Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

What I’m Working On

Filed under: Downloads - Desktop Wallpapers,Knitting,Spinning — folkcat at 4:19 pm on Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I did a bit of a teaser last week about some of the fiber crafting I’ve been doing. One was a picture of my Lendrum bobbin with some multi-colored singles spun on it.

Here’s what the same bobbin looks like today:

I’ve been putting in a minimum of 15 minutes a day at the wheel, and some days as much as 30 minutes or more. So progress is coming along nicely.

This is the first my wheel has been active in over a year. I haven’t lost the skill, I guess it’s like riding a bicycle. In fact, I think I’m better for having let the spinning hibernate for so long. It’s feeling very natural now, so natural I even find myself craving time spent at the wheel as much as I do time with the knitting needles.

One thing that has made it easier to spin – I finally picked a spot for the wheel that means I can sit down with very little effort and just start.

What you’re seeing is the corner of the living room where my desktop computer lives. The wheel is placed such that all I have to do is spin my chair in place, move the ball of roving to the left, and start treadling. Which is quite often exactly what I do after reading e-mails, posting to the blog, or other online activities. It’s amazing how it can add up when you remove obstacles like set-up time.

The roving I’m spinning is a hand-dyed merino. Purchased at the Dublin General Store here in New Hampshire over a year ago, where one of the owners is an avid knitter/spinner/dyer who sells her goods right there, one room over from the wine selection and across the main store from the deli counter. If I remember correctly (the tag is long gone), it’s about 6 oz. total weight.

I formed no plan for this when I sat down. I had pre-drafted the entire lot way back when. As I sat down to the wheel, I made a decision to move the belt on the flyer one notch smaller, upping the ratio a little. Otherwise, I’ve let the wool find its own weight. Thin, but not too thin. I haven’t done a wpi on the single, so I’m not sure.

To preserve the long color runs, I may make this my first chain-plied yarn. Or second – I have a partial bobbin of a non-descript blue single that I spun and have no other plans for, I am likely to practice on that first. Tripling this multi-colored single, I’m guessing from my quick tests, will give me something in the range of a fingering weight.

After that, I’ll just have to decide what to knit with it! If it turns out even enough, I may try for my first hand-spun socks.

Speaking of knitting, I teased this project the other day, too:

The pattern is called Autumn, and it’s an entre-lac shawl pattern published by the Jojoland yarn company. The yarn is their worsted weight variegated called Rhythm. Rhythm has very long stretches of color, making entre-lac a perfect way to display it. The particular colorway I’m using is number 023, which comes in shades of purple, orange, and yellow. I love the combination of both warm and cool colors, and of course, I love the purple.

Yes, I have abandoned both the Adult Surprise Jacket and my latest pair of socks to work on this. I was in the yarn store and she had a sample of the shawl knitted up, and I simply fell in love. I scored a copy of the pattern from her that day to be sure I’d have it. Then I developed such an eagerness to knit it over the next couple of days that I raided the piggy bank for part of the money, and talked Gryphon into the rest as an early birthday present (way early – it’s not until August).

I had my 10 11 balls of Rhythm that Saturday, and had cast on by Saturday night. (The pattern calls for 10 balls – we bought an extra as a cushion.) Today, I’m within a short distance of finishing the main body of the shawl, then I’ll cast on for the border. My goal is to finish by my birthday so I can enjoy my gift. I think I’ll have no trouble making it – and I hope those don’t become “famous last words”!

Someone amongst the commenters – you know who you are – has already hinted that the photo of the entrelac knitting would make a great desktop wallpaper. I agree! I do plan to take the image above and make all the proper size versions, add the copyright statement, etc. Since my personal monitor is now a widescreen one, I’ll be adding a new size/proportion as well, 1680 x 1050.

Until I actually get myself away from the knitting and spinning to do that, however, if you want to use the photo above as your desktop wallpaper, simply click on the image. You’ll be taken to the full size version (1600×1200), which you can then save to your own computer. Just do me the favor of doing so only for your own personal use, and don’t redistribute the image, okay?

Whew! I think I’ve said enough now. I want to get back to knitting the shawl….after I maybe spin a few minutes…the wheel’s right here…

Another Improvement

Filed under: Blog Admin,Downloads - Desktop Wallpapers — folkcat at 12:35 pm on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

There is now a live link to my Free Desktop Wallpaper Gallery, up above in the navbar.