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?

One Night To Celebrate

I finally installed the heel on my Celebrate the Night sock that I finished on my last plane travel. Turned out pretty snazzy and I even managed to luck out and have the heel fall in-between two color stripes!

For the record, these are Jellybean’s feet. This boy is growing like a weed on Miracle Gro and his feet are quickly catching up to mine. The socks are just a hair too long and not skinny enough for him. But give him another year and I bet we have the same size feet.

Now I just need to get the second sock finished up. I have the second tube done but I need some focus and good light in order to pick up stitches for the afterthought heel. My eyes are inching closer to 40 and black yarn isn’t my friend anymore!

Happy Friday and Happy Knitting!!

Now It’s A Ponytail Hat

I cruised through the body of my GFOA Conference Hat and worked through the decreases. I was hanging out at my parents house when I got to the point where my circular needles were to big to continue. But I didn’t want to be done knitting! So my Aunt suggested I just finish it as is!

So I did a modified K2tog, K1 and repeat cast off to finish the pony tail hole. It doesn’t have a ton of stretch at the cast off but my pony tail fit threw the hole just fine. I still need to weave in the ends and give this thing a wash/block. Finished object photos coming soon!

Happy Knitting!!

Mystery Grab Bag

Back around Christmas time I grabbed some mystery grab bag fiber from Etsy to have for Santa to leave in my stocking. And Santa ended up leaving me some yarn instead of fiber and I kinda forgot about this tucked away in my closet until I did some spring cleaning.

On the left is some mystery fiber that looks to have a blend of silk, nylon and maybe a couple of different kinds of wools based on the wool crimp. I weighed it and it totals 3 ounces. The right is 8.5 ounces of a spinning kit from Melissa’s Yarn Barn. It is a solid merino braid and some locks of multi-colored wool or other fiber.

Both are interesting kits and not something I would usually pick for myself. But it adds nice variety to my spinning stash. Even if I don’t love the colors I will learn new things from the spinning process. Do any of you mystery grab bag?

Happy Spinning!!

Half A Hat

My GFOA Conference hat is swimming right along! The brim is finished and I did turned hem sort of process so the fabric is doubled over. I am now starting the main body of the hat.

This is my first time working with Urth Uneek Worsted. Its a self-striping worsted and its been fascinating watching how the colors are developing and striping. Based on how the ball is unwinding I can see some deeper and darker stripes coming my way. I can’t wait!!

Happy Knitting!!

Finished Cashmere

My cashmere skein is completely dry and all measured up! This is my softest and finest spin yet. I am beyond happy with this one.

After finishing I ended up with 223 yards weighing 112 grams. This makes this skein DK in most spots with other sections more of a light worsted. I can tell my plying was tighter on this skein than any of my previous 2-plys. With this having cashmere content I put extra twist in it in order to reduce piling in its future knitted state.

I don’t have any projects in mind yet. I think I’m going to let this one marinate in the handspun stash for a minute. Happy spinning!!

Spinning A Gradient!

Since my Kiwi wheel is free of a spinning project, I decided ot put something back on it. I pulled some BFL roving from my stash that were a teal to blue gradient. I felt like making a singles that would end up a 3-ply gradient!

This yarn might have an excess of dye…..my fingers were a little blue after working the first part of the gradient. Could be part Smurf??

Pretty happy with the singles I have been creating. I still have half the teal to finish before I start the next color. Not too shabby for an afternoon of outside spinning. It’s really getting warm here in Kansas!!

Happy Spinning!!

Let’s Make Poor Decisions!

I am in the slog of the body of my Catbells Cardigan. Never ending body for 20 plus inches of the same pattern. I had some kid free time this past evening and decided to mix my favorite summer beer and knitting. It is not lost on me that this might be a poor decision…

I haven’t inspected my knitting this morning, but I feel like I did okay not messing up the pattern! It’s dark worsted yarn so that will hide a lot of sins, lol.

Happy Knitting!!!

Cast On: GFOA Conference Hat

While tromping around Texas at my work conference, I found Hill Country Weavers and fell into some yarn. While killing time in the airport I cast on a basic worsted hat using some the Uneek Worsted yarn I bought.

I used 80 stitches on a US 8 needle and started working in stockinette. My plan is to have a folded hem and make a basic beanie from my own “recipe’. I only managed about two inches of brim during my flight as my isle mate was very talkative.

Still, I am loving how this hat is starting to work up! The yarn is very subtly striped and the colors are uniquely coordinate. I think this will be a very cool hat. Stay tuned!!

Happy Knitting!!

Wash and Drying

I managed to finish spinning the singles for my merino/cashmere singles this past week after I got back from my travel. I wound the singles into a cake so that I could ply from the inside and outside. IT…WAS….A….MESS!! I neglected to understand how badly the singles would get tangled. I had to break and and untangle my singles many times. But in the end, I made a skein!

The skein had a little over twist from plying as it didn’t hang completely straight off the plying bobbin. But I had confidence that a bath would fix it right up!

And I was right, a bath and a whack had this skein nicely balanced. Since it is 90+ degrees in Kansas now I set this skein outside in the sun to dry. And boy howdy, it dried in four hours! I need to take the time to weigh and measure this skein to find out what kind of yarn I made.

This finished yarn is SUPER soft and might the thinnest spinning I have made to date. I can’t wait to see what this measure out to be! I really feel the need to find a project to fit this spectacularly yarn….

Happy Spinning!!

Hill Country Weavers Yarn Shop

While in Texas, I had half a day to kill before my flight left for home. I hopped into an Uber and found the closest yarn store which happened to be Hill Country Weavers. Y’all…this shop was the bomb!

This shop had all kinds of yarn brands that I haven’t been able to lay hands on yet. I touched La Bien Aimee, Life in the Long Grass, Madeline Tosh and many more. Even the bathroom had a life size sheep painting!

I might have spent my budget plush some but it was totally worth it. I grabbed a mix of sock yarn, DK and worsted. I had some Uneek Worsted in a self striping pattern (top), La Bien Aimee BFL Sock, Life In the Long Grass Fine Sock, Madeline Tosh DK, Madelinetosh Pashmina, and two skeins of Spin Cycle!

Truth be told, other than the hat I cast on with the Uneek Worsted, I have zero plans for this yarn. I just wanted some special/souvenir pieces to add to my collection and stash. These are yarns I don’t normally get to lay hands on. Definitely yarn to remember!!

Happy Knitting!!