Today I was asked to participate at my son’s Alpaca farm for Alpaca farm Days. Something the Alpaca farms do here this time of year every year. Do they do this all over the country?
It was fun, many more people than was expected came and enjoyed the Alpacas, and the Alpaca products my son and his spouse had for sale. They had a sock machine, a hat machine, and a drum carder out for people to see how they worked. They also had a screened table, which allows dirt and vm (vegetable matter) to fall to the ground, and show people how they skirt and pick through the fleece 2nds (the smaller less desirable parts of the fleece, tho they are still very soft they are shorter). They use the 2nds to make the felted dryer balls people love to use :), the 1sts are sent to a fiber mill to be washed and spun into yarn. A friend and I spent the day spinning on our spinning wheels and answering questions regarding spinning and using my blending board and carders. I look forward to doing this again next year. 🙂 Please enjoy the pictures above, oh the two Alpacas are not kissing lol, they are not as close to each other as it looks, but it made for a cute picture.
With the help of the Kromski Raverly group and a local friend, I was able to get the Polonaise configured to be a scotch tension drive, thankfully it comes with both options :). The pictures do not do it justice, it is a dark mahogany color but looks like a walnut color in the pictures. It is portrayed a little better in the picture of the singles I am spinning tho’ it still does not show the dark mahogany color as it is, it is really beautiful. It spins like a dream and I am enjoying spinning on it immensely. The fiber is some super wash merino that I had dyed some time back when I spun a skein for a friend. I am spinning this skein to make a scarf or cowl (we need those here in the winter :P) for Marge’s sister (also a friend). Something for her to think about her sister when she wears it.
I also cast on a new project. Was going to make this last year for Christmas for a family member but I fell and broke my hand so that didn’t happen. Not taking any chances this year, if I procrastinate, “Murphy” will come to visit again and he is not allowed in my home :P. This is the Changing Staircases shawl by Trysten Molina of Dragon Hoard Designs. I am using Stroll Tweed Sock Labs yarn by Knit Picks in the Teal Tweed colorway. It’s really pretty and has a generous 462 yards. Because I am a loose knitter I am using a size 4 instead of a size 5 circular needle. Tho’ it looks difficult, this pattern is very easy and easily memorized :). Not sure if you can see it very clearly but I am using a beautiful bronze heart progress keeper made by Stephanie of the Knitting Samurai podcast, from her Adore Knits Etsy shop.
I am loving Spring but could do without all the rain, but at least it’s not snow :P.
A friend of mine passed away a couple of months ago and her husband said she had asked that I be given her spinning wheel and all her fiber. I wasn’t sure what kind of wheel it was and when I received it today I had to put some of it back together, but it is a Kromski Polonaise. It’s a beautiful Mahogany finished wheel and will look much nicer when I get it cleaned up from all the dust that has taken up residence on it, I honestly don’t know that she ever spun on it but she loved fibery things. I will figure out more about it and add it to my wheel collection and spin on it. This one appears to be able to be used as a double band drive or a scotch tension. There was a number (wheel number?) date and signature on the bottom, will have to investigate that. The band was not on the wheel so I will try to figure out making it work as a scotch tension, but I can say the wheel moves very freely, I have a feeling this will be a really nice wheel to spin on. Hehe , I think my Rick Reeves wheel is a little jealous, you can see it in the back ground doing a photo bomb :).
I did start the 2nd baby sock. Starting little socks is not my favorite thing to do because it is easy to twist when joining in the round with so few stitches on double pointed needles so I take extra time and care when starting them, hate frogging (for my non knitting friends, frogging is ripping it out, think ribbit, ribbit to rippit rippit :P). The rest should be much more relaxing to knit ;). Hoping to have it finished by Friday. 🙂
My project was my Little Lace Cat’s Paw Scarf design with my hand spun yarn. I’ve knit this little scarf several times and still enjoy it. The colors on the scarf are blown out, it really is a medium teal color instead of the lighter color that shows.
I am working on spinning on my Rick Reeves spinning wheel, but the tension is a bit finicky (it’s a double band drive tensioned wheel and I’m use to scotch tension). I won’t give up, I’ll get it eventually, it’s the only wheel I have at the moment that does not need some repairs, so learn on it I must :P. I’ve got quite a bit of practice fiber, so I will keep working on it and save my nice fiber for after I have the learning curve down :).
Our weather has gotten much better, rain instead of snow and we have been in the 30’s, 40’s, and today and tomorrow lower 50’s!! WOOT Spring is almost here, we will be back in the 30’s and 40’s after today. I say almost because we can still get snow through April. But I will be keeping an eye open now for the Robins, who are my true signal that Spring is finally here :). I love Spring!
Meet (yellow and green) Princess Peach, and (teal on the top and blue on the bottom and some white) Yoshi. My son and his spouse weren’t having enough time for these love birds because of their alpacas and shows to sell their alpaca yarn, etc. So I inherited them. Unfortunately they are both females so they have to have separate cages because, tho they like each other, it’s from afar, lol. I didn’t realize just how noisy and loud love birds can be, they make a call similar to the kookaburra, :P. They also have quiet noises as well. You can’t see the color well on the teal/blue love bird, but she is beautiful. They are not friendly so I have to love them from afar as well :P. They are very intelligent as most parrots are, Miss Peach figured out how to get out of her cage and I had to secure all the doors on her cage, she is naughty :P.
