Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who says life aint fair?

Yesterday I was determined to get some spinning done, but I must admit, I didn't get to that until late. What I really wanted to do was dye some of my fleece I have around here, particularly the white alpaca, but when I saw how much work preparing the fleece was, I shelved that for another day.

Instead, I picked up my socks and go the heel turned. How fun was that? Ok, not much, but it's done now. I sat at the computer and did it, with the tutorial on the screen in frount of me, and an audio book playing on WMP. Using the Magic Loop 2 socks at once technique, you do have to do the heels one at a time, which I did. I think I did a much better job of picking up the wraps neatly following this tutorial. The results certainly look neater than my last heel turning effort.

The socks on the tutorial are anklets, so I'm on my own for the leg part, and I still haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with them. Some type of rib I suppose, or maybe a cable. I'll figure that out today.

But speaking of audio books, I had promised myself that during my extra free time this week I would figure out how to get audio books online onto a CD I could play in my car, or, well, anywhere. I love listening to audio books on my drive to work, or when I knit, but they are so expensive. You can get some audio book downloads online for free, and granted they are mostly classics and such, but until I can find some people that want to trade around with me, it will be perfectly fine. I like classics really, and I found a good site that has some of the best in classic romance..jane austen, the brontes, etc. I already knew how to download off the site, of course, but librivox had really clear instructions about which download served what purpose and a GREAT guide to get them burnt to CD properly using iTunes. So I downloaded Itunes and to my amazement, all my other saved libraries showed up on there, which I though was an awesome timesaver. I took a book from there that I had already downloaded, and whaaa-la, getting it burnt to disc was easy peasy. Mission accomplished!

My dye job from the day before I dryed, and the colors have came out exactly as I wanted them. I was afraid, once dry, they would become too light, which is always a chore, trying to guess the color once it dries, but these batches came out exactly as planned. Yippeeee!

Around 8pm I FINALLY pulled the spinning wheel and fiber out, and started up a new bobbin. I realize that this is heaps easier with the proper roving, done up in the proper way. I haven't paid much attention to the fleece preparation part of things..I just wanted to hop right in and get to spinning. I'm seeing now that it might have been worthwhile to investigate. I'm thinking though, I might start buying a few tops and such rather than fleeces, at least until I get the hang of the spinning thing.

I spun on and off for a couple hours last night, using some rovings a workmate gave me. There's a lovely grey, and a brown. I'm thinking I will spin a bobbin of each and then ply them together, although frankly, I'm not at all sure how much yarn I can get out of each roving, so those plans may change. As it is, I started with the grey, and did get some results.

The trouble I'm finding with spinning is keeping the singles a consistent thickness, but I hear that's common with new spinners, so I'm not too fussed. The big trouble though is that spinning hurts my back after a little while, and I find I have to get up, take a break, stretch, and do other things and then come back to it. I'm going to try shifting where I sit today, types of chairs, that sort of thing to see if it helps.

This morning the long anticipated knock on the door came! I could have kissed the AusPost van driver, but I was afraid she would run screaming and not drop the package first. Couldn't risk that, so I just grabbed my package and gave her a grinning ear to ear thank you and closed the door in her face, parcel hugged to my chest like a precious newborn. My Peace Fleece was here. I ripped it out of the bag, I held it, I looked at it carefully, noticing all the little nuances of color, the lovely pastel flecks in the Zarya Fog

the bright cheerfullness of the Chick Masala,

and the subtle but powerful hue of the Sheplova Mushroom.

I fingered its texture, feeling the yarn slide between my fingers, the sleekness of the wool and the prickly feel of the mohair. I put it to my nose and smelt that distinctive clean wool smell. I breathed in deep, then sighed. I'm in love. Again.

So I took my yarn up lovingly, color by color, and posed it for the inevitable photo shoot. For this, I opened the curtains of the bay window to give my new babies the proper lighting. Still, it's hard to capture the true glory of the colors on camera. Particularly the Sheplova Mushroom, whose closeups, even after several tries, failed to satisfy me.

I have enough Zarya Fog for a jumper or cardi, enough Chickie Masla for a shawl or a bolero perhaps, and enough Sheplova Mushroom for a hat, scarf, and mittens. Rough ideas of course. I have no concrete plans. Of course, it will have to be something big for the Zarya Fog. Having that many of the same dye lot begs not to be broken up, but really, the small possiblities are endless with the other two.

I'm on cloud nine! My house is a mess. There is wool flung everywhere. My open plan living/dining room has knitting and books on the couch, wool piled in chairs and on the floor, dry dyed wool hanging from the backs of the kitchen chairs ready to be wound, rovings and spinning wheel in the middle of it all. It truly looks like a mad crafty person lives in it now.

Chris would have a heart attack, but then, he's not due back until late tomorrow. It's just such a timesaver for a crafter if you can leave everything put, ready to pick up again when the whim takes you there. Or at least, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Now, I go to fix up a few things on Rav, figure out what pattern I want to do the leg of my socks in, and spin till my fingers fall off. Aint life grand???


Anonymous said...

Seeing your living room really makes me want to come back to see you, but I know you would just have me balling up yarn! lol I see now why you were so excited today when I was talking to you on MSN; the package was definately filled with beauties!
The dyed blue looks so "Berry Blue", and the red looks so "Black Cherry"! How do you tone down, then darken the colors like that? Kool-Aid is all packed up and ready for the mail tomorrow. Think I got close to 125 packages this shipment. I know it's well taped, as it is "buldging at the seams." Be sure and let me know when it arrives; also how the Cherry works out, compared to the Black Cherry. It comes Generic.
Your Spinning Wheel looks SO nice next to the Bay Window. It is so very attractive!
I am off to bed. Good Work!
Love Ya Bunches, MOM

Button said...

It's easy to just add water..thin it out.

Full strength is as dark as you can get, that's when you have just enough to melt all of the crystals. That's the way I did the red: full strength. So far, my other reds just don't have the UMPH of black cherry, looking red at full strength, but drying to look medium red. Not as intense. I'll let you know about the generic red.

I LOVE my peace fleece. Now comes the fun part..figuring out what I want to make with it, and then knitting it! I needed something to pull me out of the "sock hole" :) I'm thinking of doing a shawl in the yellow for my western action shooting.

Thanks again for being my Koolaid smuggler ;)