So! I got the new wheel!
It’s pretty much a blank slate right now. I’m so used to looking at the bling and chainmail and Christmas lights on the Babe that, even though the Louet is nicer to spin on, I kind of missed the atmosphere. So I’m trying to decide how I should decorate the wheel. I pretty much want to cover the wheel on the side that faces me with bling. I’m thinking something Bollywood-esque. Unfortunately, I don’t really see a way that I could easily attach lights to this one. It’s going to require a lot of thought, because I kind of don’t want to screw it up. So I may get out the blinger later on tonight and see how easily the rhinestones adhere to one of the bobbins. If they don’t stick, I’ll have to change gears entirely.
The first thing I spun on the Louet was this:
It’s a 3 ply yarn, something I don’t do a lot of (mostly out of laziness), called Barndance. What I like about 3 ply yarns is how round they are, compared to two ply. I don’t know what I’m going to make out of it yet. I could always do a hat. Now I’m thinking if I had a lot more of it, I could make some type of long, funky cardigan thing with big fat cuffs to wear outside in autumn. This seems entirely plausible to me, even though I’ve never knitted anything like that before, and I don’t have any more roving of this color. I think I’ve still got the recipe, tho. Now the thought is there and it’s going to haunt me. It’s the Ghost of Knitting Future.
Because this post is pretty much all about the acquisition of stuff and the wanting of more stuff (what could be more American?), here’s what else I got along with the wheel yesterday. A swift! Believe it or not, I didn’t have one. Which is a damn shame, since most of the yarn I have (both Cider Moon yarn and the stuff I happen to spin or dye myself, in addition to commercial yarn I have) is in skein form. So, I finally have a swift now, which is really cool. It’s been a total pain for me to try and wind balls, and I hope having a swift will get my butt in gear to start doing some weaving. I have a ton of yarn I want to weave with, and it’s all in skein form. So over the next few days I’d like to ball some of it up so it’s ready to be used.
I started balling stuff up today, starting with my 115 gram ball of hand-dyed tussah silk laceweight. 1,250 yards. Yeah, that took a while. Anyway, the swift is nice. A little creaky, but nice.
I also ordered some weirdo fibers. There are some I think I can go ahead and use either by just spinning them or combining them with other fibers on the hackle, but I got things to be used on a drum carder. You know, whenever I wind up with one. Anyway, I got some mohair (which Travis thinks feels like a goat), alpaca (ditto), and ramie, which Travis thinks feels nice. I’m honestly not even sure how to dye the ramie. I think with cotton dyes? I’ll look it up before I do anything with it. Those are the fibers that I can go ahead and use right now without any problem. The ones that I think are going to be best carded into something is the sparkle fiber (Louet’s sparkle fiber is weird – it comes in locks, basically, and is kind of crunchy, but becomes really soft and shiny after it’s carded) and the tussah silk noils, which basically just kind of looks like a big beige matt. I’m really interested to see how they dye, and also how they spin – I’m sure it’s going to be really uneven and slubby, because as is, the whole thing looks like a mess o’ slubs. I may have to dye some up over the weekend and break out the handcarders because I’m really curious. The noils were really cheap, so I bought 2 pounds of them, so hopefully I like to spin with them!
So I got the wheel and the swift. Check. I’m still planning on getting a drum carder at some point – ideally, I would like to get one before the end of the summer. There are these shelving units from Crate and Barrel that I desperately need for my bedroom – we’ve had all of our books in a wall of cardboard boxes since I went through them all last summer. And you know, even though I don’t read all that much anymore, I’m thinking I would probably read more if I could get to any of my damn books already! The shelves look really cool, too. So that’s on the list as well.
It’s not a really long list – a drum carder and some bookcases – but it grew by half after I started visiting this website. The front page doesn’t look very impressive, but this guy is my new guru. When he says at the top of the page, “Everything I Know About Making Pictures” the dude does not lie. There’s about 12 tons of camera and photography related information at his site, including camera reviews, why the whole “more megapixels are better!” thing is just so the camera manufacturers can get you to spend more money, and how to do all sorts of things in Photoshop. Just from looking at his site (and not even very much of his website, at that) I feel like I’ve learned so much in the past few days. And not just that, because of a mention of ‘Batch’ in regards to Photoshop, I was able to cobble together enough information to figure out how batch resize and save web-quality photos. That may not sound like much, but that’s something that can take me *hours* (or at least, 15 minutes, depending on how many photos I’m working with) when I’m trying to get a shop update together.
Plus, I’ve always been interested in photography. I know frighteningly little about the technical side, but I know I enjoy taking pretty photos. 🙂 So, the third item on the List of Things I Want Now, Please, is this. The Nikon D40. It’s a digital SLR with amazingly good reviews everywhere I’ve looked. It seems like it can do everything I’d like it to do to start with, and then if I get to where I actually know what I’m doing, I can get more fancy shit for it. Plus, my buddy Ken has already written an extensive online ‘How to use the D40’ manual. So I can’t go wrong!
There’s been talk by the husband of getting this for me for my birthday, which is coming up. It’s pretty expensive (for us, not for how good of a quality camera it is, though. It’s cheap for that), but it’s one of those things where I use a camera pretty much every day of my life. So, it’s more than a toy, it’s an appliance! That just about justifies it in my head.