Just a quick note – due to financial reasons, I did not renew the knitsnthings.com domain and this blog is now knitsnthings.wordpress.com. Hopefully links are working – please let me know if anything doesn’t seem to work; I’ve repaired anything I’ve noticed so far 🙂
Good morning! I have the CUTEST little guy to introduce today – his name is Charlie and he is a nine week old shih tzu puppy.
He’s from a local family and is so well adjusted and has settled in with barely a squeak. Yes – he squeaks instead of making more likely ‘dog’ noises at this point. I’m sure he’s going to have lots to say once his voice comes in!
For a little bit of perspective on his size…
His toys are mostly cat, lol – a small beanie stuffed with catnip, a few of those balls with the bells inside and a bunny rattle which the bunny never liked but Charlie thinks is awesome lol.
He even managed the steps up to the deck. Next? Learning how to go down stairs….
Have an excellent day 🙂
Happy New Year 🙂
I haven’t been posting much, I know, but I HAVE been getting things done, which is very unlike me lately….
Despite my ‘sweater guilt’ – caused by my recent inability to finish a full sized project’s – I fell in love with Aidez, a free berocco pattern which I found on Ravelry. Since it requires bulky yarn, I thought I would spin it, of course! I decided on the silver shetland fleece which I bought last year from Devine West Ranch – lovely, soft and I was sure there was enough fleece in the pillow case to make the required approx. 800 metres I wanted (since I am tall and always add a few inches in sleeves and body).
We all know about the best laid plans, right? Yeah. Not nearly enough, I ended up with approximately 400 metres of lovely soft, spun in the grease, bulky shetland yarn. I washed the yarn within an inch of it’s life to get out the lanolin and last bits of straw and then felted it slightly to make a really nice yarn.
Then, of course, I (queen of five or more projects on the go at the same time, lol) decided it was irresistable and knitted the Gap-tastic Cowl with it, a little bit wider than called for, about 16 inches. It’s awesome AND I FINISHED IT IN ONLY A DAY 🙂 LOL, did I mention I finished it? That’s my worst habit lately – not finishing things.
Today’s obsession is to spin up some suffolk fleece into a beautiful soft substitute since I still crave Aidez, lol.
It’s coming out nicely!
Isn’t she lovely? I think so!
Please welcome my newest wheel – another little piece of Canadian fibre art history. She is marked “Aram Paradis” and was made in Quebec in the latter half of the 1800’s. To make her even more special, we purchased her from her original family. A lovely woman sold her to us, after refusing to sell her to someone the seller suspected was an antique dealer, because we would love her enough!
Bless her. She was right though, you know – I really will love her enough 🙂
The wheel belonged to the seller’s great grandmother, who used to spin on her often – I was even given a small amount of cotton sliver which was, according to the seller, her great grandmother’s and what she would commonly spin on the wheel. This same seller has another wheel (her grandmother’s) which is a Canadian Production Wheel, in perfect pristine condition. If she ever decides to sell it, she’s going to call us. I’ll let you know 🙂
It seems she has been modified to work with a spindle – somewhat like a great wheel. What remained of this modification when we got her was the whorl but no spindle piece. There was a second hole drilled (perfectly, might I add) in her mother of all for the front maiden, to facilitate the modification. She looked like this;
First off, she needed a coat of blo/turpentine – the poor baby was parched.
I moved the maiden back to the original hole and made her some new leathers (made from an old full grain leather belt, bonded together for the front maiden to create a sturdy bearing)…
For the back leather, I used a single layer of the same belt leather but since it’s a bit on the stiff/thick side, soaked it in water for a couple hours and then clamped it to create a tight bearing…
My baby had no flyer/bobbin whatsoever so I had to look around the house for something suitable. Thankfully the other wheels LOVE to share. My first attempt was an old lithuanian flyer that I have. Quite sadly (since this is my only flyer without it’s own wheel), it was too short and had some issues with spinning properly – sort of a dud. Second attempt was to try one of the cpw flyers (a Vezina, in fact). This was too long…
At this point it was very ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and, just like in the story, the third try fit just right 🙂 I ended up fitting ‘Grandpa’s’ flyer to her – a very close to perfect fit. In order for it to be a PERFECT fit would mean finding a flyer with about the same length of arms/bobbin BUT with a longer tail end for the back bearing. Since I didn’t have such a flyer, I added a rabbit skin ‘sleeve’ inside the back bearing, to hold the shorter tail end. Grandpa says he’s happy to have helped 🙂
Did I mention her perfect hub?? Really awesome for her age…
She’s stamped but this isn’t the clearest picture…
And in her glory – all glowing and spinning!!
