Sunday, January 3, 2016

A better than usual holiday.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to everyone.

The time has rolled around once again for me to make my yearly appearance on this blog.

Usually this involves me discussing how I totally am going to blog regularly this year I really promise.

This year I have no illusions. In all reality, I only post when I either remember I actually have a blog, or have something really cool to share.

Today's post falls into category number 2.

Christmas was very good to me this year.

While I got some gorgeous yarn and a new sewing book pre-ordered, those are standard for my Christmases. This year was SO MUCH BETTER. I got a spinning wheel.

Let me give some backstory.

I have been a knitter since I was 4 off and on. When I really got into knitting in 2003, I found a number of very fabulous knit blogs that I followed and checked with a frequency that would frighten some people.

Many of these bloggers were spinners, and I thought it was neat, but I wasn't sure it'd ever be something I would do.

I bought myself a drop spindle (basic beginner wooden top whorl) in about 2006, and struggled with it.

I just couldn't get the spinning and drafting rhythm down. I'd just be starting a good draft and the darn spindle would lose all it's momentum. So I put it away.

I couldn't get spinning out of my head, and started to dream of owning a wheel. My thought process was that if I could do the spinning with my feet, I could then concentrate on the drafting with my hands.

One year I saw a beautiful traditional spinning wheel in the window of a second hand store for $100, which I thought was a good price, but I had no job, no money, and less time. Every time we drove by I'd check the window though, and was sad when it finally did disappear.

I don't even know if that one was functional.

This past summer I was out with my mother in a small town near me. She wanted to check out an antique store, and they just happened to have a spinning wheel out front, but it was missing the flyer and bobbin and probably some other parts my inexperienced eyes didn't know about.

I asked the owner if he had the parts elsewhere, but he didn't, so I didn't bother inquiring about the price. Though I did mention in passing to my mother that I would love a spinning wheel, y'know, when I won the lottery.

Mom asked for my Christmas list, and I always put things on that I think there's no chance in me getting (because if you put impossible things on a wishlist it makes the almost impossible things look like better options :P). This year included a spinning wheel "Not actually expecting this, but may as well put it here".

I would later find out Mom had already procured my spinning wheel by the time she got my list.

Now that I've gone through all that, let's get to what you really want to see: The Wheel!

These are the first shots I got of it, right after I got it. The information I have on this spinning wheel is what was told to my step-father when he took it to a spinning wheel expert who's local to get the drive band fixed and make sure it actually worked.

This spinning wheel was made in Quebec sometime in the late 1800's or early 1900's.

From my further research I think it may be a CPW or something close. From these pictures, I was told it may be a hybrid. I did measure the wheel and it's 26.5".

The wheel was delivered to my house today, so I got some close up pictures. Any thoughts on if it's a CPW or other tilting tension wheel I fully welcome.

She needs to be cleaned and oiled, both things I need to research before I attempt.
 I'm surprised all the hooks are still on the flyer, and the maiden bearings are actually leather.
The drive wheel itself is flat with no grooves in the side, and again is 26.5" in diameter.
The footman is slightly bent, which I think contributes to the fact that the wheel prefers to spin counter clockwise. I can get it to spin clockwise, but it fights it at first. 
The wheel was painted at some point in its past so any maker's mark is covered. I think I can see some markings under the paint on the bench here, but the light wasn't good enough to catch it in the picture. 
The peddle is what originally had me thinking it matched the CPW's I saw pictures of, but now I'm not so sure. 
There is some crack damage to the bench. The cracks appear to have had some attempted repairs done before being painted over.
There are a few chips to the wheel, but not much. The main challenge I've found so far with my practice treadling is that the drive band likes to hop out of the left channel and have both portions in the right. Not sure if that's due to the small wobble the wheel has or if I don't have the band set up correctly.

Now I just have to connect with the spinning guilds in the area and learn how to use this beauty.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Current WIP and a Magazine Review

It's amazing, if you want to have a blog that people read, you need to put out content. So, my goal is to try and put up a post per week, but as has already been seen by my previous track record, I'm really not good at keeping goals.

For now, lets get into a pretty.

This is a (as the Knitmore Girls say) a knitting attack. I got this yarn in November as a birthday present. It is Regia Fluromania, but I don't have the numbers right now as the ball band is at home.

I started these socks as soon as I got it, which is the sock at the top. These were going to be Bavarian socks from the Vogue Sock Knitting book (which I also don't have with me...). I'm glad I decided to try it on before I got too far into it, because due to the cable and twisted stitches I should have bumped up my needles a size or two. It's just a bit too small to fit over my heel.

So I pulled the needles out of it, and started another sock from the other side of the ball. The new sock is the one on the bottom, and it is the Mile High Club socks, which currently fit wonderfully and the cable pattern is beautiful and interesting enough to keep my attention.

