Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Monday is for Miscellaneous

Filed under: Folkcat's Fotos,Knitting,Rats!,Spinning — folkcat at 1:55 pm on Monday, August 21, 2006

1) In regards to Saturday Sky, I think I just have to give up. The project as conceived is a great idea – give people a simple idea to post to encourage weekend blog activity. But in actual practice, it is very contrary to the way my life works. I post to this blog five days a week, and the weekends are just too busy to find time for it.

And so, here’s my Saturday Sky, this week on Monday. I may still take the pictures, but it’s going to be highly variable when they actually fit into a post. And it will seldom be on the weekend.

For several weeks now, I’ve shown you Saturday Skies that displayed a lot of blue and clouds over fields and hills. But that’s actually the exception rather than the rule in New Hampshire. When I moved here over 13 years ago from Syracuse, NY, one of the things I found very different was the concept of skyline.

Saturday Sky, August 19 2006
Typical New Hampshire Skyline

Route 31, on the way to Antrim, NH from Wilton. So much of New Hampshire’s roads are twisty little two-laners that wind through forests, hills, and mountains that it’s entirely possible to go days on end without seeing much more sky than this.

2) For the third week in a row, we went on a small fiber crawl. We’re not planning to make that regular a habit of it, though.

The intended itinerary this weekend was

  • The Wool Room, where I planned to show the shopkeeper some antique spindle whorls from Mali that I had left in inventory from the bead store. I also hoped to pick up a cake of pencil roving to add to the yarn I’m spinning as a gift for my mother.
  • The Fiber Studio, where I wanted to acquire the rest of the Rose Quartz roving in the bolder colorway. (I had mistakenly bought a Rose Quartz in a more blended colorway last week.)

We began as planned with the Wool Room in Antrim, where Anne bought a few antique spindle whorls. The ones she selected are all small, round, and handpainted. We tested their spin on a wooden dpn, and they’re incredibly well-balanced. For someone interested in tying their current spinning to the history of women’s work, these could actually be put into use again with the addition of an appropriate shaft. I don’t know what price Anne will be selling them at, but you could get in touch with her if you’re in the area and interested. (Wool Room phone number: (603) 588-6637)

As it happened, Anne was out of the pencil roving cakes. So Gryphon and I made a quick addition to the itinerary:

  • The Elegant Ewe in Concord, to pick up another pencil roving cake. (This was where I’d purchased the first one anyhow.)

Next stop was the Fiber Studio. I brought along both the muted and bold versions of the Rose Quartz roving so that I could be sure to get the right thing this week. I did, indeed, find the ball of bold Rose Quartz that I’d missed last week. I also found that there was a little under 2 oz. of the muted Rose Quartz left, so I bought that as well.

Weekend Haul Highlights
Weekend Haul Highlights and Spinning Progress

Today, I’m a little confused again. When I first purchased the bold Rose Quartz three Saturdays ago, I am certain that the shop attendant that day weighed the entire quantity and told me there were eight ounces. I couldn’t afford the whole thing, so I said I’d take four ounces.

That should have left four ounces, right? And yet, the bag that we found this Saturday turns out to contain about 8 1/2 ounces. Maybe there was yet another bag of bold Rose Quartz roving, and I found it this week, and the four ounces left from my previous purchase are still sitting on the shelf there?

I’m going to try not to think about it. I now have about 12 ounces of the bold version of the colorway, and a little over 5 ounces of the muted. That works for me.

I did wrestle a little with myself over some gorgeous purple merino-tussah silk roving, but decided to leave it because it would be a while before I got to spinning it, and if it wasn’t still there when I was ready I was certain that something equally fabulous would be.

But I’m still thinking about that purple merino-silk. sigh

Elegant Ewe was next, where I did indeed find my second cake of natural color pencil roving. I also picked up a Wraps-per-Inch tool, along with a Knit Kard that tells you how to convert the WPI to a yarn weight. This will help me to evaluate what I’m spinning and tell me how close I’m getting to my intended weight.

3) The photo above shows my progress in spinning the pencil roving on the Turkish Drop Spindle. I’m liking this spindle a lot. And the pencil roving, as I’ve said before, is like training wheels for a spinner. It’s pre-drafted condition is making it easier for me to get the hang of drafting out the fiber while the spindle is actually spinning.

I grabbed the first scrap of 2-plied handspun I’d made from the pencil roving (a couple yards spun on a adifferent spindle), and cast on six stitches on some dpns I had by my chair that are probably size 8. So here’s my first swatch of handknit from my own handspun.

First Homespun Swatch
First Handspun Swatch

At six stitches across, it’s too small to test a gauge. At 10 WPI, though, this is a worsted weight yarn.

4) Star and Sable got the idea the other day that crawling into Gryphon’s t-shirt sleeve and tickling his armpit with their whiskers would be helpful as he did the daily cage cleaning.

Star and Sable in Gryphon's Sleeve
Rattie Sisters Try to Help

I think their intentions were far better than the results. Though the picture is amusing.



Comment by Valerie in San Diego

August 21, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

hahaha! The Gryphon/rats shot made me laugh out loud.

Meanwhile, the handspun swatch is TOO cute.


Comment by Carrie K

August 21, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

The New Hampshire skyline is beautiful. I like the Saturday Skies posts but the every week! of doing it makes me glad I’m just enjoying everyone elses and not trying to keep up.

Your homespun looks so cute! As do the ratties. They’re helping.

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