Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Look at what Santa brought me!!

Yes, its the new Sidekick from Schacht. I realized that I wanted a new wheel when I was at the spinning retreat this past summer. Travelling with my Louet was a big pain. And while I was there, I got to try a bunch of different wheels and I really liked the feel of the Schacht wheel that was there. So, when Schacht introduced the sidekick later on this year, I knew I had to have one. Its designed to fold up and travel. And you can purchase a bulky flyer for it to allow for spinning art yarns - which is something that I'd really like to get into more.

Kevin bought the wheel from Gaspereau Valley Fibres. They are based in Nova Scotia (about an hour outside of Halifax) I love the look of their store, and someday I will visit it for real instead of online. Someday soon, perhaps.

So far, I've been spinning up my Bullseye Bump from Loop in the colourway Plum pudding and I'm loving it. I'm able to spin very thin and consistent. I'm hoping to get good yardage from my 'bump' and intend to navajo ply it to maintain the gradient colours. I'm thinking I'll knit a shawlette from the yarn.

I cannot believe that I've progressed to being an owner of three spinning wheels!! My friend Heather sent me pin which sums up my obsession nicely. It says "Spinning...because knitting isn't weird enough"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Silk Hankies

Last February, the yarn harlot posted about knitting with silk hankies. I was intrigued. Her mittens turned out beautiful. Then Caryn from 'Round the Twist' video cast started knitting mittens with silk hankies. Her's were also beautiful. Again, I was intrigued. Then Amy from 'Stockinette Zombies' video cast also started a pair. Finally, I gave in. I ordered 1 oz from etsy seller Mulberryfibers. I loved the look of the hankies as they were.

When you separate each hankie, you can see how thin each one is. I understand that they stretch each cocoon from the silk worm over a square box, and keep adding on cocoons, layering them and layering them until you have the silk hankies. These are definitely not the silk hankies that a refined gentleman would keep in his suit pocket.

And then, to get the 'yarn' I poked a finger through the center of the hankie layer and pulled and pulled on each length (not unlike predrafting fibre to prepare for spinning) until I got a thickness of yarn that I was happy with. Like this.

Then I knit them into a beautiful pair of fingerless gloves. I am so happy with them. I made them fingerless because I was afraid that I didn't have enough of the fiber to make full mittens - but I did. Oh well, I guess I'll save the leftover hankies and maybe blend them into something else with the drumcarder.

They are so light, but yet warm too. I've already ordered two more ounces of the silk hankies from Mulberry fibers to make another pair!