I've just turned the heel (and did an Eye of Partridge Heel for the first time) and am no working on the gusset. I'm going to try my hand at Kitchenering again, when I get to it, I've been doing toe up socks for years due to my previous hatred of Kitchener stitch, but realized that my sewn bind of that I've been doing is basically a half Kitchener. So I'm sucking it up and trying my hand at it again.

In my last post I had a shot of the current version of Interweave Knits, and I've decided to give it a review. IK is one of my favourite knitting magazines, and is the only one I have a subscription to. I tend to wear them down with repeated readings and quite often go through them 4-5 times in the first week before I see everything.

In this case it's a good thing, because my first time through I really wasn't impressed.

Now then, step one to me getting an IK is to flip to the back page. My favourite part of any edition is the Ravelings story at the back. This time was no exception! I loved reading Mary Jane Mucklestone's story, and am surprised that I'd not yet heard of Helene Magnusson (sorry for lack of accents, my computer is being stupid). For me, these little tales are worth the price of admission for any IK.

The product reviews, mill tour, and yarn comparison are all lovely, but let's face it, it's the patterns that are the good stuff.

Section Hike

When I first flipped through this group of patterns I was really 'meh', mainly, I think, because I'm not big on head bands and kerchiefs and such.

Going through it again, I found myself drawn to the Highlands Headband and Figure 8 Head Scarf. Though the Figure 8 I most likely wouldn't wear as intended.

The Olympia Headband isn't for me, it's cute though, and I might make one for someone else. The Berkshires Band is definitely my favourite of the head things. I'd probably make it in wool and wear it in winter.

The Appalachian Thermal is cute, but not one I'm likely to knit, mainly due to the seed stitch.

The Bartram Vest is going in my queue, it's cute, has simple looks, and all in one construction is really something that catches my eye. The zipper is the only drawback for me personally, but that's because I'm horrible at installing zippers.

The Mount Robson Pullover is a definite 'to make' for my husband. It's the perfect type of sweater for him, I just have to find the right wool (as in, one that doesn't have mohair and make him break out into a rash).

Wild Bouquet

This section had a lot more that caught my eye, in fact the only ones I know for a fact that I won't knit are the Clove Hitch Tee (I don't like the off the shoulders style), and the Dianthus Cardigan, due to the different lengths between fronts and backs, though I do like the look of the stitch pattern and may edit the pattern to level out the hem if I find the right yarn.

The hat and two shawls are lovely. I really do enjoy knitting shawls, though my friends and loved ones tell me I look old lady-ish when wearing them.

The Wildflower Bolero is an instant fav, and possibly a good way to use up single balls of yarn by alternating stripes rather than using a self striping yarn.

Local Colour

The first time I flipped through this section, the three patterns didn't really do anything for me, but on second and third viewing, they have grown on me. While none of the sweaters would be appropriate for work, I can tell you they would get a lot of wear at home. They all look incredibly comfortable, and while I would likely choose different colours, are all sweaters I would be grabbing for instead of my hoodies.

Home & Hearth

I may have already pulled out the yarn and needles for the Cottage Baby Blanket (though I've not cast on yet as I want to finish my socks first). I'm not pregnant, but I am starting to knit baby things to put in a hope chest (because hopefully in the next few years). This blanket is definitely one I'm making for the chest. I'm not sure I have enough of the white yarn to do the whole blanket, but I think the edging is one I can easily do in another colour and still have it look nice.

The I-cord pot holders are interesting, but not really something I would make.

Overall, while my first impression wasn't the greatest, I've now come to find a number of projects that I would love to make and wear. I still have yet to get a copy of IK that I haven't enjoyed thoroughly.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Of Tumblr, hobby stores, and craft room relocation

So, while I am the most horrible blogger in the history of blogging (I have given up ever, EVER, being a regular blogger), I do still enjoy putting posts out periodically to talk about what I'm up to and such.

Thing the first is Tumblr. I have become sucked into the lovely black hole that is the Tumblr role play community. This is a microblogging social media site, where I basically do shared story writing with other members. What was originally a character that I thought would get about 10 other people who would enjoy writing with me, I am apparently rather fun to write with as I have over 300 followers and (on a slow day) 30 threads awaiting replies.

This is sucking up the most of my internet time, though I am enjoying it immensely and my creativity juices have been reignited.

Thing the second (which is sucking up a lot of my craft and off internet time), is our local hobby store. Now, this is not a knitting or crafty store, I use Hobby very appropriately. This is a store with board games, plastic models, card games (like Magic: the Gathering, and Pokemon), etc. Originally this was a store where C and I frequented (he is one who quite enjoys playing Magic, and I am one who likes painting miniature models and board games). Over time, we became volunteers at the store, and this past January, C became a full time employee.

The hobby store has basically become a home away from home for me. I continue to volunteer and am a very active part of the store (which is cool because a lot of these types of stores don't usually have a large female customer base, but ours does, and that's partly because the owner has women helping behind the counter).

I run a lot of the card tournaments, make bags to hold the dice and tokens for some bags, and play in a number of events as well.

