24 February 2008

New Mini Combs = fibre preparing fun!

I got these cute little mini combs from The Black lamb in Port Hope. Combing fibre is such a nice way to prepare for a worsted spinning technique. I just used a button with a nice sized hole for a diz and some cheap mill ends I also bought from laurie and I got such nice results.

7 February 2008

New sewn Everday Bag!!

Well, my knitting needles and constant use destroyed the tote bag my mom had given me, so I decided to try and sew a more heavy duty and nicer looking one. I just made up a basic tote bag pattern, and decided to spruce the lining up a bit. I added a lined pocket on one side, a divider slot to slide my patterns into and the some slip pockets for scissors and knitting needles. I am not very skilled in the art of applique, but I wanted a cute detail for the front, so I cut out a baby deer shape and clumsily appliqued the shape on. I also wanted to add a zipper, but since I was just la-dee-daa-ing the pattern, it didn't work out. Now I need to make a matching needle roll and wallet.

inner key pocket and pattern slip:

inner slip pockets:

6 February 2008

Wheel Spun!!

Well, I decided to break out my new wheel this past weekend and so far, it's going really well! I've just about filled one bobbin with singles, and as soon as I get another bobbin spun I'll ply them up and see how I did. I've been stopping and starting alot during the spinning, to check the twist against itself, but I've been trying to stop less and less and just trust that I've twisted enough. It's hard to guage, but definitely something that'll come with time. I'm spining up this giant bag of corriedale that I got in Vancouver. It's got a bit of vegetable matter here and there, but I don't really mind since this is wool I'm practicing with anyway. I've been predrafting the sliver and I think this helps a lot. The big birds nest of pre-draft I place in a mixing bowl by my feet and this seems to keep it from running away from me. I'm using a sort of short draw method I think. I probably won't be able to get an actual technique down for quite a while, as I'm just focusing on getting a more balanced single with every draft. I'm spinning on an Ashford Traveller, double treadle, scotch tension and a ratio, I think, of 5.5 to 1. The wheel seems very smooth, and everything seems to be working properly. The only problem I've encountered was that the bobbin sometimes doesn't seem to pull the yarn in, and it's only occasional. I fix it by slightly jiggling the bobbin a couple milimetres over, and that seems to fix it. I tightened the tension on the drive band which also seemed to help a little. After I've plied my first skein, I think I'll go to a faster ratio and see what that's all about!

1 February 2008

Peppermint Handspun

My most recent, and just finished, skein of handspun reminds me of peppermint leaves. yum! It's a skein of 2 ply hand carded green and brown Blue Faced Leicester fleece, spun with no method in particular on my cascade spindle. I guess kind of a woolen short draw if that even exists, or aka, beginner's "i don't really know what I'm doing" method. Either way, I got about 117 yards of yarn that's about sock yarn weight and now I'll have to figure out what to make with my new product! I think the goal for next skein is a thicker even yarn. I don't usually knit with yarn so lightweight. So maybe a thicker single or a thicker 2 ply but balanced instead of thick and thin like the first two.