Friday, November 28, 2008

New! Improved! and finally photo'd!

I finally have the new spindolyns (the Tenor and the Soprano) up on the knitting any way website!

Yea! I wish that I could find the emails from the spinners who made suggestions of what they would like to see (like a shaft alternative, interchangeable bases like back in the olden days, and shorter so that they would have more clearance) so I could give them credit here for their suggestions, but every time I change computers, emails get lost. If you are one of those, out there, reading this, THANK YOU!
Here is the quickie list of the improvements that can be found in the new models; the Tenor Spindolyn and the Soprano Spindolyn..
  • The ratio of height to weight, and the location along the shaft has been changed, giving a better balance for a longer smoother spin.
  • The over all height is shorter, giving better clearance in low places such as autos, and also reducing arm fatigue.
  • A food grade rubber sheath for the shaft has been added, that is more comfortable for the hands and give a better, non-tangling base for yarn wind on.
  • The density of the new rubber shaft improves balance and actually increases yarn holding capacity.
  • Two new base styles have been added that fit well into a bean bag pouch.
Putting the new version up on the website took longer than I expected because I kept tweaking and spinning...and I was having so much fun spinning that I kept losing track of time.
I am happy now.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (my favorite Holiday because being thankful is one of my favorite themes in general) hope you all have time for some fibery stuff this weekend, too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

one blissful evening

of uninterrupted fibering, that is.

Carded Jacob fleece > to singles >to plyed yarn > to a little woven square, and all before bedtime!! I had sweet dreams.

It started out that I just wanted to "spin" the evening giving the new improved reincarnation of the Alto Spindolyn (reborn as the "Tenor Spindolyn") a full trial.

fiber 047

But I was so happy with what I had spun, that I had to ply it, to get the "full effect" of this Jacob fleece.

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I plyed it back on the Tenor spindolyn after winding the singles off onto center pull ball. It was a balanced ply and just cried out to be used at the minute it was wound off the spindle. What should I knit with this little sample?

My new obsession jumped up and said "use me, use me!"

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The voice was coming from one of those little weave-it looms (it had come to me recently, tucked in a care package from my Sis. )

I had noticed that people get a little wacky over them and I wondered what the big deal was. Till I wove a little square on it. Then another, then another. Yep, I get it now. 'Nuff said about that, you just have to try one to see why they either leave you cold or suck you in to a blissful state of fiber oneness. I think it is because you have a little finished fiber object in less than thirty minutes.

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Anyway, I took the newly plyed Jacob off of the Tenor Spindolyn and wove it into a little square on the little weave-it.

Sigh, no better way to spend an evening.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Sliver and Roving and Batts, oh my!

"Anonymous" commented on my roving photo of the previous post, asking (I think) if my jacob fiber wasn't actually a carded batt. The photo isn't very clear, it would have been better to see it like this..

Where you can see that yes, it is carded, but it is also in the form of roving, which was rolled up before the photo was taken. If your carded fiber does not come in this form, you can turn a carded batt into a roving (sort of) by tearing it in long strips lengthwise, or drawing it out with your hands like one would pull taffy.
If you get your slivers and your rovings mixed up or just want to learn more, there is a good article by by Abby Franquemont entitled Roving, Top and Sliver in the Winter 07 Spin Off magazine on fiber preparation
It explains the different kinds available and how they are prepared. Spin Off has made this and other articles available in the back issue are of their website in a pdf format (isn't that nice of them?)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

People, I am finally warm!!

First the post office, then fed ex and the sliver lining.....
First the happy, happy, then the rant.
I finally have the materials to get my wonderfully patient customers spindolyns completed. Worked on them yesterday in a sunny shop and am glue drying in the rain right now (well, I am not in the rain, the glue is drying under a light, but it is raining outside)
While I wait for the spindolyns to get to the next stage, I would be working on the roof of the buck goat shed that I am building (with help from the buck) but for the rain, so I am posting here to share my happy over what I think is the "alto solution"
Perhaps this evening I can take the new prototype for a spin with some of the extra soft jacob fleece that I am in love with right now...

Now the rant
My local post office has the most wonderful staff. Helpful, cheerful, humorous and good natured folks who give great personal service. The rest of the postal service gets two thumbs down for jumping up and down with both feet on many of the parcels I mail.
My UPS guy is great, too, he is also helpful, cheerful, humorous and good natured and is very accomodating and nice to my quirky dogs.
FED Ex on the other hand, gets a big scolding from me. They sent my correctly labeled materials that I was waiting on to the wrong state, then the delivery guy just "forgot" to deliver them, 3 days in a row!! If they had arrived on thursday like the tracking number indicated, I would have last weeks orders already shipped and this weeks well on their way to going out. But most importantly, I could have gone to West TN to take Mom to her oncologist and give my sister in law a spell.
However, everything surely happens for a reason, because if things had gone the way I expected, I never would have seen the post on Craigslist for the "Better'n Ben's" fireplace stove, and I wouldn't have had the time to go get it, move out my old fireplace insert, rebrick up the broken hearth (I am a mason now, ha! I laid and mortared 6 bricks) fabricate a new stove pipe to fit it, and slid it into place.
Visually, the new wood stove is a downgrade from the fancy fireplace insert with the fan that I am going to put up for sale on craigslist. Heating wise, it is just plain bomb-diggity! This baby is hot! The cabin and me in it are warm for the first time since I moved in 5 years ago. If my fireplace had been normally constructed, the previous stove would have sufficed, but it had been rebuilt by stoner wanna be rock layers and it needs a certain sort of stove to behave correctly. I have found that stove in this little box shaped stove made in the late 70's.
Usually, on an average winter morning, I wake up to 50-52 degrees in the cabin. This morning, with burning no more wood than before, and not having to listen to that durn fan a roaring all night, I woke up to 62 degrees. wow.
You have no idea how happy this makes me.
And the stove is flat on top. Perfect for natural dying.... : )

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Peach "sweatette" done

I finally finished this before the last visit to mom's, she loves the color and it is nice and warm but not suffocating. It was fun figuring out a way to make a button that goes with the band, and am now inspired to work on more knitted closures.

You may or may not remember that this is the "hybrid" sweater that is partly hand knit, partly knit on the LK 150, out of Peruvian highland.

peach cardigan sweatette peach3


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