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.
A few work conference calls over the past few months only added up to two new color stripes. But with renewed vigor this week I made it to the cuff. I think two color stripes will give me a 1 inch cuff and I’ll be done. Then of course I need to start the second sock and put in the afterthought heel in sock number one.
I am still feeling the urge to spin and my Shiny Alpaca was off the wheel. So I pulled out a spinning kit I got in a mystery bag a few Christmas’s ago. It was 8.5 ounces of pink merino and a handful of intact wool locks in bright pink and bright blue.
I was so engrossed in the spin that I didn’t even grab any photos before the singles were done. I split the braid into 4 ounce chunks. I spun the first half with working the locks in intermittently. I HATED it from the start. But I persevered and worked them all in the first 4 ounces.
I then HAPPILY spun the second 4 ounces as plain merino. Those were lovely to spin. I plan to ply the two together. My first bobbin is very inconsistent and thick/thin. So I am predicting an “art” yarn from this skein. It will be beautiful in its own way, lol.
I’m not a super duper zero waste person, but I do like to find ways to reduce our footprint around our house. We recycle and use reusable goods where possible. But my kids drive me nuts with how much food we waste. And the leftovers that go bad in the fridge because I’m the only one that eats them and I can’t keep up. So I pooled my Grandma Christmas money with some savings and I got a countertop composter!
I did ZERO research. I just used a basic google search and found a machine I could afford with at least 4 stars on Amazon. And so far it works great! When we are home and cooking I can fill it once a day.
Depending on what goes in, the color is WILD. This was tomatoes, moldy cheesy pasta and coffee grounds. I just empty the bin into our backyard garden bin and start refilling this. It’s quiet and surprising smells good while its “cooking”. It does require filters and maintenance so I don’t know how long it will hold out. But it’s a nice new experiment for us and reducing our trash.
One of my Christmas presents was a replacement insert for my bread maker. I have really been leaning on that to mix and proof my dough for baked goods. I decided to give it a thorough testing.
The cinnamon rolls were FIRE and didn’t last. My sticky rolls need the caramel sauce to have cooked a little more. They were still yummy, just the last thing to disappear. And the dinner rolls turns into burger buns.
Life is crazy but baking has been bringing me peace. I just need to find more places to take my goods so I don’t eat them all!
The heels are fully installed in my Bumbles Bounce Vanilla Socks. This means I have a newly minted finished pair of socks!
Pattern: My own toe up vanilla sock recipe over 68 stitches with an afterthought heel
Yarn: MustStash Yarn Must Match Sock in the Bumbles Bounce colorway
Needles: US 1s
I love MustStash as her skeins are dyed to a perfect match. So my socks are perfectly identical with no work on my part. The socks used up 57 grams of the skeins so roughly 262 yards. I have enough for possibly another set of shorties with contrasting everything. But I will probably use the leftovers in my scrap projects.
The hubby was in charge of bedtime last night so I had some free and clear time. The singles from my sparkly alpaca FLEW onto my wheel this week. The fiber was very excellently carded and it felt easy to spin.
I poured myself a strawberry blonde ale from a local brewery and started plying. The two bobbins are fairly well matched and I only had a few yards to chain ply at the end of one bobbin.
The skein is resting on its bobbin and waiting for a bath this weekend. Pre washing the yarn looks to be around 11 or 12 wraps per inch. So light DK to sport weight probably? It might change a little after its swim and whack.
I fell down the TikTok hole the other day and saw someone make “bread” from ice cream. I had to try, it just seemed dubious.
It’s just vanilla ice cream, flour, salt and baking powder. And it totally cooked into a bread-like shape. It did not raise very far but the sprinkles did stay on top.
Flavor wise, it was pretty much Meh. It was not as sweet as I would have liked. The texture is very dense. Jellybean LOVED it and ate two slices. I think if I were to try it again, I would add some sugar?
But it was a fun baking experiment. Happy Baking!!
I had a FULL week of training at work. Like 8-5 every day for a week. The only way I could survive was to bring some knitting. I chose my Bumbles Bounce Socks.
It was SUPER productive. I finished both sock tubes and even got the first heel knit in. The training was leadership related and lots of thinking and talking so it was very easy to knit. And I caught a couple muggles mesmerized as I was knitting, lol.
So I just need to wrap up this last heel and I will have a finished pair of socks! They won’t be super tall but they will undoubtedly be super festive!!
I ignored my adult responsibilities and sat at my wheel for most of yesterday. I had finished my Finn yarn and I pulled more fiber from Fiber Flurry to spin. This time it is black alpaca with Firestar mixed in.
This roving is carded very nicely is lovely to spin. It’s smooth and comes out fairly consistently. I have 4.7 ounces of this fiber. I think I will plan to weigh it and spin onto two bobbins for a 2-ply. A single day got me an almost full first bobbin!
I decided that January needed more carbs and sugar content. So I decided to make sticky pecan rolls from scratch. As with most things I do, I googled pecan rolls and just picked the highest rated recipe.
It really worked out fairly well. The rolls browned nicely and it was really all about that flip…
Tah dah!!! All reports were that they were delicious. I took these to work so there were snacks for an all day training. None were left after the end of day two, lol.