Saturday, March 22, 2008

You Put Your Left Foot In........

......and you spin it all about! 

That is what I've been doing for the last few weeks - besides all the other Easter/dance recital/soccer/swim craziness.  I've been trying to improve my spinning skills on my "new-to-me" castle-style spinning wheel.  
It's a lovely, lovely wheel made with beautiful birds eye maple.  

Now I would not have this wheel if not for the wonderful Bobbie of Tiggywinkle Knits and her husband Toolman.  They were going to sell this wheel and knew that I had been eyeing the Craigslist and eBay postings for a reasonably priced model.  Needless to say, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse and this lovely wheel came home with me.  I can't say enough about their generosity.  Thank you so much for thinking of me to be this wheel's new mama.  This isn't just a used is a hand-made piece that Bobbie and Toolman bought from the grandson (!) of the person who made the wheel.  It's notable to mention that this grandson was in his sixties when he sold the wheel.  It wasn't in this good of shape when purchased, though.  Toolman worked his woodworking talents to bring it back to its glory.  And it spins like a dream.  It really, really does :-).  And I have proof (click on image to enlarge). 

First off is two shades of Corriedale roving blended together and then spun.  This, and the rest of the yarn here, was plied end-to-end into 2-ply. 

Next is 100% Merino wool pencil roving in shades of green and turquoise. 

I found some undyed Blue Face Leicester at the Knitting Bee and......

hand dyed it in honor of one of my favorite singers, Mr Robert Plant.  He of the flowing blond locks, faded denim and flower-y man-blouse.   

It spun up and plied very nicely but I think next time (I still have some of this fiber left) I will Navajo ply it to keep the colors truer.  

I have also paid a visit to Northwest Wools in Multnomah Village in SW Portland.  Great, great store with a good variety of fibers.  This little gem is a mixture of bamboo (dark teal and turquoise), Merino wool (chartreuse green), and Angelina sparkle-y fiber (yellow-green).  I mixed all the different fibers by hand to get the colors as evenly dispersed as possible.  
It spun up well but was a little slippery because of the bamboo.  I had enough done to knit this little coin purse.  It's basically a rectangle knitted up in stockinette stitch with decreases on one short end to create the point.  I'm sewing it up the sides and will add a button for the closure.  I think a visit to the Button Emporium is in order. 

Now I'll just have to take my foot off the treadle more often and post more progress.  Luckily, the next several days we'll be home for spring break.  Yea!


Tiggywinkle Knits said...

I am SOOOO glad I offered this to you before putting it on Craigslist! And I'm also glad to see it's getting used by someone who loves it so!

The Knitting Blog by Mr Puffy the Dog said...

Beautiful spinning wheel! BTW, you will have a fabulous time in New Zealand. If you haven't booked all accomodations yet, see if you can arraign for a farm stay (I blogged a little about it previously) as I think the children and you would really enjoy that experience.