Friday, 5 February 2010

She thought she wasn't busy.... BUT.......

I really was.

Every year I take my Ashford traveller, give her a good wipe down and re-apply the tung oil finish. Turns out I should be doing it every 6 months, so this summer I will take some fine steel wool and sand her down before I apply the next coat. I can do it outside, which will be nicer. It took 3 days to do this but after a good cleaning, two coats of tung oil, oiling and waxing all the moving bits, she spins like new.

My sweetie calls her my forgotten wheel, but she is only a tad neglected sometimes, never forgotten. I'm spinning the Shetland Shawl project on her. Tammy provided the rovings and I'm spinning and weaving them into a shawl for her. The rovings are from some of her favourite sheep. I'm spinning the shawl project on the Traveller so I can drag the wheel and the project out to the Guild spin-ins. There are 3 a month and I've found them to be a really good way to set away a block of spinning time. Since this skein of 263 yards of plied shetland wool took most of my free time for two days, having a few blocks of time devoted to spinning this yarn is a going to help a lot in time management.

I finished spinning up the pink and purple polwarth rovings. I really hope that I have enough to weave with, but I'm not sure. There are only 500 gms of them. I was initially planning to make a woven vest with them but I might have to do the back of some sort of contrasting, commercial fabric as I'm not sure I'll have enough.

I broke down and started a few herb seeds. There were a few potted herbs in a local grocery store and they were very sad looking plants. I didn't think I could bring them back, they looked so far gone. Instead, I put a grow light and a few peat pellets in a tray and planted some Flat leaf Parsley, Chives and Sweet Basil. The parsley seems to be a bit of a slow grower, but the others are making me very happy. These will be for inside pots. It's really too early to start seedlings yet here.

That being said, I may try Winter Sowing some Weld and Dyer's Greenweed seeds. This is supposed to be a good way to start perennials. You plant them in a clear plastic lidded container and leave them outside to freeze and thaw as the weather conditions dictate. This stratifies if necessary and lets them start as soon as they can. It is supposed to give strong plants.

I made two Anglo Saxon style hoods - one from handwoven wool fabric dyed with Yellow Bedstraw. The other is just a plain commercially woven wool fabric. Both are lined with linen. They are for a Regia Anglorum N.A outing this weekend.

Right now, I'm mordanting yarn and cooking up some dried Weld for the Regia outing. It's outside and the weather looks good - sunny and -8C. I'm dragging out the dye pots, or at least the nice steel pot and I'm going to try dyeing over an open fire in February. I'm not sure I'm willing to risk the clay dye pot to temperature extremes for a winter demo.

1 comment:

vandy said...

So, I'm interested in the 'winter sowing' idea. I see further along that you've used a pop bottle. Do you eventually cut that open to rescue your sprouts? When would you do that? I have such a huge problem with timing for starting plants, with the really really late frosts we get here, that it's almost impossible to grow things from seeds, and I often miss the window of opportunity for getting seedlings to try.