Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bring Me Sunshine

Big Red Doily eats chair
I granted myself a two-day holiday to celebrate my birthday, albeit a week after the event.
I had maintenance issues to sort out:  winter tyres for the car and a haircut for me.
But mostly I felt like I really really needed some quality knitting time.
The Big Red Doily is tantalisingly close to being finished, at row 178 of 189.
Once blocked, it will be at least 6 feet in diameter, which is plenty big enough.
Reading ahead, there seems to be a row missing from the pattern, or else I have used the wrong chart. Eek!
I have a good idea of how I might manage the transition from the main chart to the edging chart, but have sent a PM to the designer on Ravelry, just in case I have missed something.  If she doesn't get back to me in time, I will do my own thing.  It will be fine.
I am really excited by the prospect of finishing such a large piece of work.
It reminds me that I have an unfinished Kex Blanket to get on with!
While tizzying about in chart limbo, I decided to start a new project.
This is the Skiff Hat by Jared Flood.  I am using the Miski baby llama from my ill-fated Brickless scarf.
It starts with a tubular cast-on, which was a new-to-me technique.  Ripping out the waste yarn was quite nerve-racking, as I could not visualise the tubular effect.
Surprise!  It didn't unravel!  I can see the attraction of this edging:  firmer and more finished-looking that an ordinary cast on.  But quite a palaver.

I also picked away at my crochet market bag.  I started this with such enthusiasm, as a gift for my mother.  But the more I think about it, the more I doubt that she will relinquish the waterproof joys of a plastic carrier bag.  Even before the 5p bag fine, sorry charge, my mother reused her supermarket bags.  She amuses the neighbours by periodically rinsing them out and hanging them on the washing line to dry, in all their rustling glory.
Ah well, if nothing else maybe she can use this as a bag for plastic bag storage...?!

You may be wondering how I am getting on with my spinning wheel?

I spent a long time watching youtube videos and looking at diagrams of how spinning wheels work.
I managed to attach a leader to the bobbin, run it past the flyer hooks and through the orifice.  But I could not get the bobbin to move independently from the flyer, and the foot pedal would not stay off the floor.
I finally worked out that there are two possible positions for the metal bolt (not a technical term) that attaches the pedal to the wheel, and the wood around the upper position is so badly worn that the bolt just drops to the lower position as soon as the wheel starts to move.
FL reckons I should find a spinning-wheel-maker who could repair it for me.
I strongly suspect I would be better off selling this wheel as a decorative piece.
I love that he wanted to buy me a wheel, but I don't want to spend my precious spare time battling with faulty equipment.
It would be better not to throw more cash at this thing.
But that's a difficult conversation to have so soon after he gifted it to me.

So, in the same way that I waited my time to buy brand new snow tyres instead of the second-hand ones FL recommended (despite himself suffering a flat within an hour of purchasing his "bargain" tyres!), I will wait for a suitable opportunity to re-home this wheel.
Meantime, I want to get back to my Turkish spindle.
Once the blanket is finished.

Everything is so grey and damp right now.
No hope of getting the washing dry unless I stick it next to the woodburner.
No sunshine.
Mud everywhere, including the kitchen floor.
But plenty of wool!
Regia 3311, from Germany via Amazon
This unassuming-looking ball of sock yarn is going to knit up into gorgeous self-patterning stripes that remind me of the foxgloves, lavender and borage in my herb garden.  As seen on Susan B Anderson's podcast.
I am dedicated follower of sock fashion!


Ros said...

My recommendation is to post a lot of photos of the wheel in a spinning group on Ravelry. They'll tell you whether it's fixable, how to do it, or if it's not worth the effort.

Lizzi said...

I am with you on every level of this post.

madeinoxford said...

Those socks are amazing! It never ceases to amaze me how people can dye yarn to make a pattern like that. So cool :)

Sorry about your spinning wheel :/ Hope you find the right moment to get it sorted!

cutitoutstitchitup said...

I love the Regia yarns. I'm knitting up a pair for my other half from the 'mix it colour' range. It gives an unbelievable Fairisle type of look. This will be the 3rd time I've used it and I still cannot get over how fab it is. I would love to know how they dye it up.

Gisella said...

I don't know about spinning wheels but if you got this second-hand then is it possible that you got it with a part missing? Maybe there should be a piece that holds the metal bolt in the higher position?
Could you squash a bit of folded over cardboard into that vertical slit to keep the bolt up and see what how the wheel behaves then? Maybe that would give you the clue to see if it is meant to work with the bolt up.
There must be groups of spinners who have a similar wheel. Someone must be able to tell you what's what. Good luck!

PS: I really, really LOVE the huge red doily! It is gorgeous.