You Spin Me!

img_20170221_155015So, two weeks ago, this happened!

I put a call out on my local Ravelry forum for a rent or rent-to-own spinning wheel and in just a matter of hours, a sweet and generous soul replied to my plea.

IamMo arrived the next Monday with this Lendrum double treadle in tow as well as her identical second wheel and enough fibre to completely cover my dining table. I thought she’d brought it to show me but she brought it for me to spin with!

Spinning looks a lot easier on YouTube.

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Here’s my first mess:

Ugly, isn’t it. I practised 4 hours every day, before and after work.

I am much better and certainly more consistent than what you see here but not as consistent as I aim to be but it takes time and more practise.

 
Here’s where I am today, 2 weeks later, a 2-ply worsted weight (worsted spun) which I can actually knit with!

 

Corriedale fibre is a great beginner fibre, it has a long staple and relatively easy to spin. I think I have enough to actually make a poncho!

Below are photos of some Polworth fibre I spun and plied in my first week, love the colours!

Sockhead Bandwagon

I’ve jumped on the sockhead (slouchy hat) bandwagon. Every (previously) knitted slouchy hat has been too big and falls over my eyes when I bend over to pick up dog poop. (I’m a dog walker, if you didn’t know.)

img_20170205_105836 A silly face, I know but now that I’m older, who am I trying to impress? 😀

I used Lang Mille Colori Baby in the 51 Nebula colourway. Yes, I know it’s superwash, sad, but it was in my stash, forgive me.

Despite being a superwash “wool”, it didn’t have the slippery feeling some do and I joined yarn using the felting method which worked beautifully. Is it possible they didn’t wrap it in plastic?

My neighbour is in love with it so I’ll gift it to her, I’m making another for myself using the left over Nebula with Grapevine, alternating colours every other row.

I have another finish but I haven’t blocked it yet, coming soon…

Real Wool

What have I been doing? Walking dogs and knitting.

I’ve knitted many things in the past two years, shawls, socks, hats & scarves, dishcloths and softies. I’ve also crocheted amigurumi, doilies and dishcloths.  FYI,  I’m TabathaKnits on Ravelry (I haven’t posted everything I’ve made).

wmauMy goal for 2017 is to learn how to spin and one day, hope to own my own wheel, but they’re not cheap! They range in price from $600+ to $1,600 new, and some sure don’t look like the ones our ancestors spun with. They also come in compact sizes which are very portable. Hopefully I can find a used wheel for a fraction of the price.

The one pictured here is out of my price range but I love it, it’s a Majacraft Aura Spinning Wheel and retails for CAD$1,510.

In the meantime, I may have to be content with a drop spindle.

Something else I’ve learned in my knitting journeys, is how toxic the process is to make super wash wool. To the best of my knowledge and from everything I’ve read, it is only done in China. The wool is exposed to chlorine gas which strips the hair of its barbs, then coated in plastic, also known as a polymer resin or Hercosett 215. This is why some super wash wool feels really slippery.  Super wash wool just isn’t wool anymore (IMO). Instead of shrinking after washing, super wash “wool” stretches. All the amazing properties of real wool are eliminated from the fibre.

Before Christmas, I made my sister a hat with super wash (not knowing any better). After I soaked it for blocking, it stretched out to an enormous size, I had to throw it in the dryer but even then it was still too big. Then I made socks and again, they were slouchy, wouldn’t stay up and twisted on the foot.

I have made a pledge to myself, only purchase pure, untreated wool, from local vendors and from mostly Canadian sheep. Of course Yak, alpaca and other natural, untreated fibres are also welcome.

Acrylic yarn almost completely destroyed the wool industry when it came out in the 80’s. I’ll be purging and sending that plastic string off to my local charity shop.

I hope that I’ve helped educate you a little, so the next time you’re in the big box craft store, you’ll think twice before grabbing that acrylic or super wash “wool”. Remember, if the processes to produce super wash wool are so toxic that it can only be performed in China, do you want to have it against your skin or the skin of your baby?

There are many online shops all over the world which offer natural fibres. I have found that real, untreated wool can be in the same price range as synthetics or super wash and are far more environmentally safe.

Look for this symbol when sourcing real, untreated wool.

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I’m back!

Amigurumi Elephant

Amigurumi Elephant

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I blogged last and I apologize! I’ve completely lost my sewing mojo but have rediscovered the knitting bug and although it’s not quilting, I am creating fabric. It can be a slow process but with small projects, it can be quick and fun as well.

I’ve been knitting and crocheting little amigurumi figures and have designed a generic, all-in-one, top down bundle of goodness myself.

I’ve taken a sock knitting class on Craftsy by Lucy Neatby and knit socks for my husband and myself as well as brioche scarves for a friend and my Mother-in-law. There are a ton of new techniques I’ve never heard of like knitting two pairs of socks on one set of circular needles and the “magic ring” in both knitting and crocheting.

Stay tuned if you wish, more to come.

Over a MONTH!

Holy crap, it’s been over a month since I posted last and I don’t even have anything of my own to show you!

However, I did want to share with you another Michelle Patterns $5 Friday yummy!

How cute is this?! I think I have to add this bag to my collection!

If you’re interested in my real life — outside sewing — it’s going great! I’m walking anywhere from 3 to 6 dogs a day and sitting dogs almost every weekend, it’s fun to have a new pup come and live with us for a few days! All have been wonderful!

I’m dreadfully behind in my bee contributions and profusely apologize to my bee mates, I promise I’ll get back behind the sewing machine soon!