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 poured on the afterburners and have churned out the second sleeve AND the hem on my Catbells Cardigan.
All my ends are woven in and I have dunked this sweater. It is so large that I had to clean out and use my kitchen sink! I did manage to eek out the second sleeve with the original yarn and had more than enough for the hem with the backup yarn I purchased.
Next up I need to knit and block the pocket patches. I should be able to knock out those in an evening if my family cooperates. I am so close to finishing this sweater that I can’t wait!
My very barber poled Daffodil 2-ply is off the wheel and out of its bath. It’s not my normal color story but it came out very lovely.
This yarn is mostly a heavy DK weight with some thicker spots popping up now and then. It came out to 176 yards in a 122 gram skein. It just screams spring flowers with all those colors mixed together. The Romney is not next to skin soft, at least for me. But this would make great yarn for a hat or accessories.
I do plan to gift this yarn to a work fiber friend. Kinda worried I will freak her out as we have only met in the virtual world, lol. But I have come to value our collaboration and I enjoy sending joy to others.
One sleeve is now complete! My Catbells Cardigan is looking more and more like a functional cardigan.
I did deviate from the pattern in regards to the sleeve. As designed the arms were to snug in my upper arm. So I knit straight for awhile and then mixed in my own decreases. I used light bulb stitch markers to keep track of where I put those in order to duplicate on the second sleeve. I also made the cuff a week bit longer so the sleeves would go all the way to my knuckles.
I have even started the second sleeve and I’m about halfway done with the decreases. I am just about out of my original dye lot of yarn. I *think* I will have enough yarn to finish the second sleeve. That does mean I will need to use my second batch/dye lot of yarn to make the hem and pockets. Honestly, they look close enough in color that I don’t think anyone will notice.
This fiber is a mix of blues, yellows, greens and eve some pinky orange. The singles came out nice and easy. It’s getting easier to get a finer single but I still struggle with pieces that come out thick where the fibers might be a little felted or clumped. I am able to fix some and some just go through as “character”.
I am hoping to have some time this weekend to get these singles plied up. I made a new fiber friend in my work world and I think this skein (if it turns out) will be a gift.
I decided to go big and leave home, so to speak. At PB’s gymnastics lessons this week I took my Catbells Cardigan and lugged to the gym.
I have roughly 40 or 42 rows of sleeve done and I have slipped this on. Based on this fit, I think I am ready to start the decreases. Given the gauge I am working at, I think I need roughly 10 (maybe 12) stitches decreased to fit my lower arms/wrists.
I plan to plot my decreases with light bulb style stitch markers so I can count rows and match my “pattern” on the second sleeve. This yarn is SO DARK, it’s my only hope to be mildly successful!
This bag has been holding my Victorian Mauve Vanilla socks and I was using to walk on my lunch hour this week when I had a malfuntion. My wr
I grabbed some black thread and a sewing needle to make a quick mend. I used tiny little quilt like stitches to reattach the strap. The strap nestled right back in and my less than professional stitches are now hidden inside.
I feel like I finished a marathon and I have most of my Catbells cardigan is done! I am finished with 24 inches of patterned body.
I didn’t have my needle set with me over the last weekend so I couldn’t start the ribbing just yet. But I didn’t want to lose steam so I decided to start the sleeves. I did have my Chia Goo mini set in my project bag so I could work the sleeves in the round.
This is actually my second start of the sleeve. I accidently picked up the stitches with the sweater inside out. Oops! I do plan to deviate from the pattern on the sleeves. I have larger upper arms and really want to customize for a good fit.
Really hoping this means I am *this* close to finish this long lingering WIP. I started this sweater in June 2021….
My garden finally woke up and we have started harvesting tomatoes!
The small ones are little Roma tomatoes that I am washing and freezing for sauce and recipes later this winter. The big slicer is destined for BLTs this week! We may get precious little before fall freeze so I am going to watch carefully!
I have tried this on and the fit is excellent. This yarn is really superb and I already have the foot of the second sock already started. I can definitely say that these socks will be a favorite in my winter rotation.
After finishing my Deep Regret 2-ply I decided to work another smaller project. I seem to be all about the instant gratification!
This Romney is not as soft the merino I have been working with and find I need to pre-draft a little bit more. I split the braid in half and then those half again to make thinner fiber. And as I spin I am opening up the fiber to make a thinner single.
My kids and husband were on the Switch before school/daycare so I took my wheel and my coffee outside for 10 minutes to spin before work. It was sunny, cool and calm. The last I saw of those things that day. Work has upended once again and is causing me more responsibility and stress but that’s a post for another day!