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 have recovered from my sock mistake. My Dad’s 2021 Socks are back on track and I managed to get the heel turned.
I snuck my sock out yesterday morning before work while I sipped some coffee. It was only 5 minutes but it was a glorious 5 minutes. And I only have a tiny ball left to finish off this sock. I thought ahead and split my skein in half so that I can try to avoid yarn chicken. And you know, have to socks roughly the same size!
Fall is in full swing and we have had our first frost. The kids are LOVING the temperatures and have been spending every minute we can outside. So this weekend I lugged my wheel out to the patio and spun while my kids played.
I am still spinning the 4 ounces of merino blend in the purple color from The Shepherd’s Mill. I am still very much learning. I break my singles A LOT and have to rethread. I am also spinning very thick and thin but for the most part I am getting a single spun that holds together. I am about 4 hours in to this spin.
Giving myself permission to go slow, make mistakes and just learn along the way. Haven’t quite got to the “zen” spinning but my fingers get a little less stressed as I go.
My mom brain and my knitting brain had a fight this week. I was happily knitting away on the foot of my Dad’s 2021 Christmas Socks and was following my recipe. But my knitting brain kept saying “that’s awfully long and it looks too big” but my mom brain kept measuring it and it was the correct number. Ya’ll gauge matters….
I snuck around and found an old sock that I know fits my dad to compare to my WIP. Sure enough the sock was easily 1-1.5 inches too long. Womp womp.
The good news is that I have frogged it back to where I need to start the gusset heel. I didn’t have the fortitude to actually start the heel as I was a little mad at myself. But the silver lining is that I caught it before I finished the sock and I will end up with a functional pair of socks.
I couldn’t let my wheel sit with no fiber on it after my spinning lessons now could I? So I grabbed the purple roving I purchased and set off.
This roving is a merino, bamboo and nylon blend. My teacher told me that spinners should never be intimidated by any fiber. Anything can be spun by any spinner, it just may take some extra time and adjustments. So I am going to be fearless (maybe clueless) and take off!
Fall and harvest are in full swing here in Kansas. We took some family time to hop in the van and take a cruise around. I grabbed my Dad’s 2021 Christmas Socks to work on while we jammed out to tunes.
It was fun but boy howdy did we pay for it after! Three out of the four humans in this family had the hugest allergy flareup after breathing in all that “nature” kicked up by the combines. Nothing a little Claritin can’t kick, lol.
And I did manage to get about 2-3 inches of sock worked on! Gotta squeeze that knitting time in when can!
While I was taking spinning lessons I took some stretch breaks to wonder around the yarn store and some goodies might have jumped in my cart 🙂
I snagged three skeins of yarn. From left to right I grabbed two skeins of 3 ply sport in an aqua and light yellow. These are my alma mater colors and I am envisioning some sort of striped or colorwork hat or cowl. And the last skein is a 2 ply DK called “baby blend”. It is superwash merino and faux cashmere. This skein was tooooooo soft to leave in the store. It needs to be a hat for my head!
I also grabbed some fiber to work with given my new spinning skills. The Shepherd’s Mill used to be a spinning mill in addition to a yarn shop so they had a large selection of roving. I grabbed some merino blends in teal, white and purple to play with.
The icing on the cake is that the owner gave me a super cool tote bag from her store as a bonus. It’s going to be the perfect spinning bag to hold my fiber next to my wheel. And it zips closed to keep small fingers out of my stuff!
I have been piddling around for over a year with both drop spindle and spinning wheels. I watched YouTube after YouTube video and nothing clicked. I read all the manuals on my wheel even! So I made some calls and found a yarn shop in Phillipsburg KS that I had been to with my mom and lo and behold they taught spinning!
So I arranged for the grandparents to watch the kiddos and I grabbed a cup of coffee at the crack of dawn and took off for my adventure.
The store was lovely and my spinning lessons went REALLY well. Having someone to correct my hand and feet was just the thing I needed. And she provided some reasons why I needed to do certain things and some super helpful background info. She was also super Zen about things and just made me feel so relaxed.
I managed to almost fill an entire bobbin and learn to correct some of the mistakes/hurdles I had been experiencing. Safe to say I’m hooked now 🙂
I can’t remember where I saw this pattern but I was sucked in HARD by the Around Every Corner shawl pattern by Stephanie Lotven. The original was made in a solid grey with a gradient of reds. (Sorry I printed in grey scale to save ink).
My knitters brain knew I had the PERFECT yarn in my stash for this project. My wishful knitting shawl is going to have a green main color with a flower/tulip like gradient set from Bede Sisters Yarn Co. The solid green is just some Cascade sock yarn I had kicking around in my stash. I just have this mental picture of a garden inspired shawl.
I have the pattern printed and yarn all kitted up in a project bag. But what I don’t have is needles in the right size in the correct length. That and like five other active WIPs, lol. So I’m going to leave this in my project tote as a prize for getting some of my other WIPS off the needles.
I ended up staying home from work this past Monday with back pain. It’s hell getting old and out of shape. So after a trip to the chiropractor I settled myself into bed and spent ALL DAY KNITTING. I don’t appreciate the impetus but I’m not mad at the outcome.
I managed to add three full mini skeins to my Garter Rainbow Wrap. I started the day with teal, added the acid green and finished with the variegated green. When I finish this latest mini I will officially be halfway through my advent minis.
It’s becoming patently clear that I will run out of the white sock yarn. I’m going to dig around in my stash for other white scraps to see how far I can get without ordering yet more yarn, lo. Wish me luck!
My sock needles were empty and my purse lacked travel knitting after I finished my Advent Socks #3 last week. I wanted some instant gratification so I decided to go for some sport weight socks rather than more fingering weight socks.
I pulled some Regia 6-ply from my deep stash in the every helpful color of “6974”. This has been marinating since 2017 and needs to turn into socks for my Dad. He makes a point to rave how warm his feet are when he is hunting in my hand knit socks.
I am doing the “sock recipe” I have for my dad. I cast on 18 stitches with a wedge toe and then increased to 68 stitches on US 2 needles. My dad has a 13 inch foot and I’ll do a toe up gusset heel. I just need to pay attention to when I get to halfway through the skein so I leave enough yarn for the second sock.