However! I have been listening to the Knitmore Girls podcast lately and have got my mojo working again.

You can see in the photo above, the start of the Mile High Club Socks in a wonderful neon yarn whose ball band I do not currently have on me. Yes I am a child of the 90's.

I also just got my new Interweave Knits magazine, which I am very much looking forward to going through.

Along with the mojo returning, I have been working on setting up my craft room, it's now in the basement, with the sewing machine in the living room. I have the majority of my fabric put away, and now have to dig through my yarn and get it put into its cupboards. I have a thought that I may go through and take pictures to put on Ravelry as I'm putting it all away.

We'll see if I am actually ambitious enough to do that.

With that, I'll say farewell until the next time I remember that I have a blog and come back to post an update.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone.

It is currently 8:45 am and I have been knitting since 3:30 am. I have just finished the socks below for Grandpa, which is the final Christmas gift that I had to create:

These beauties are my standard toe up sock pattern in Patons Kroy Sock in the Eclipse Stripes colourway,

Grandpa is diabetic and has circulation problems, so he has sworn off all other socks except the ones his granddaughter (me) knits for him.

With this done, I have started looking towards next year and my plans for crafting and blogging.

I will be doing a Christmas gift round up sometime this weekend. I also have a few new challenge ideas for myself, and a few weekly or biweekly posts that I will be looking at putting up.

These will all be discussed anon as I have to get the hubby up so we can head to Christmas with Grandpa.

Look forward to a bunch of new posts and some series of pretties!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

So... about that blogging thing.

Hello internet!

It's amazing what can happen in a year (well... technically nine months).

Apparently one of those things is not writing in my blog. Hey, I never said I was good at this thing.

So here's a photo dump of the last number of months, with a bit of explanation included.

We had a very lovely, appetizer filled Christmas and New Years with friends.

We got just a bit of snow in January.

February was so cold that Peari decided being on TOP of the heater was the best place to be.

My friend Alex came out from BC, and we geeked out together as we always do.

 I started making dice bags for my local hobby store. They're not a million dollar maker, but the guys like them.

 I went to a 90's themed birthday party where I was the only person who had actually been a TEEN in the 90s.

My Craft room is getting an upgrade. Since these pictures were taken all my fabric stuff has been put away. The yarn still needs to be taken care of, but all in due time. The bedroom set is my corner side find (I love freebies!!) The armoire is holding all my fabric and the dresser is where my sewing patterns are kept.

Alex came out again in May and we went to Anime North as a couple of cats. (I'm the one on the right).

I started working on the wig for my next costume, but it got put on hold for other projects.

In April we had a bit of a car accident, nothing too serious, but our backs were out so we couldn't deal with the yard. Some of these weeds were higher than my shoulder and required a hack saw to cut down. Thankfully I had the help of my friend to get it all done. 

For our next convention, the husband grew out his beard for a costume that he decided to be without any coercion from me. It was quite nice having Wolverine about the house for a month, especially when he tried to pretend he was grumpy. 

 And now we're up to present. Alex, Cindy, and me as Flotsam, Ursula, and Jetsam. This was the main project that I paused my wig for and we had a blast.

I'm currently working on a knit blanket for a coworker of mine who just had pretty heavy back surgery, and I will show pictures once I remember to take them before it gets dark.

So that's 9 months in review, and with luck, I'll be able to keep on top of things a bit better for the rest of the year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Back from Oblivion

Wow, ok, so yeah, I'm a horrible blogger... I kind of let this really slide and such, but I'm going to try to keep better track of the stuff I'm working on.

For starters, I need to go back and see what finished items I've posted on here, and then update that.

Then I need to take stock of my Wall of Shame and continue with it (it got a little side tracked for Christmas knitting).

And then I need to show you my pretty new book I got for Christmas, and the challenge I would like to do in the next couple of years.

With it being the first day of 2014, there is so much potential. I'm not going to say I'm going to be a constant blogger... every time I've tried I've failed. But I will attempt to write here more often. At least when I've finished something or done something cool.

Onward to the future!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ever make a life changing decision and then kind of regret it

Good morning,

So first off, in the fibre world, my sweater is in time out. I finished the arms, but I've decided that since I have plenty of extra yarn, I'm going to pull out half of the sleeves and increase the width a bit more. The arm holes are a bit smaller than I like so I was trying to make the sleeves to match, but I've decided that they need to be a bit wider to be comfortable.

In other news, I've started a life change (the one I reference in the title). I'm doing a 30 day challenge that is offered on A very intense personal trainer work out series for 30 days. We'll see how well I did. Yesterday was day one and I'm about ready to keel over, but I have day 2 tonight.

I only regret it because of the pain I'm in, and that pain is really just because I've done NOTHING since I had surgery in June. Here's hoping this kicks my butt back into gear.

I'm also trying to pump more veggies in my diet and such.

We'll see how this goes.