Posts tagged ‘spinning’

Lookie what I made!

Last entry, I mentioned my neglected spinning wheel.  But look!

Yeah! It’s yarn! And I made it! Very uneven, but still!

The fiber was given to me for Christmas, and dyed by me. The dyeing process was rather simple, despite the fact that this was only my second foray into dyeing activities.   I used Jaquard dyes in teal and chartreuse.  Naturally, I wanted teal & green, my two favorite colors.  I divided the fiber in half so there would be even amounts of each, then did them on the stove, one at a time, because I only had one big pot.

That chartreuse is a bit more yellow than I had intended, so it almost looks Wolverineish to me.  I was originally planning on over-dyeing it with the teal  so the green would get greener and the teal would get darker.  I might do it with this batch, since I spun so little of the total amount of fiber.

The spinning was…interesting.  The fibers on this yarn are really short, which made it really difficult.  It  broke on me lots of times.  I did get better as I went along though, so at least I know that I remember what I’m doing. I only spun a small amount, not because I was getting frustrated, but because I realized that to spin all of it at once, I really need a jumbo flyer, and those kind of cost jumbo dollars.  It’s not terrible, but I don’t have that at the moment, so the rest of that fiber will have to wait.

I also as part of the Ravelympic Ravellenic games, spin some of the green yarn I got from GnomeAcres.  The fibers on that are much longer, so it was much easier to spin.  I did much better with that. It’s still uneven, but it’s more consistent than the bit you see up there.  I’ll post pics once I spin the rest.


07/31/2012 at 7:34 pm 1 comment

GeekCraft Wednesday: Bonus geekery!

I have updates on three stores featured previously on GeekCraft Fridays.

1. I think I mentioned this earlier, but I bought 6 cross stitch designs by pixystitches from GeekCraft Friday #1.  I had to.  Hoping to try some soon.

2.  I also bought stuff from GnomeAcres from GeekCraft Friday #2. Not a surprise. 🙂 Since I’m trying to spend some time with Schrödinger (my neglected spinning wheel) I bought some more fiber, along with a skein of yarn.

Obviously I’m a little fond of this color.

Another pretty color called “No Place Like Gnome” (Obviously that’s a different dyelot than mine, but hopefully it will look something like that when I spin it up. Just way less even.)


From all the purple and green yarns to choose from [Hulk, Joker] I went with Maleficent.  Fitting, since I was actually given the nickname Sorcerist [sic] at work this week.

I message all the crafters that I feature a) because they might like to know they’re being written about (who doesn’t like praise?) and b) so they can tell me if they want their pictures taken off or anything like that.  She was supportive of the blog and said to let her know when I ordered again.  I said hello in the notes section of the order, and she included two mini skeins! I believe they’re in the Roller Derby Diva colorway, but I’m not 100% sure. Also I got a button. And I love buttons.

5. One of last week’s shops, ptierneydesigns was actually inspired by my last post. I commented that I thought her charms would make great stitch markers AND SHE MADE SOME.  Just off one thing I said!

I’m astounded and flattered that these came from my comment. And they’re Sherlock Holmes, so obviously they’re awesome.

I will be back on Friday with more geekery. I can’t tell you what kind, because I have yet to pick something, but I promise it will be fun.  I do not promise no Loki.

07/25/2012 at 8:05 pm 1 comment

Schrödinger’s Spinning Wheel is Alive! (Really!)I

On Thursday, I contemplated murder put together my spinning wheel.

It was truly one of those times that try men’s souls, but eventually, I was able to turn this:

into this:

The directions the wheel came with were absolutely terrible, and the “illustrations” were even worse.  I got stuck on step 1 for about 10 minutes until I realized that my step 1 was already done and the two pieces to which they were referring had been put together previously.  Also it didn’t help that the example in the directions was a mirror image of my wheel, rather than the same exact design.

The frame and the wheel came together pretty easily.  That little part on the top left– the business end of the spinning wheel, if you will– was the smallest and %#*!$! hardest to put together.  I eventually looked for other directions online and found these official ones, which were similarly bad, but at least laughably so.  They’re the kind that have no words, and instead feature a happy face on the things you are supposed to do and a sad face on the things you should not  be doing, and barely any difference between the two illustrations.  (Check out Step 28 for the tortoise and the hare, randomly.)

