Monday, April 24, 2006

Back to the Grind

Back to school and back to weekend classes, so the loom sits - still partially threaded. I have been able to finish one sleeve on Whitby and I'm heading down the other.

I ended up spinning all the tussah on one bobbin

and I'll ply it with some lovely purple corriedale.

I should have enough for a scarf and I have some green and purple beads that would look cool with it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Why a Trapeze?

Rob asked, "Why a trapeze?" I wanted to address some tension problems I have when I wind longer, finer warps. I wouldn't use this for wool blankets, in fact, I don't know if it's going to be any better or not. I just like trying new techniques. Becky's Väv Stuga has a little video that illustrates the trapeze.

I started out with six bouts of 80 threads and used a half gallon milk jug partially filled with water. Each jug weighed ~3.5 lbs. That proved to be too heavy and the warp wasn't moving!

After combining two bouts on each jug things started to move along. So well, in fact, that I forgot to notice that the jugs were at the top. Luckily nothing dropped because I would have had water all over me and the loom.

For the last couple of yards I weighted the warp over the breast beam.

After I run a few errands I'll thread and sley and see how it works. If I like it, the next time I'll use 20 oz. water bottles for the weights. The milk jugs, no matter how well I washed them, were a little funky smelling. Just another reason I'm glad I noticed before the lids got knocked off!

For short warps, or when designing in the reed, I still like the F2B method I learned from Tom Knisely at The Mannings. He has an instructional video that is the front to back method part of the chain warping class I took a few years ago.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

No Men Flying

but I did get the trapeze up today!

I tested the way the warp would go with a dowel before screwing in the hooks. Here's the yarn showing how the weighted warp will be coming up over the trapeze, under the breast beam, through the angel wings and then either through a rough sleyed reed or the raddle, before being wound on the warp beam.

I used 1 1/2" pvc with a screw eye through a bolt, through the pvc, and a lock nut at the bottom. After I made the niddy noddy I thought that pvc would be a better choice than a sanded dowel. We'll see about that. I can always change it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Whitby Progress

Claudia's pattern drafting is perfection! The gussets under the arms allow the drop sleeve to fit perfectly. It's big, but I only have a thing pj top underneath. I'll make sure I have, ahem, more support for the final photo. I can tell this will be a much loved, much worn sweater. I also love that I'll only have a few ends to weave in when the sweater is finished. How cool is that?

I received many comments about not spending too much time cleaning up. However one of the problems with a messy house is that you know you have equipment but somehow you can't find it. That's the case with my beautiful Kromski niddy noddy. Since I only have four bobbins for my new wheel this posed a problem. I crushed the scrap of foam board seen in the background while winding off one bobbin. I located my skein winder, but it was far back in the nether regions of my fiber storage room, locked in by bags of fleece. I was, however, able to find some pvc and T connectors and these plans. Works for me!

This is a very loosely spun Romney/mohair blend. I spun two bobbins while testing out the wheel. I'm going to use it for fulled mittens or a bag so the inconsistencies will disappear.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Speeding Things Up

This is only the first coat. I did cut in with a brush, but before I put on the second coat this afternoon I'll make sure to get into the places the roller skimmed over. I've been watching Fresh Coat and picking up lots of tips. One is to use a mini roller when doing shelves. Maybe it's obvious to others but I just never thought of it. I picked up a 6" roller/pan combo yesterday at Home Depot and used it today.

This summer I've got a lot of 6 panel doors to paint and I'm definitely getting the 3" one for that. They recommend using the foam roller for the final coat. What's painting a cabinet have to do with my previously listed plans? If I get this finished by tomorrow, when both of my sons are off work, they will be able to move Josh's huge tv up into his bedroom, clearing out one of the 3 tvs in the living room. Maybe I forgot to mention that Josh brought home 2 tvs when he moved back home in February. So my living room has three tvs and two spinning wheels. I put the Joy in its travel case and stowed it in a corner in the dining room. They'll put the other tv in the basement this weekend. So it really is part of the plan. A more peaceful spinning room.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


We have a short spring break this year but I have big plans. I'm sure I'll be sitting here Monday night bemoaning all I didn't get done. First thing - clean the dining room and maybe under all those papers I'll find my my blanks and get started dyeing. I also want to dye some fleece from Marie.

I'm up to the shoulders of Whitby. Next is picking up stitches and knitting the sleeves. Hope we have a few cool days in May so I can at least put it on for a few hours.

I've been having fun playing with the new Saxony. I usually like scotch tension, but I seem to be gravitating towards double drive with this wheel. This is some lovely hand dyed tussah Vee sent me. As you can see, I still haven't finished the bobbins. Now that my new spinning chair arrived I guess I'll get the tung oil out again.

Over a month ago I started winding a warp for some log cabin towels (good thing I have my notes stuck under the reel). With any luck I can finish winding and get that on the loom. There are so many other things: gut the house, clean up the gardens, but let's get real.

Let the games begin!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

This is Going to Take a Little Practice

And the winner is .... Scotch tension. Although drinking Scotch while spinning my undies dry is a viable alternate!

Here it is set up for the Scotch tension. From what I've gathered (to say Gord Lendrum's instructions are succinct is an understatement) you can use the drive band doubled when using Scotch tension and just separate it for double drive. I'm trying that next. As you can see I didn't finish any of the bobbins or the lazy kate. Now that I'm using it I can see that I should take off the flyer base and finish under that too, but it can wait until school gets out.

What will take a little adjustment is how slowly I need to treadle. This has a 28" wheel - I'm used to a much smaller wheel and single treadle so needless to say I had some pretty tightly spun yarn at first. I hope I don't get so relaxed I fall asleep.

Just because I love the stuff so much .....

You Are a Double Espresso

Hey Energizer Bunny Girl! Do you ever slow down?

You're a mix of high energy and ambition, perfectly matched with strong espresso

When you want something you get it - by any means possible

You're driven, determined, and no nonsense. Which is just how you like your java.

It's pretty accurate. I will add milk, but never flavors or sweeteners.