Saturday, February 16, 2008

So where is the knitting?

Ok, its technically a knitting blog, but there is not much knitting going on around here at the moment, thats 'cause I am doing my spinning homework. We have to return next weekend with 2 bobbins to ply together, and one to Navajo ply, so I have been filling bobbins. Oh, I have been distracted by other things as well just not knitting this week. Bear and I have 'refurbished' the Wing wheel a little more, and it is looking good, I have knit and frogged and knit and frogged and knit again on my 2nd Cat Bordhi Bartholomew sock. Its not Cats fault, it mine - I explain latter. But I do have some new needles to play with, Crystal Palace, and gosh they are nice and pointy and stiff and bamboo and just plain beautiful.

So spinning, as home work we have 3 different types of fiber to play with, combed top (oh my, this stuff is just dreamy), carded roving (soo-okay), and raw fleece which I'm finding the hardest to handle. I'm on my second bobbin of this stuff, and feeling a little more in control. Now the singles are pretty much even, but my twist is highly variable, some tight, some looser, god only knows what it will ply up like. But after a day playing yesterday I now feel competent in taking a raw bag of fleece, thus ...

and turning it into a bunch of little fluffy tails like this ...

and mangling it into a single on a bobbin thus ...(I must admit while watching around 4 hours of various star trek re-runs on prime TV this morning - a girls gotta get her sci-fi where she can, and I'm doing my best to indoctrinate both kids). This bobbin looks much more even than the first one I spun with this fiber, so now I want to spin another one to make the plying more successful, if they match, they will be more successful right?

I needed a break after all that sitting and spinning this morning, so I turned my attention to the Wing wheel. I had used linseed oil and a 3M green scrubby thing to polish one side of the wheel a week ago, and it came up very nice. You polish the excess oil off with a soft clean cloth, in this house it is usually an old tea towel. Linseed and a fine abrasive pad is traditionally used to spruce up old fashioned varnish, and we were guessing that the wheel was originally varnished not polyurethaned.

I spread out an old towel to catch any drips and set about polishing the other side of the wheel. One thing lead to another and Bear got involved and before I knew it we had removed the split pin, had the spindle axle out and were cleaning and polishing it smooth, also with the scrubbie thing and linseed oil. We removed the spindle bush from the upright and cleaned it all out, and put it back with a few toothpick shims to stop the small wobbles. We sanded the slot that the tension adjustment moves in, and waxed it nicely. We cleaned off all the bits that screwed and reassembled them all with a drop of oil to help them along. All this took about 2 hours, including Bears trip to the hardware store for split pins - I point blank refused to let him disassemble it without the means to reassemble it. Deep down I must be my mechanic fathers daughter - some time I might tell you about the high school project where I took apart a 2-stroke engine and impressed all the boys in class, didn't score a boyfriend though. And now it looks fine, there is a nice sheen and the treadle action is smooth, and the tension adjustment is easy.

And socks, well some time between knitting sock one and sock two, I added 6 stitches, so when I returned to sock knitting a few days ago, I had pooling, or puddling of the colours. This is fine, it looked sort-a-ok, but didn't look like sock one. Some frogging and re knitting latter, after the same thing happened I did a stitch count and found 6 extra stitches on the needle. More frogging and re-knitting, this time with some new needles, the very very nice crystal palace bamboo needles (courtesy of Suzanne aka Magpie on Ravelry - we seem to have an ongoing swop thing going that is just fine with me).

This is where I am at now, I've got the right stitch count but the colour changes are not panning out as they did in the first stock. I need to check gauge and see what is happening, and I will, soon, some time, really I will. For now with the need to return to class with my 'home work' done, that seems more urgent than solving the sock puzzle. Yup - I'm one of those annoying swots who always did all the home work the teacher said to, at least in the classes I enjoyed, and the classes I didn't enjoy? Well I once got a D in a stats mid-term, and we will leave it there thank you very much.

More knitting next week, I promise, once my spinning home work is done.


JustApril said...

The wheel looks really great, and so does your homework =) Sometimes no matter what you do, sock two just doesn't stripe the way sock one did.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ditto on the sock comment above, alas. But the spinning is looking very fine! I've had some adventures of my own in spinning this weekend, which have just reinforced my desire for a wheel, so it's great fun to see what you're doing on and with yours -- the wing is looking ready to fly!