Do you travel with your spinning wheel? Afraid to try?
Wheels on the Bus
I love spinning and its especially relaxing in gatherings as I (usually) don’t have to focus as much. I have two “wheels”, a Kromski Sonata and a Hansen eSpinner.
The Sonata is a castle style wheel that folds up. I will admit I don’t bother folding it up when I travel. I prefer to just seatbelt it into my SUV. I have never had a problem keeping it secure and safe that way.I put the pillows behind the wheel to keep it from rocking back and forth. PS – I don’t put the wheel in the front seat just in case the airbag were ever to deploy.
I put the rest of my spinning supplies, including the arched lazy kate in this delightful bag. It holds oil for the wheel, an extra drive band, the spinning cloth, a few spare bobbins and, of course, my fiber! The bag is a JanetBasket Eco Bag.
The Kromski Spinning Wheel Owners group on Ravelry just had our 2015 One Color Swap so I thought I’d show the package I received!
As a little background, a couple times a year we have a swap in our group. Participants are paired up and a dollar limit (or suggestion as my partner Kelly said) is set. Then you stalk (on Ravelry) your partner and build a swap package for them. Our “One Color” swap means you the items you send must all (or mostly) be one of your partner’s three favorite colors.
Kelly chose purple for me and created a splendid package. My non-fiber goodies included chocolate covered fruit bits, a small notebook, a row counter that secures over your finger and a hand-sewn project bag. Also incredibly exciting was a small Turkish spindle made on a 3D printer. I’d been thinking about getting one to take on vacation so my wood ones wouldn’t warp or get damaged and now I have one!
Onto the fiber! The sold purple braid is Polwarth from Yarn Geek Fibers. It has a low micron count for Polwarth – something like 22 microns. The batt was carded by my partner to mix some merino and sparkle. I love the pop of teal!
Spinzilla starts in 5 hours. 12:01am local time to be exact. Is everyone ready?
I only sort of am. Eeek! The major thing I didn’t get done was predrafting my fiber. What I did get predrafting took a lot longer than I expected (evil, evil Malabrigo Nube). But, I’m about to a stopping point so I can catch a nap before midnight. I will probably post mid-week about my progress but it will probably be short and picture heavy. Sometime early next week I’ll have a proper detailed post about what I spun, etc. Anyways, here’s what I did get done in the past week to prepare for Spinzilla.
- I cleaned my wheel and replaced the drive band last weekend. And I mean I deep cleaned this puppy – all the grease, fuzzies and dust. The drive band was stretched out and needed to be replaced so I could use my lace flyer.
- Made and bought food for the week that requires minimal prep time. Chili, a couple freezer meals, muffins, fruit and cheese for snacks and plenty of diet dew.
- Picked out fibers. At the time there were 28 ounces. Today I added another 4 because I thought I might run short.
- Prepped/predrafted fibers. Unfortunately, only about 14 ounces are truly predrafted. I might finish 2 more ounces before I go take that nap. At least everyone is split out into two equal bags (one for each ply). The nube is in three bags because I’m going to do a three ply.
- Setup the spinning area. I took some stuff out of the loft (my swift, fiber that doesn’t fit in bins, etc) to have plenty of open space. I spin in my recliner and ply in the wooden chair. The skeinwinder is right next to my weighing/measuring station. And the TV is viewable from everywhere.
- Setup my washing/drying space. I was going to use the guest bath off the loft but I will have a guest one night this week and highly doubt he wants to take a shower with a drying rack. So, I setup in my master bath tub which actually has more room. I usually wash my handspun with Eucalan but I set out a bit of synthropol in case there is any dye issues.
Filed under Events, Spinning
The end of August is quickly approaching so I thought I’d take the chance to write a post with some odds n’ ends – quick updates, future blog posts and things to look forward to.
- I’m hard at work on my spinning for the Ply article. Actually, I should finish plying tonight and try the different finishing techniques sometime later this week. I hope. After that I need to knit samples, write the articles and some of the other sundry items (a bio, a picture, etc.). I should add – spinning undyed fiber is incredibly boring for me.
- Fiber swap time! I co-moderate the Kromski Spinning Wheel Owners group on Ravelry – if you have (or just like) Kromski products you should join us for a fiber swap. Signups will start this weekend and run for one week. More details over here. They’re always a lot of fun if you like trying something new.
- The kitty’s stitches were removed today and the cone of shame came off. We’re all happy about that – especially since she’d taken to licking the cone.
- Upcoming blog posts – anything else you’d like to see?
- Yet this week, a fun tutorial on making some wall art using a clock, knitting needles, icord and a power drill.
- A finish project – knitted cupcakes!
