Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bustaroony and the Spin saga

Well, about time for a new post, I reckon, before I get more pictures than I have time to describe, and forget half of what I've done. Sometimes, when I go to do these posts, it's only the pictures that remind me of what I need to write about, so I upload them first, and work from there.

I got one more package in the mail since my last post, my lovely fibre from Woolywombat, my prize in the splinter awards for the handspun/handdyed cardi I made for my granddaughter.

She sent me some lovely dyed fibre, and some very pretty white alpaca.

She worried having a few vm in them, but really, there's little if any that I can see. I can't wait to give it a spin, but have been rather busy with the apple blossom merino I already had on the wheel. I managed to spin the merino rather consistently, which I was rather proud of, but I must say it was very well prepared. Here it is on the bobbins:

And later plyed on the Jumbo bobbin:

And the finished skein:

I'm happy with it. Don't know yet if it will become a wrap for me, or mittens and a hat for Kaitlyn. Will decide that down the track.

After I took that off the wheel, I enlisted Chris's help in FINALLY staining/varnishing my newer spinning wheel parts. Namely the jumbo whorl, the niddy noddy and a few assorted new bobbins.

I'm really proud of the way they look, and know it's better for them to be protected by the varnish, but because the whorl was wet, I didn't get much else in the way of spinning done in the next few days.

I also asked him to make me a new little stand for my extra bobbins, and he was happy to do so. (I think he was afraid if he didn't make one, I'd go buy one ;)

He did an excellent job of it, and as the bobbins will spin, I can ply from it as well. Isn't he handy??

I've also decided to buy a drum carder, a new Inwood Smith. I'm using my "economic stimulus check" for this, and given Inwood Smith is made in Australia, and Bella is my local dealer, well, it seemed right to keep the money in Australia. But there's a delay, as the manufacturer is having a bit of trouble sourcing a medium cloth, so it could take two or more weeks before I finally get ahold of it.

I'm really starting to need a spare room, or even a workshop, for all my knitting and spinning pursuits. Ah well, if we win the lottery...

Instead of putting the nice stuff I got from Jane, or the lovely batts I got from Woolywombat on the wheel, I opted for the beautiful roving I bought at the Adelaide fair months ago. I've really been wanting to spin it up, and I've been saving it for socks. It will be (when I get to that stage) my first attempt at Navaho plying. I've only just started, barely covering the bottom of the bobbin, but the colours are simply magnificent, and perfect for socks just as they are. I just can't see plying them the regular way and "barber polling them. They are too pretty for that. And right now, they are an "easy spin" which is just what I need right now to keep my nerves from exploding...or worse yet, imploding. I'm managing to get a nice thin (but strong) single out of it so far.

And here's a shot of it on the wheel...you can see the pretty roving by the wheel:

Last but not least, I have finished the left front piece of the "Bustaroony Cardi" only today, and it's looking good! Not the best picture here, but the stitchwork is good, and it's spot on row for row with the back piece, which is always a pleasure.

I've also knit up the inner pocket for the right front side today, and a few rows on the main piece so that it will be ready to go to work with me tonight. But in the meantime, which watching my TV shows tonight, I'll be back to spinning on that lovely roving.

I've also aquired a knitting friend through Ravelry who lives near by, and we are having fortnightly get togethers to spin, chat, knit, fibre prep...whatever. I'm really enjoying the company. It's wonderful to be around like minded people.

Oh, and on a shopping trip Sunday, I picked up the interchangeable knit picks set from The Button Bar in Adelaide arcade (off of Rundle mall). My original interest there was buttons, of course, and she has plenty of those to be sure, but when I found out she sold knit picks, well, then I have to pay her regular visits.

On my "to do" list in the near future: Can't wait to get that carder in. I'm also in the market for a portable spinning wheel, but no big hurry there. A DIY hackle and diz are on the agenda for sometime in the future, as well as learning how to use my combs better (although I am making some progress, and will post some pictures as soon as I get it right). Plus, I need some socks on the needles, but I'm tossed up between a couple of patterns I've seen in Interweave. No big hurry there though, as I'm enjoying the progress I'm making on the Bustaroony Cardi, what with it being my only WIP at the moment.

We're also planning our trip to this years Bendigo Sheep and Wool show, and of course, I can't wait. And in the works is a possible trip to Tennessee to visit my family around Christmas, but that's very early in the works.

That's all for now. Have a great week!

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