The absolute hardest part was the drive band, which is a fancy name for a piece of string.  It is a vital piece of string, however,  without which the yarn will not spin.  It was difficult to tie on the rope with a) a secure enough knot, and b) actually have it be tight enough that it would serve its function. I could have used something a little mas stretchy.

But in the end, it worked, and was even able to make some yarn.  Ugly yarn, but still yarn.  Considering I’m still a n00b, it’s really not so bad.

05/27/2012 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

It’s not the size that counts

Long time no write. I said I was going to keep up with the blog this time, and I meant it! But things do get busy, and a 40 minute drive to/from work tires me out.

Today, I came home with plans to write about a few smaller projects I’d made, and as I was taking pictures, my dog started barking furiously at the mail lady who was bringing a large package up to my front porch.

Hmmm…Frah-gee-ley. Must be Italian.

Actually it’s from New Zealand*, which makes it my Ashford traditional spinning wheel! Look at it in all of it’s IKEA like glory!

*Spell check is telling me that “Zealand” isn’t a word. Seriously? 

I had decided to name it Schrodinger after my reluctance to admit actually purchasing a wheel.  I’m sticking with that name, but I’m super excited that it’s here, and I will not be shamed for my love of fiber arts!  Schrodinger also came with a bag of wool to practice on, which is also pretty sweet.  More on that when I have time to assemble it.

Back to what I had originally decided to write today: smaller projects!  Long drawn out projects can be fun, and are usually really rewarding when finished, but they can also be really exhausting.  It’s nice every once in a while to bust out a completed project in a weekend, or sometimes even a shorter amount of time.

Since the office at my aforementioned 40 minute away new job is constantly freezing, I decided to expand my wardrobe of fingerless gloves, so I can stay somewhat toasty and still remain able to do my Excel magic.  I went with a pattern that I’d always liked, but had never gotten around to doing, and a yarn in my favorite color, and this weekend made these. They were relatively easy, but the pattern did require paying a lot of attention to where I was so as not to get off the pattern.  The little zig zags are done with cables, which is something I’m really not a huge fan of doing.  I’m lucky in that my dislike of cables comes without a great desire for complicated cable sweaters, because I would absolutely hate doing them.  They’re not difficult at all, even though a lot of cables look it; they’re just tedious.  As long as you have patience for watching for where you are in the pattern, and for actually doing the cables, they’re really easy.

These weren’t bad to knit. It was about as much cabling as I could take, but I really like the effect.  And they also include
something I’d never done before, which was a thumb hole.  Well, I’d done a thumb hole before that’s just that- – a hole.  But this was actually part of a finger.  Again, not a difficult thing to do, but annoying as hell, which is why I will never make gloves. (Side note: this reminds me of an amusing anecdote about me knitting gloves, but I feel like I should probably check with the other party involved before sharing it.)

My other project, which I’m really proud of, was also knocked out over the span of a weekend.  One day for the embroidery and another evening for the sewing.  I made a needle book to hold my embroidery needles, and my scissors.  Basically, it was an excuse to embroider something since Urban Threads has so many wonderful designs that I want to try.

Basically, I took a piece of blue cloth and embroidered two patterns on it. (The colors are purposely bold because of the comic book like designs. Also, I like color.) I got a piece of contrasting fabric for the inside.  Before sewing them together, I put a piece of craft plastic (basically a semi-rigid plastic net) in one half of it, so that the bottom would be rigid, and the flap would be left floppy.

Onto the rigid inside, I attached a piece of red felt to hold the needles. It’s a good thick material that they won’t slip out of.  I attached it with some double sided tape made especially for fabrics. I wasn’t sure how well it would work on the felt, but it actually worked really well.  I wanted this book to hold my scissors as well as needles, I only attached it on three sides, making it a great pocket to hold a tiny pair of scissors.

I am totally in love with this thing!  I’m actually thinking of making some to sell on that Etsy shop I keep saying I’m going to open.  What do you guys think? As long as I’m careful with the embroidery, do you think people would actually buy these? I actually want opinions, so don’t be afraid to say no. I can take it 🙂

05/21/2012 at 7:50 pm 1 comment

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