Archives

The Acadian Wheel Spins!!

Hello 🙂

acadian wheel project 085

I am so happy! I’ve been working on finishing the restoration of the Acadian Wheel – I made her new leather flyer bearings, new axle bearings (also from leather, soaked in water and shaped into a ‘u’ shape and allowed to dry in place with the wheel in place as well), tied on a (temporary) string footman and figured out how her alignment works!

So, how she looked when she had her first (undrilled) bearing made, and all fitted…
acadian wheel project 031

I discussed making that bearing here, using shoe leather and an old belt…I ended up dying it with leather dye, after creating a hole for the orifice, using first a drill and then carving it a little bigger…

acadian wheel project 037

acadian wheel project 042

I used a bit of belt leather, dyed it with leather dye, for the back bearing – you can kind of see it (undyed) in this picture…

acadian wheel project 045

acadian wheel project 057

Since she was flyer and bobbin-less when she came to live with us, my Vezina Slider has graciously offered to share her flyer and bobbin. She very wisely realised that I can only spin on one wheel at a time. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a suitable replacement.

She has no tensioning system so I had to figure out a way around that. I’ve made the back maiden (which holds the flyer with a leather bearing) the mobile maiden so that the flyer can be removed by removing a peg and twisting the maiden. The leather bearing itself I made with longer ‘tails’ than usual to allow the bearing to slip forward, in order to allow me to tie on the drive band and then, by pulling it back towards the maiden, to adjust tension on that band. I then used a square nail (one of the many ‘bits’ from the wheel that are left over) to wedge between the two ‘tails’, from the back of the maiden, in order to hold the leather in place where I put it. I think, in theory, this will allow me to somewhat tension the wheel.

acadian wheel project 081

It turns out, with this flat rim wheel, that the angles are all important. The wheel was made with large pegs that fit into the wheel uprights, beneath the table. These, it turns out!, adjust the angle of the wheel, allowing you to line it up with the flyer properly. I have managed to make her work as a double drive wheel – which I believe she always was, judging by the double groove worn in the wheel rim.

One of the pegs was missing so I used the existing one as a pattern…and a bit of old lath, lol – we’re doing some renovating. I had to wittle the lath down because it was a little too thick at first…

acadian wheel project 049

You can see, in this picture, how the uprights are not in a straight line – they help the wheel align with the flyer…

acadian wheel project 056

The angle looks like this…

acadian wheel project 076

acadian wheel project 077

Advertisements

A Little Shetland Lace Cardigan

Using my handspun!

Remember the shetland fleece I bought earlier this year?
100_2590

I washed it, combed it – seperated the down coat from the coarse outer coat, and spun the down into a nice, lofty two ply.

handspun shetland

I wanted a little sweater – it’s really soft and I’m not overly sensitive to wool anyways. The Sylph Cardigan by Robin Melanson (Interweave Knits) was perfect. Or at least close to perfect! I downsized it, one size. I also continued the lace pattern throughout and knitted on the neckband rather than sewing it on later. I reshaped the sleeves a bit when downsizing. I like them well fitted.

100_2737

I love how it turned out!

100_2830

Washing Wool

100_2588

I washed/am washing the shetland fleece indoors since it’s not exactly balmy outside this week in ontario.

I began with soaking the fleece, in parts, in tubs in cold water – changing the water as it dirtied and warmed. I’ve still got a little in a cold bath that started soaking the first day. I think extra days make it easier to clean.

Next, I used this method of hot water wash. My soap is a presidents choice aromatherapy dishsoap – it smells like lavender.

100_2587

The wastbasket was a stroke of genius – we found it at the second hand store for 75 cents! It works as the perfect colander. I used an old tupperware bowl for the wash, the metal bowl for a drain to set the basket in.

Each batch got two soapy soaks and two or three rinses in nearly boiling water. In the interest of saving water I use the last rinse as the first soapy soak for the next batch (and make the last rinse very quick to prevent significant cooling). I used a couple of towels and rolled each batch, squeezing out most of the water and laid them out on my sweater drying rack (in the livingroom).

100_2590

As the fleece dried, I seperated it into locks…

100_2592

By starting at the tips, it was pretty easy to seperate. Dirty tips aren’t so bad, lol….they help the fleece stay together and (mine) combed out easily later.

100_2593

100_2591

100_2579

I’ve still got a third of a fleece to do…

I’ll be the lady in the kitchen 🙂

It’s Here!

100_2511

I picked up my fleece this morning at the post office. Good thing too…now it looks like it’s going to pour rain today! It came in a pretty small box, it’s amazing how well they vacuum packed it.

100_2513

About 4.5 pounds of raw charcoal/black shetland fleece from Devine West Ranch in New Brunswick, Canada.

Couldn’t help it – had to see! – so I’ve let it stretch a little in a smallish bin in the living room until the kids get home for lunch. I want to let them share in this whole thing – it’s a real learning experience for all of us and I’ve always been craft mama with them 🙂

100_2515

It fluffed right up and it’s not nearly fully ‘fluffed’…

100_2517

100_2518

I can see some finer fleece as well as some coarser and there seems to be a variety of browns/blacks within the fleece. I’ll be able to say more once I stretch it out (planning to use an old sheet for that!) and have a better look. Doesn’t look like too much hay or other fun stuff in there but again, I need a better look.

I’m all excited and intimidated at the same time, lol! Wish me luck 🙂