Friday, January 21, 2011

Recent obsessions x 3

I completed the fibre kits for the Drop Spindling workshop at Fibreswest and in the process managed to activate my already over excited fibre brain.   

In my usual ADD way, as I was digging through boxes and bins to find llama, alpaca, silk, mohair and good old uncarded wool [all local except for the silk] I also made piles of sock yarn -- to perhaps create a self-imposed sock club like the Yarn Harlot; but then. . . . I started thinking about combining the fingering weight yarns to make thicker yarns and maybe just focus on some scarves like this one:

Then . . . in the midst of all of this comes the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild January Newsletter.  On the very last page was a local ad -- Majacraft Suzie with bobbins -- and it was listed at a terrific price.  It was a friend of mine from the guild, so I called her, had a chat and have arranged to see [and purchase] the wheel on Saturday. 

I have been spinning on an Ashford Traditional -- ever since I started spinning in 2000.  It's a great wheel, very affordable, still being made so you can easily obtain replacement parts, and it's a great looking wheel cause it looks like an old fashioned wheel. 

However, it has one speed -- the speed at which your foot can treadle.  This is fine if you want to make all the same yarn, but when you want to make fine fingering weight sock yarn or even lace weight with silk in it, you have to treadle at breakneck speeds.  That is simply no fun.  The Majacraft has several ratios, like gears, that allow the bobbin to spin at different rates, so your treadling is the same, you just get more bang for your physical efforts.  I am over the moon about this wheel and can't wait to get it tomorrow. 

Then . . . on the bus ride home the other day, I was reading the Yarn Harlot's blog, and absolutely fell in love with the Claudia Skirt [Ravelry link]. At first I thought I could figure it out on my own, after all I've been knitting for years and understand lace and increasing and so forth.  After several days of scratching around on paper and knitting swatches - and banging my head against the desk and throwing the knitting across the room -- I gave up and bought the pattern. 

And that's what I am working on at this moment. 

For now at least. :)

I have dreams of spinning up my lovely grey romney into enough yarn [with my new Majacraft of course] and knitting up the Claudia Skirt in my own -- locally sourced -- handspun. 

Stay tuned.

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