Fiber Friday on Craftster is always really fun – of course, the day I decide to link to it is a really slow day. I think a lot of people are saving up their roving to spin during Le Tour de Fleece. I didn’t have much, just these three random skeins I plied together trying to get some of the weird stuff off my bobbins.
I’m still in a bit of spinning limbo right now, which is kind of where I was last summer at this time. A year ago I was still using my drop spindle, but was hoping that I would be able to get a wheel soon (and Travis got me the Babe for my birthday, which was awesome). Now, this year, I’ve got the S10 on order, although I’m not sure when it will arrive, and I’m kind of ambivalent about starting anything on the Babe. Which is kind of ridiculous, since it’s not like I can’t ply stuff together using different bobbins.
There are some things I really like about the Babe. The first is the rampant use of velcro everywhere, which is ingenious to me, especially the small bit of velcro that is placed directly below the orifice, so you can stop spinning and just velcro your fiber at your stopping place. Brilliant! The other really cool, really simple thing about the Babe is the fact that their lazy kate is essentially holes drilled into the PVC base at an angle, and small dowel rods sticking up from them. You can just place your bobbins on the dowel rods and ply without any problem at all.
The S10 comes with a 2 bobbin lazy kate, but I’m thinking that if I want to spin 3 ply or more yarns, I’ll just take a page from Babe’s book and rig something really cheap (yet effective!) together.
So, I’m anxiously awaiting the S10, but I’ve got other spinning plans on my agenda. The first is a new and improved DIY hackle. The one I’m using right now consists of 5 plastic picks and works pretty well, but I’ve always wanted to try it with metal picks – but for whatever reason, I couldn’t find any metal ones around me. Kristy actually did make one with the metal picks, using 8 of them, and she graciously offered to swap me an additional 8 for some fibery goodness. They arrived a few days ago, and as soon as I (or really, Travis, because he’s going to be the one doing this, probably) get a chance, they’re going to become a brand new shiny hackle for me. I like how Kristy made hers, I think the only change I would make is to just cut off all the ends of the picks with a table saw, so that the hackle can lay flat and be clamped directly to a table top.
And finally, I want a drum carder. I mean, I have utter and complete serious drum carder lust. I think the one I’m going to wind up with is this – I definitely would take a fancier, bigger model, but don’t think I can justify that amount of money on it right now.
So I’ve got spinning on the brain, obviously, which is kind of funny, considering how little actual spinning I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been in a knitting mode for so long, and I’m distracted by all of this impending equipment, that I just need to get my act together, pick out some roving, and make some damn yarn already.
I’m about 4/5 of the way done with the sock that’s knit primarily out of Travis’ hand dyed yarn, and a more dramatic 3 x 1 ribbed sock I have never seen. I’ll get a pic of it tomorrow, but it’s really gorgeous. I wish I had more of this color yarn, since it would make an incredible sweater. I’ll have to see if we can reproduce the color somehow.
We have some random wild berries (blackberries, I think?) growing behind our house. Last year was the first year we noticed them, and we harvested enough of them for Travis to use in one of his beers, which is cool. Today Travis picked the first little harvest:
We tend to have a complete laissez-faire attitude twards most of the plants that grow on our property, to the point where it’s out of control, actually. Sometimes, volunteer maple seedlings need to be cut down. They can’t grow everywhere. But they do, and we’re lazy. But we do have some really cool things growing with absolutely no assistance from us whatsoever, and my favorite is the milkweed:
If you click on the link to this next picture, it’ll take you to its Flickr page. Go to it and view the large (or original) size and see the happy bees:
It’s pretty nice to have bees around, especially with all of the bee colonies dying out. Hopefully we can keep the ones around here happy and healthy.