- Some reviews on a couple products (needle set, a trindle and a couple books). Is there anything in particular you’d like me to review?
- Events – Spinzilla, The Wool Gathering in Ohio and demonstrating at a living history museum.
- Farm feature – in the next couple months I’ll be going out to the alpaca farm of one of my favorite indie-dyers. Find out what all she does (a LOT) and what products she offers.
- A couple posts on traveling with your spinning or knitting. By car, by plane, by boat, we’re gonna cover it.
Filed under Events, Spinning
What I Started With
Remember that other batt I carded in the class I took? With purple, blue and a little sparkle? Since the colors and fibers were pretty uniform in this batt I tore the batt into strips to spin. I then pulled it apart to pre-draft, grabbing all the colors. I spun it, and the solid, medium purple merino from LunaBudKnits, as individual singles.
I spun enough of the purple for the plying and then plied them together. After plying I ended up with 200 yards of sport/dk weight-ish yarn in 2.6 ounces. Not much. So I went ahead and spun the rest of the purple and plied it on itself. Ended up with 100 yards in 0.9 ounces.
I actually like the colors and the minimalist sparkle but am a bit disappointed with the yardage. Even putting them together its only 300 yards which is enough for a small cowl but not a shawl as I originally planned. So I may spin up something else to go with it. Black maybe?
In an effort not to bore the living daylights out of everyone I decided to only post my Tour de Fleece (TdF) progress every week or so.
So what is TdF? It’s really just a spinning challenge. Tour de Fleece runs at the same time as its better known sister, the Tour de France. From July 5 through 27 you spin on a regular basis. You set your own goal and then do your best to meet that goal. Most people spin with a team. Our rest days coincide with the rest days of the Tour de France.
My goal is to spin every day. Can be five minutes or two hours but I have to spin. I’m spinning with two teams – Team Kromski and Team Phat Fiber. The Kromski group on Ravelry is the one I moderate on Ravelry. Many of our team members have donated prizes, as has Kromski North America, the north American distributor of Kromski Products.
Spun just under 1 ounce of lace (singles weight) of purple merino from LunaBud knits.
Spun 0.6 ounces and am now ready to ply the purple with the blue.
Plied 3 ounces on my Sonata. I had quite a bit left over of the solid purple both in the single and in unspun fiber.
Not a lot of spinning but I did wind and wash what I finished yesterday. After plying I had a good amount of the solid purple left. I’m going to finish spinning the remaining 0.4 ounces of that and then ply it with itself.
Not a great day. Bad headache by the time I got home from work and super tired. So my fiber work only consisted of reskeining my blue/purple handspun and tagging it. I did get several pretty pictures done.
Took my wheel to knitting group tonight to get back on track. I finished the remaining 0.4oz ish of the purple fiber and I’ll ply it with itself starting tomorrow.
Plied 0.9 ounces of the solid purple to go with the blue/purple and wound it off on the skein winder. Total I have 3.5 ounces and about 300 yards. Somewhere between sport and DK weight. Not sure what I’ll make with it since there’s not a ton of yardage.
Filed under Events, Spinning
When you see the picture the title will make sense. The colors remind me of Halloween and not exactly in a good way.
What I Started With
Remember that batt I carded in the class I took? With orange, purple and gray? Usually I tear batts into strips to spin, but since some of the colors would then only be in one strip I instead folded it over (lengthwise). I then pulled it apart to pre-draft, grabbing all the colors. I spun it, and the solid, dark purple merino from LunaBudKnits, as individual singles.
After plying I ended up 364 yards of sport weight-ish yarn in 4.1 ounces. I got 15 wraps per inch after washing the skein but that doesn’t seem quiet right. Odd. Overall, I’m not crazy about the ending color. In particular the gray/purple sections. The adding of gray was probably not the best choice in retrospect. I’m not sure what, if anything, I’m going to make with it. On to the next class batt!
As a compliment to my On The Needles post, I want to share what’s on my wheel. Given I am such a slow spinner this won’t be a real regular post. I typically only have one spinning project at a time.
The fiber I’m spinning is 4.2 ounces from wooliebullie and is a 50% merino, 50% mulberry silk blend. The colorway is Beaujolais – a deep purple/magenta. Buttery smooth top to the touch. I’m aiming for a 2-ply lace or light fingering. My default 2-ply is a sport weight so the lace is a challenge for me. It’s slow going – I’ve been pre-drafting a lot to keep it consistently thin. I divided the top in half (one for each ply) and am still on the first half.
I have a Kromski Sonata in Mahogany that I bought Fall 2011.
I’m anxious to finish this and start a gradient!