We had a few issues as we began spinning together. I don’t blame her really since she’s not used to working after all these years 🙂 Her treadle kept trying to fall out of the leg nearest the spinner on the wheel end – there was an old injury to that leg and a groove there so I used a bit of belt leather and made a split washer which I placed on the other end of the treadle bar, at the leg closest to the mother of all. This keeps the treadle from moving over as far as it wants and falling out on the wheel side. Also looks very appropriate, which I like 🙂
The cross piece that the treadle sits on is so old and brittle with an old staple repair underneath. It did snap shortly into our spinning together BUT I didn’t want to replace it with a new piece of wood.
Cover your eyes now if you are particular about correct repairs! My solution was to fit the shattered old wood back together underneath and then bond the whole thing back together with some 5 minute epoxy. Yes, a woodworking sin. BUT! She looks original and that was what I wanted. If this doesn’t work in the long run I can always replace the cross bar. I wasn’t approaching the project in terms of resale value but from a working/original wheel perspective.
Finally…my little helper has been by 🙂 I’ve convinced him that the winder is ‘his’ wheel…
He has, however, gotten older and now he has noticed that ‘his’ wheel doesn’t seem to do it right. LOL. He brought his bobbins over to my wheel to see what was going on last time…
He really is the cutest little guy 🙂 Plays piano when he’s not spinning….babies are awesome 🙂
Have a fantastic day!
Another ‘weekend’ for me and I’ve decided to include fleece inventory in my cleaning – more of a thorough spring-type-cleaning than I usually do 🙂 I *think* I’ve gotton most of my clean fleeces together now and WOW – I think I can spin for the next year without really needing to buy anymore, lol. Here’s a pic…
Yep, lol. A little bit carried away. But (in my defense), quite a bit of this was free so how could I help it? 🙂 There is still some awaiting washing, in bins, both alpaca and wool — as well as the bin of clean soft-as-a-babys-skin alpaca, of a much higher quality than the alpaca here in the pillow cases.
Free meat sheep fleece – three bags full! – black, very springy, good for socks/mittens/scarfs and outerwear.
Free meat sheep fleece, I presume suffolk/suffolk cross – both lamb and young adult – great for socks, mittens, outerwear, felting – springy and very white. I have managed to stuff this into one oversized pillowcase and one of those shopping bags. I believe I have more of this if I get around to washing it.
Silver/black and red mohair – great for blending for socks/mittens/outerwear. ‘Nature’s Nylon’
A full bag of mid grade alpaca (free!) which I’ve found is excellent for spinning for mittens and the lighter shades dye wonderfully for stranded colour work. I blend this with wool to give it a little bit of memory. I also have this in two lighter shades….
And yes, there’s more…
This is some Border Leicester that I purchased last year – lovely, long and silky – great for blending for socks or anything where you want to add some silky strength.
This is absolutely lovely silver shetland fleece (about 1.5 to 2 fleeces left) which I absolutely think is a staple fibre. I’ve belended this with so many things! Spins up lovely on it’s own too 🙂
This is probably my current favorite fiber. Purchased from Raspberry Hollow, it is a mixed breed lambswool which I cannot remember, with excellent crimp and beautiful softness. Love it.
And finally – some really wonderful icelandic lamb fiber purchased last year from a local ebay seller. soft and silky!
More to come – I’ve got to see what I’ve got in bins and then there’s going to be the yarn to go through, lol. Oh yes, and the cotton. And the silk. Probably a little bit of superwash merino to rediscover as well…
Happy fiber addictions people! We could do worse things 🙂
NOTE: In the pattern, where I say to disregard row 1, I mean row one (the ‘no stitch’ row) of the charted pattern – I made the chart one row too long. The written pattern is correct as written. Sorry for any confusion! 🙂
I’ve been working on a little personal challenge – my socks are wearing out (they’re handknit so they are all a few years old) and I needed some more. The socks I like, however, are little. Ankle socks. With lace….lots of lace! Of course, as it usually is when one has something definite in mind – I couldn’t really find a pattern I liked for it’s style and pattern.
So – I decided to design some. These are the first and I’ve made the pattern available as a pdf; The Little Summer Lace Socks
They fit really nicely since the lace gives them stretch. The edge sits just below the ankle.
I designed the lace by modifying an existing pattern, “String of Beads” from the book “Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls” by Martha Waterman.
Enjoy, I know I am 🙂
If you are interested in my handspun yarn for sale, please have a look at my HandSpunYarn site.
Have a fantastic day!