I present to you a HitchHiker single treadle spinning wheel by The Merlin Tree. I was gifted this wheel by mother after she procured it in a trade with her quilt shop coworker. I have been doing my best to research this wheel as it’s a little different than most. It’s a direct drive wheel which means the flyer is turned directly by the wheel as you treadle. Honestly, its kind of an obscure wheel and it doesn’t have a lot resources either from the manufacturer or on YouTube. It has been a little frustrating but I shall persevere.
I have been practicing just treadling on the empty wheel because it is going to take some learned muscle movement to keep the wheel going in the same direction as I start and stop. That is just the ups and down of a direct drive wheel. Just putting your foot on the treadle can move the wheel in a direction you didn’t intend. The brake band also needs some TLC to be snugged up which I am hoping my woodworking father can assist with. I think I may also have to try to fall upon the mercy of the local spinners group for assistance/lessons. Time will tell…
With the wheel I also inherited the spinner fiber stash. In the bin in addition to a knitty knoddy and spare wheel parts was a TON of fiber. I dig through and found llama blends, alpaca blends, romney wool, merino blends and several unidentified fibers. This spinner clearly had good taste.
This all came from a rural farm, so right now it’s living my sub zero garage just in case it has anything other than fiber in there. I’m hoping to zap this with some heat somehow before bringing into the house with my other stash.
I did manage to clean my craft area just enough to find a plastic tapestry needle. Not my first choice but it got the job done and my Stark Effect Socks are complete!
Pattern: My own 68 stitch toe up vanilla sock “recipe”
Yarn: String Theory Colorwork Inertia Self Striping in the Stark Effect Colorway
Needles: US 1
They turned out fantastic and a great fit on my foot. As with all my afterthought heels I add in extra plain rounds to the heel to accommodate my high instep.
They are also almost a perfect match. Which I totally managed and did on purpose. It does mean I have to tiny balls of yarn left that aren’t in color sequence. I will still find something to do with them, probably my memory blanket?
In the meantime, I’m off to pick out my next sock project! Happy Knitting!!
Thanks to some TV show binging my Stark Effect Socks are complete save for the Kitchener on the toes!
The good news is that I’m getting fairly proficient at grafting. The bad news, I can’t find any of my tapestry needles so I need to either clean or buy more, lol!
These socks have just brought me so much joy to watch the bright colors pop. I did in the end decide to use the rainbow yarn for the heels. Probably would have looked cooler with black but I couldn’t be bothered to put in that effort. I just want these socks on my feet!
I am OBSESSED with this handspun. I gave it a wash and thwack yesterday and set near my dehumidifier to dry. And this morning, these are two gloriously dry skeins.
It is a very well balanced yarn that hangs fairly straight. I have just under 200 grams total in yarn. I need run it through my yardage counter to see what I ended up with. The yarn did plump up quite a bit with washing so this might be a heavy worsted. And I’m still super proud of that! Stay tuned for finished yarn photos 🙂
Jellybean was was watching my finish my sock tube last night and he exclaimed “Mom, I think those glow in the dark!” And so we went outside where it was dusk….and he’s not wrong! Even in low light these puppies stood out from the grass.
Next up is to install heels and the socks will be done. I kinda want to do solid black heels, but I don’t know I have the yarn for it. I might have to just use the same self striping and manage where I start in the color sequence.
I need to ponder a minute on it perhaps. Happy Knitting!!
It took me a minute to get all my plying done. Had a few fits and starts, but I now have two pretty bobbins!
I did a quick wraps per inch gauge on these….and y’all this might be a true worsted with spots of a heavy worsted. This is the finest I have spun and plied thus far! I need to give this yarn a bath and see if it plumps up any. I am kinda excited to see what this turns out to be!
Motherhood means stealing stitches where you can. PB and Jellybean are finally old enough to play fairly independently at the park. So to celebrate seeing the sun for the first time in a week we hit the local playground. I had a large iced coffee and my Stark Effect Socks.
I made super good progress on sock number two. I am through the full tube and almost done with the ribbing. I need one more black stripe and then to knit and cast off in the dark purple. I have been knitting for 12 ish years and it never ceases to amaze me how fast self-striping yarn feels like it knits up.
My spinning mojo has really caught fire. After starting some singles out of 100% Romney last week, I spent all day Saturday playing outside with the kids and finishing the singles. I let them rest overnight and played the “mother’s day card” so I could drink wine and ply my yarn.
I really enjoy using my tensioned Kate. It helps prevent overspinning and having the singles fold back on themselves. The wine doesn’t hurt either!
After finishing my unknown 3-ply, I felt the urge to pull out my wheel again. It’s been a hot minute since I felt the urge to spin. So I took PB outside to swing and I sat on the patio with my wheel to spin a little.
I have roughly 200 grams of 100% romney wool in this lovely natural chocolate color. It is spinning really well and smoothly. It took me a minute to get back in a rhythm and make semi consistent singles.
PB played and told stories and I filled 3/4 of a bobbin! I think I have enough fiber to fill two bobbins and make a two ply? Who knows, I will go where the spinning leads me. It is freeing not to have a specific plan or destination. Just make something pretty!
I always make toe up socks and start with DPNs. I work the magic 8 cast on and put my increases at each side of the toe. Once I get up to my “recipe” totale of 68 stiches I switch to my nine inch circular.
Now I’m ready to zoom right through the tube. Watching the stripes develop is super addicting so I envision this sock will go quickly as the first tube. Happy Knitting!!
I have had some singles finished and just waiting on bobbins. I got a wild hair to ignore my adult responsibilities and stay up past 11 to ply everything the other night.
The singles were really inconsistent and prone to breaking. So I decided to chain ply/3-ply them back on themselves. It made a really thick and thin yarn but I think it came out really pretty!
I ended up 242 yards out of 182 grams of wool. So this is probably a bulky skein with a few worsted spots on it. The wool was some unknown wool I was donated so I don’t know the fiber content is. It’s a little crunchy/wooly so I think not merino. But also not alpaca as there was no drape.
Whatever it is, I will make something fun with it! Happy Spinning!!