Ok, re-posting the finished spool of singles and the progress on the 2nd spool and showing the rolag with it. I have four more rolags not counting the one I draped across the wheel, however I have the 1st spool about 1/2 way full and tho I can get more on it, if I have 2, more than 1/2 full spools, I worry that it will be overfull after plying, and my Baynes wheel doesn’t do plying well once that happens. So I might have to just spin what is left over, after filling this 2nd spool 1/2 way, and ply the left over singles from a center pull ball and use it if I need it for the scarf that I am planning on making with this yarn. I’m hoping to have this done tomorrow evening or Monday sometime, been a long time coming with this skein :P. Then I can concentrate on continuing learning to spin on the Rick Reeves double drive wheel ;).
Well I went to the Dr.’s yesterday and good news, the x-ray showed no slipping, of the fractured piece of bone that was broken loose in my hand under the little finger. So no surgery! This new purple cast will be on for 3 weeks then it can come off and physical torture, I mean physical therapy will start. A friend said be sure to ask for pain meds. I said “aspirin won’t take care of the pain?”, he said, “nope.” Ugh.
Miss my knitting. Might try to spin some time this week to see if I can do it with this cast on. Would be a relaxing diversion. My Baynes spinning wheel is in the back ground, getting no love at the moment, but we will see if that can be remedied.
We have been having heavy storms every day now for over a week, and the weather pattern shows the storms taking a brief respite tomorrow and then continuing through Saturday. We have been in flood warning for a week and have over flowing rivers and two days ago 4 tornadoes touched down in areas close to, but not super close to my town, except one, which touched down in the city adjoining my town. A sample of the winter weather pattern? If so we should be prepared for a lot of snow and I hear the old farmer almanac also predicting very cold harsh temps, sigh. Guess I will be looking to see if the woolly caterpillars are out in force this fall (the older people use that as an indicator of colder temps for the winter here.)
Just keeping some accountability in doing some spinning or knitting every day. I have been only doing spinning and I didn’t get any done the day before yesterday. But I am making progress on both the yarn I’m spinning and learning the double drive wheel. The Rick Reeves wheel spins very nicely, I feel so blessed to have it.
I found some darker roving than what I am spinning, in the same color line, and was thinking about spinning it after this is done and making a skein that goes from lighter to darker for a shawl. It’s just in my head at the moment (the yarn not the shawl, I would be choosing an already written pattern :P.) So we will see if that works out as well in rl (real life) as it does in my head. Would probably have to do it as two different skeins and blend as I knit every other row for a few rows (maybe 10?) when I go from the lighter to the darker. I am hoping for about 4 ozs total when I am done, but we will see, I might be lucky to get 3 ozs. It’s just a thought.
I decided since I have a little extra money each month that I would invest in a set of stitch markers and progress keepers when I found things that were adorable. I love the stitch markers at Adore Knits. This is my 2nd order with her and as a returning customer she included a stitch marker holder (the little container with the green lid), so nice to keep them from being lost or destroyed in my bags :P. They are well made and beautiful. I chose the Harry Potter markers and progress keeper. I love that she has an extra attachment on one of the markers so when you are knitting in the round you know where your beginning and ending is. 😉 She also has The Knitting Samurai and her Guys podcast on Ravelry.
I have been very lax this year on my knitting and spinning. As I said before in one of my posts, just very unmotivated this year. So I said to myself, time to get the show on the road girl and get some things done, a change of attitude is what I need. So I will begin by making myself do something with my knitting or spinning every day, knowing that eventually I will be back in the swing of things. I still love knitting and spinning, just not motivated to do them, so I will treat myself like one of my children and make me do it :P.
This is some left over Polypay roving that I kettle dyed a few years ago. Thought I would kill two birds with one stone and get it spun (won’t be a lot of yarn, maybe 200 yds of heavy fingering) while I learn to spin properly on my Rick Reeves spinning wheel. I’m still working on figuring out the tension on the double band drive so…. it is over spinning a little bit, but eventually it will be right. I did this yesterday and will spin on it every day until it’s done. I also need to get a pair of socks started for my dad for his birthday, I have a few months before that is here, but considering how long I took with my last pair of socks, LOL, I need to get the show on the road!
I got a call earlier today from someone who goes to my church. He said he was getting ready to move to the west coast for a new job and had a spinning wheel he didn’t want to move out there. He is a single father of a son and isn’t a spinner so he just wanted it to have a good home. He asked me if I would like it. I said sure (you can never have enough spinning wheels, right?) I figured it was an older wheel and probably had some repair work that would need to be done to have it made into a working wheel. OH MY GOSH, when he walked in with this wheel I knew it was in perfect shape, how lucky can that be. Then he told me he had been given this wheel from his father who had worked with the Rick Reeves Spinning Wheel company and showed me the name plate on the wheel. OH MY GOSH! He was giving me a Rick Reeves spinning wheel. I am overwhelmed with amazement. It’s beautiful and in perfect working condition, and apparently it’s never been used. It is a double band drive and I’ve never spun with a double band drive before so I will have to learn how to spin with, and adjust it, a new adventure! How lucky can one girl get? Since my Church friend has no daughters, I decided to name my new wheel after his mother, my new wheel’s name is Donna. My plan is to spin some fiber and knit him a thank you gift. 🙂 (Sorry my photography skills are sadly lacking!)
I am hoping to have the 2nd heel, on the socks I’m knitting, done this week end so I can start on the feet and toes. Hopefully I’ll be posting a picture on Sunday of my progress. 🙂