few days. She would give me a call. Meanwhile, she gave me a couple of little rubber bands that would substitute for the spring. I tried them out the next day, and at LAST I was spinning something that looked like real yarn, or at the very least, real string. I'm hoping after plying it looks like yarn.

She called me Tuesday, letting me know it had arrived. The studio is open Thursday thru Saturday, so I told her I would see her at her 10 o'clock opening time on Thursday. As she's over on that side of town, roughly, I decided I would hang out at Starbucks in Glenelg and then visit Barb's Sew and Knits (again), this time to see if I could find some yarn for a scarf for mom.

I left work yesterday morning at 7, drove out to Jetty Rd, parked and walked down to Starbucks at about 7:45, ordered a Blueberry Muffin and a Cappuccino, got a paper cup with coffee grounds in it to use for an ashtray, and settled in on the patio, which looks out over the jetty and the ocean. It had just stopped raining, and the ocean had that eerie dark look, but quite beautiful really. I spent the next hour sipping cappy and jotting some preliminary notes down on a sweater mom has requested for Christmas. I have a picture out of a magazine that she sent, but no pattern of course, so I'm trying to design a pattern that will look like the picture. I'm in the early stages yet, and hadn't bought the yarn. Not knowing gauge, there wasn't much I could do besides get the particulars jotted down: drop shoulder, boat neck, bell sleeves etc, and draw a few rough sketches.

At 8:45, I drove back up Jetty Rd and turned off onto Byron, where Barb has her shop. When she opened, we first looked at ideas for mom's jumper, both ready made patterns (of which she has, seemingly, millions, both old and new) and then we explored wool options. Then I looked around for yarn to do mom's scarf with, which was far more urgent than the jumper at any rate. What I wound up buying was 2 skeins of the most beautiful yarn I think I've ever seen, at least in the skein, Fiesta's La Boheme. It was very dear, but it came in 100 g skeins, which I used to justify the cost. Besides, I reasoned, it was for mom's birthday. So, I talked myself into it, and walked out with some beautiful yarn that, for the price, should have been solid gold.

Having already spent more than I had planned, I left Barbs and went over to the Walking Wheel to pick up my $1.50 spring. I wished I had left with only spending a $1.50, but that was not to be. I left with 8 skeins of beautiful hand spun, perfect for mom's future sweater, and my wallet, once again, much lighter.

The night before, hubby informed me that my yarn order at my LYS in MB had arrived. Thank goodness, it was already paid for with my Christmas pressie gift certificate and a few extra dollars. It was 30 skeins of Cleckheaton Country Naturals that I am planning to make a super difficult cardi out of. I got the pattern months ago, and have been looking at it periodically with longing ever since. Loving mindless knitting as much as I do, I love this cardi more. So before coming home, I swung by there and picked that up as well.

So this morning, I'm faced with a shopping hangover, and all sorts of ideas of "what to do with what" running thru my head. This is NOT in any way aided by Ravelry, which has so many ideas available on it it makes me dizzy. I thought I had pretty clear cut ideas when I bought it, but now I'm not so sure.

Last nigth, hubby helped me wind one of the La Boheme skeins into balls, and as it is made of two distinct threads, yet dyed together, it was really hard to wind and keep the color pattern even on both threads. Consequently, in actual use, it might be really hard to get the graduting look I was looking for in the scarf pattern I had in mind, which is this short row scarf from magknits found here:

So, I'm thinking of this one, which looks good on Ravelry knit in other yarns besides homespun:

But it also looks fantastic in homespun, and I do have alot of the homespun I bought at the walking wheel for mom's sweater lying around, and can always get (or, potentially spin myself), more for that and just make a shawl with the La Boheme.

Another horse coming from the outside is this one: which would look good with the La Boheme I think, or the Grignasco.

I'm so confused, and I wanted to get started TODAY!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about knitting so I leave all that up to my daughter "The Expert". This is the most beautiful yarn I've ever laid eyes upon. I like the 2nd scarf mentioned, and besides, it should match my new sweater!! Keep up the good work. Terrie absolutely loves the hooded scarf you sent to her. I hope to see more pics of the progress. Love, Your MOM