New To Me Spinning Wheel

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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’m interested to if I can become a spinner?

Any Tape Measure Will Do

My knitting mojo has seen a little hiccup as I have been busting out home improvement projects lately. I’m still working on my DK Ripple Bralet as a wind down before bed project.

I did not end up using the Old Norwegian Cast on. Instead I found Tillybuddy’s Very Stretchy Cast-on for Double and Single Ribbing. It was much easier on my brain and seems to be sufficiently stretchy.

I am through 1×1 twisted rib and into the ribbed body. I needed to determine how far I was into the body but I didn’t have a knitting tape measure. But luckily my home improvement jag had a real deal tape measure laying around. Any tape measure will do right?

Happy Knitting!!

Sprucing Up

All this time spent at home lately has really made see how shabby some spaces around my home are. I spent all of last Sunday repainting the trim around my front and garage door. Seven years of furniture moving, dog scratches and kid marks really made them look ROUGH.

I busted out some paint from the basement and some painters tape and put two new coats of fresh paint. I was even a good homeowner and pre-sanded the woodwork before painting to make it look smoother and less dented up.

Next up was the bathroom wall that the hubby had turned into swiss cheese while trying to hang a second towel rod. My blessed father patched the interior wall and fixed up the sheet rock for me. All I had to do was sand and paint.

I just happened to have a TEENY TINY amount of green paint left that was JUST enough to repaint this section of wall and feather it in so that you can’t see the contrast of new versus old. Well….good enough for me anyway.

Next up on my to-do list is hang photos from PB’s birth (two years ago) and the kids height boards I received as Christmas gifts. Better late than never!!

So Much Sparkle

I found out one of my favorite podcasts/yarn stores has decided to close their brick and mortar operations. Mind you, they are in New Jersey and I have never been in person. But I feel like I know them after watching hours and hours of podcasts. I soothed my dismay by helping making a small purchase. I picked up a kit of sock yarn with coordinating mohair.

They even through in the tote bag as a special surprise! It is rose gold and super shiny. My children immediately tried to claim it.

The skein on the left is Chelsea Luxe Sock in the Rainbow Sherbet colorway. The yarn base is an 80/20 wool and nylon blend. The skein on the right is Chelsea Luxe Mohair in the Tube Top colorway. It is a 70/30 mohair and silk blend. I have no clue what they will grow up to be but I’m happy to support an LYS as they take their leap into 100% online shopping.

Happy Knitting!!

FO Friday: 70s Kitchen Handspun

I did it!! I produced a usable skein of yarn! My 70s Kitchen hand spun is washed, whacked and skein-ed up ready for a project.

I started with four ounces of 100% alpaca and ended up with 88 grams and 56 yards of a bulky yarn. It might be super bulky in some spots. It is a little ropey and still has some twist to the finished skein but I’m super proud.

I am pretty sure I want to knit with this right away. I did some Ravelry searching and found the Alpakka Har by Cait St. George that the toddler size would be just perfect for my yardage. As long as I hit gauge that is. But it’s a basic beanie so I think I can fudge it as needed.

Happy Knitting!!

Slowest Knitting Ever

I got a wild hair this past week and decided to make a Ripple Brawlet DK in some precious Chromatic Yarns DK from my stash. I bought the pattern, skein-ed my yarn, kitted up a project bag and accessories. I was full of enthusiasm and cast-on-itis so I jumped right into the pattern. I then came to a screeching halt as the pattern called for an Old Norwegian Cast on. I don’t know how to do that one and after an hour on YouTube and complete concentration in a kid free environment…I had five stinking stitches.

I used many tutorials including the “slow” version by Very Pink Knits YouTube channel. I just couldn’t make it click with my brain and my hands. I really want to start this project so I think I’m going to use an alternate cast on that is also stretchy. I will learn the Old Norwegian Cast on someday….today is just not that day!

Happy Knitting!!

Radiate Progress

My Radiate pullover is swimming right along. I’m several inches into the body with lots of zen round and round knitting.

The pattern calls for 14 inches of body and I haven’t measured to see how far I am. The pattern also called for waist decreases and increases. My midsection after two babies is less shaped that it used to be so I’m omitting the shaping and just knitting straight down.

I think I’ll try it on when I get close to 14 inches and see how it looks. Both these yarns are super-wash so I know i’ll get some stretch. But I like a nice long sweatshirt length sweater in my garments. Next up for this one is sleeve island. I think I will use my Chia Goo interchangeable needles to knit the sleeves in the round.

Happy knitting!!

Summer Canning

Our current temperature in Kansas is roughly the surface of the sun with like 1,000% humidity. So why wouldn’t I want to haul out all my canning supplies and heat up my kitchen? I was having some anxiety related to world events and general unrest so I felt the need to make something. That feeling turned into one batch of strawberry rhubarb jam, two batches of blackberry jam, two batches of peach jam and one batch of strawberry jam.

Jellybean helped me off and on saying that he “didn’t like the hot and sticky parts”. Which we all know is almost the whole process. He did like how dark and ruby colored the blackberries cooked down into. All this fruit, except for the strawberries, was homegrown from my families gardens. To me this gave me a grounded feeling and a connection to people I can’t visit right now.

This project did make me feel a bit better. I did have a tiny bit of frustration when my peach jam didn’t set and I had to haul all the supplies back out to re-cook and add more pectin. But the re-do process did seem to work. Now I have some jelly stores for the next year and enough to give as gifts this holiday season.

How is everyone else coping lately?

A Quick Tutu

My daycare provider is about to be a first time grandma. Her daughter is having a little baby girl in October. Both of these ladies hold a special place in my heart because they love my children almost as much as I do. So of course I needed to knit something!

I made a quick Lexi’s Knitted Tutu by Ashlee Lackovic this past weekend. I just grabbed some Caron Simply Soft acrylic for the waistband and some leftover Red Heart Boutique Sashay multicolor. This is just such a quick knit and it ends up looking more complicated that it actually is.

I finished off with some eggshell colored ribbon to make the waist tie. I think beginning to end this maybe took me an hour? The newborn size is like like 40 rounds of knitting. I can’t wait to wrap this precious gift up!

Happy Knitting!!

Packing Of The Knits

I don’t have any finished objects this week. But I did check one item of my “to-do” list and that was to “summer-ize” and pack away my knitted things. Yeah…its July and I’m just doing this. But come on, there’s a pandemic and I think I get points for doing it at all!

I inspected each item for damage or stains, gave them a quick rinse and a fully dried them and then packed them in to my cedar lined chest. This pile consisted of a ton of shawls, some baby PB knits, hats and some cowls.

I can’t wait to pull these things out in the fall! They smell like my lavender sachet and it might be my second favorite ever scent in the world!

Happy Knitting!!

Knitting Poolside

We are in the middle of a long heat wave in the Midwest right along side big increases in COVID cases. So my family and I are doing our best to find ways to have fun and stay safe at home. This week’s adventure had water balloons, lots of driveway swimming pool time and me knitting in the shade.

Modified version of Helen Stewart’s Habitation Throw

This photo was taken 10 minutes before I dropped a stitch and made a huge hole in my Rainbow Habitation Throw. I literally spent the next hour tinking back two and a half rows to fix my mistake because it just wouldn’t ladder back down and back up again correctly. So that means I’m still in my fourth color of twelve.

But the good thing about knitting garter stitch is that you can just knit and knit and eventually you look down and a blanket has popped out of nowhere!

P.S. I completely see the irony of knitting a lap blanket during a heat wave. I’m a special kind of crazy!

Happy Knitting!!