Monday, December 12, 2011

2 New Tricks

It was a good weekend for crafting.

On Saturday morning I took a class on beginning spinning at The Fiber Universe.  Melinda and Erin (the owners) are so nice.  Melinda got the spinning wheel all set up for me and had me practice each aprt of spinning and then I tried to put it all together.  I forgot to take pictures at the class but, this is what I made:

beginning spinning

Spinning is hard.  I thought it would be a bit easier because all the spinning I have seen looks effortless.  Well it is effortless looking, because those spinners have practiced a lot.  A spinner has to do three things at once.  First the feet must trundle.  This means pressing the trundle or foot lever that makes the spinning will spin.  You have to have the wheel spin at the right speed.  I was really good at trundling fast, but not slow and slow was the required speed.  While your foot (or feet depending on how many levers your spinning wheel has) trundles, your left had holds tension so that the twists enter the roving (the unspun wool).

This is my roving:

beginning spinning

So while the right hand is holding tension making sure proper twists are added to the yarn and making sure the yarn goes on the spindle, the right hand is roving, aka thinning out the roving, so that the yarn can be spun to the thickness you want.

This is a lot going on.  For a while I did the foot part, while Melinda did the hands.  Then we switched so I was doing the hands and she was doing the foot part.  Then, I put it together.  It took the entire two hour class for me to make a wee bit of yarn.  I have a lot more roving left and Melinda was nice enough to say I can come in the shop and use the spinning wheel whenever.

beginning spinning

Leaving The Fiber Universe on Saturday, I thought I'd never want to take up spinning.  It was a bit difficult and requiring too many hours to master at this stage in my life (I do have a three-year-old daughter, husband, dogs, other family, running and reading to think about, let alone knitting and other crafts).  However, since then, I have thought more and more about spinning, excited for the challenge.  I even looked at spinning wheels online today.  They are pretty expensive compared to my other crafting supplies.  Melinda said that a beginner wheel would cost between $200-400, but I would get one used cheaper, if I find a seller.  I am not in the market right now, but if one happened to cross my path in the right condition and price, I may become a spinning wheel owner.

I also found out that Sleeping Beauty could never have pricked her finger on the spindle of the spinning wheel and die because spinning wheels spindles do not have a point.  Melinda told me the whole history.  I am so crushed.

Ok, so I have a second trick.  Also on Saturday I decided to learn to do cables without a cable needle.  I was going on a several hour car ride on Sunday and I figured it would be best to knit in the car without a cable needle.  One less thing to loose, right?  So I watched this video:

Its shocking, right?  Taking stitches off the needles, oh my.  But really after the first few attempts, it goes quite easy.  This method only for cabling a few stitches, three at the most, I would say.  It has been great to cable away without a cable needle.  It is so much faster and less cumbersome.

This is what I am cabling:

antlers scarf

There is a lot of cabling going on so it was almost a necessity I learned to go at it without a cabling needle.

This scarf is a Christmas present so I have to get a move on it.  I might have to finish season 3 of Doctor Who to get this finished up in time.

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