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?

Weaving Fail

I was trying to be a good knitter and give future Rachelle a leg up on finishing these socks. I decided to weave in the end on my Dark Side Vanilla Socks (Take Two) before starting the heels. I am making these from a sock machine cranked sock tube, so there are a LOT of ends to weave in from the contrast heels, toes and cuffs.

I was working with the sock turned inside out and when I turned them right side out I had a d’oh moment. I had accidentally dipped my needle in too far and grabbed a stitch from the sock. After a couple of curse words I turned the sock inside out again and PICKED OUT MY CAREFULLY WOVEN IN ENDS. It took 30 minutes because the universe was teaching me a lesson.

I very carefully re-wove in the ends after I released the extra stitch. It looks much better now! It was a total weaving fail but at least one I could correct. I think these socks are ready for their afterthought heels now!

Happy Knitting!!

Dinner Rolls Take Two

Happy Carbohydrate Friday! (I’m pretending its a thing during this crazy time)

I decided to take another run at dinner rolls in my bread machine. My last attempt was okay but I knew I could do better. I did some internet searches and landed on the Bread Machine Dinner Rolls on the Betty Crocker website.

The dough came together nicely. I managed to make more reasonably sized dinner rolls that were almost all the same size. The batch made 15 rolls and they raised nicely. I think I need to space them a little better during their second proofing.

The rolls taste and texture were a VAST improvement form my first try. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I printed it and put it inside my bread machine cookbook. My family quickly gobbled these with a bit of butter and peach jam.

Happy Baking!

Cast On: Everyday Slouch Beanie

I have capitalized on my winding frenzy earlier this week and cast on my Everyday Slouchy Beanie by Dragon Hoard Designs. I also threw on the Corner of Craft podcast and had a dose of the amazing Hannah. I’m in my basement guest room/craft room surrounded by chaos but I just felt the need for a new cast on.

The project called for a provisional crochet cast on. I was not in the mood so I just did a knitted on cast on. I may regret my choice when I have to fold this brim over later in the project and join it to the live stitches on my needle. But today I didn’t have the stamina to deal with a crochet provisional cast on. I also chose to have a glass of wine in my favorite glass. The wine is a nice crisp Pinot Grigio from Yellowtail Wines.

Happy Knitting!!

Corner Of Craft Happiness

I received some happy mail this week. I managed to catch one of Hannah of the Corner of Craft’s shop updates. She is maker in the UK that bead weaves stitch markers among other crafts. And my package arrived very neatly packaged (and with a sample of tea, yum!).

I chose a little pink and white unicorn. And it just so tiny and perfect that I can’t help myself. I am trying to figure out which project this should live on! It’s so perfectly light that it will work for almost any project….so maybe my next pair of socks?

What would you use this stitch marker for?

Working From Home

I have joined millions of people across the country and the world and I’m officially working from home. I have my work laptop and my personal computer all nestled into our junk room/pantry/office space. I am lucky to be a) allowed to work from home b) have a job that will at least let me be a little productive during this physical distancing. I had to grab an old backpack and make a “bug out bag” and grab all my notebooks and manuals before leaving my work space. It was very surreal.

I decided to join others who are flashing their temporary work spaces. I still have to supervise four staff from this spot and make sure that we still keep the local government wheels moving. I’m honestly a little scared and I’m sure we are going to find many obstacles. But we are in this together and nothing lasts forever. Let’s do this!!

Sending love and hugs to those who need it!

Winding Anxiety

I have am really leaning into knitting as a balm for my anxiety and stress levels. My brain has been really drawn to my recent Apothefaery Yarns acquisitions. I really want to work the Suri Alpaca yarn and jump on the bandwagon. I have chosen a pattern yet but I did wind it up this past weekend. I have never wound laceweight before and I was nervous….

It was loose on my swift and I literally held my breath the whole time I was winding. Even with the floof….it wound perfectly the first time with no tangles! I was worried because it looked a little matted in the hank. I had more trouble with the fingering weight skein I picked to hold with the Suri! I had to wind that one THREE TIMES.

And while I had tools out I wound more yarn for some more socks. I pulled my BFL sock yarn from Amy of Stranded Dyeworks and some self striping Must Stash yarn. They both wound just fine. Although I didn’t pay attention and wound the Must Stash perfectly matched skeins backwards. One I will need to knit from the inside and the other from the outside.

I think this is all proof that I have a case of Cast-on-itis in the works!

FO Friday: Bullseye Vanilla Socks

I have a FO this week!! My bullseye vanilla socks are done, washed and blocked!!

Pattern: My own 72 stitch toe up vanilla sock “recipe”

Yarn: Biscotte Yarns Bis-sock in the Bullseye colorway

Needles: US 0s

I used roughly 300 yards of yarn or 70 grams of this skein of yarn. They socks are in between my normal tall socks and a shortie sock. I have absolutely no rhyme or reason why. I just got tired of knitting the first sock leg and put the cuff on. So I made the second one to match. Perfectly scientific, right?

They fit quite nicely and almost perfectly match. It’s getting warm enough that these will likely go right into summer sock storage. But I needed this win this week. I can’t control the world but I can knit some royally good socks!

What is your win this week?

Happy Curls

Today’s post is just a little cheer to share you my blog friends. Because we surely could all use a little more happy in our life right now. PB got out of her bath and let me brush her curls. (That is a rare feat with her having her own opinions about her hair at two years old.)

She has the most amazingly curly blonde curls and they are just so crazy and perfect. I love her more than anything the world.

Meanwhile….social distancing and no school for the next few weeks has my basement like….

Somewhere in that chaos is the remote control to the TV and a milk cup that is souring as we speak. I’m heading in guys…wish me luck!

Stress Baking

I’m my father’s daughter and when I feel uncertain or stressed….I like to work me feelings out by making carbohydrates. Today’s self care is brought to you by my bread machine and my first go at making dinner rolls.

The batch went swimmingly well in my machine. However, I definitely need more practice at sizing my rolls. I kind of overshot the “roll” size and landed more in a “hamburger bun” size range.

My family pronounced them delicious no matter the size. They browned beautifully and rose nicely. I used a basic white dinner roll recipe from my Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. The texture was light but this recipe used eggs and it had different texture than I an anticipated. I’m new to hardcore baking but my mother told me this is normal for egg based breads. I think I am going to make the pizza dough recipe for the next round and shape them as rolls instead of crust. It is just flour, salt, olive oil, water and yeast in that recipe.

Based on the current social distancing, I think I’m going to get a lot of baking practice. And I might end up needing bigger pants…

Happy Baking!!

Anxiety and Self Care

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for everyone far and wide. I’m not going to take space here to regurgitate what is being blasted on every platform possible. What I will say is that my anxiety is very high. I am confident that this pandemic won’t last forever but the ramifications both socially and economically might last longer than we would like. And that bumps up against my anxiety triggers…..I’m an accountant after all. And it’s hard not to be worn down by the onslaught of information and empty store shelves.

I am washing my hands, talking to others support when I need it, and returning to my Midwestern roots and I’m cooking all the comfort foods I can think of. Last night I took some time to rest in bed with the following self care items:

They only thing missing was knitting friends. If anyone out there is similarly missing your knitting groups and friends please feel free to DM me. I’m always around my phone and more than happy to chat and share projects. We are a community and no one has to feel alone. Happy Knitting friends!