Sunday, 15 May 2011

More Stanley Cup spinning and Other stuff...

White Shetland, jumbo skein
 I'm fast becoming tired of spinning white yarn.  The white Shetland is spinning up nicely using a long draw, so it's going fairly quickly.  I've two huge skeins of this so far, leftover bits on a bobbin and half the roving left in the bag.  The huge skeins are the result of using the jumbo plying head and plying two whole skeins together.  I figured this way I could keep the white Shetlands, from different fleeces separated.   I supposed labelling them would work as well and I'll do that when the whole Stanley Cup spinning project is done.   The Stanley Cup spinning is easing off now, that it's round 3 - Conference championships/ semi-finals and there are thusly fewer games with which to use as designated spinning time.

Minstrel set up with double drive
Worrying about white wool fatigue setting in, I starting thinking about natural dyeing.  That makes spinning white a lot more fun.   Then I decided to shake things up a bit.  I slipped off the old drive band, put a new one on the Minstrel making it double drive, instead of Scotch tension.  I don't know that I've ever tried the Minstrel in double drive.   I know the little Ashford was a double drive, but I wasn't fond of using it that way.  Not only did it slow down the ratios a bit but it was really fiddly.   What's the worst that could happen?  I'd hate it and switch back.  However, it turns out that the Minstrel runs smooth as silk on double drive.  I almost think I like it better in double drive than single drive/scotch tension.   That's saying a lot since before, it was smooth and lovely as well.

black Shetland on the Mazurka
I'd been dragging out the Minstrel to the deck on lovely days to spin.   Then in dawned on me that I'd been lugging the Minstrel through the house and outside and the poor little Mazurka was sitting there, ignored in  a corner.  That is exactly what I got it for, a portable wheel.   I can easily lift it with one hand and as I sat down to spin, I remembered that it's just as much a joy to spin on as the Minstrel.  Different of course, since it's a single treadle, but still lovely to spin on.  This is black Shetland lamb; the stuff which is full of vm and gunk, even after processing.   It will never be spectacular yarn, but it's very soft  and yummy, so I can live with the vm.

This morning, I made this for my son's birthday.  It's been ages since I dragged out the decorating equipment and iced a cake.   I messed up a bit on icing textures and had to remember by messing a few things up.  I'm totally not happy with the roses, but I had a horrible time with the getting the icing stiff enough.  The fact that it's raining, high humidity and we don't have the house heat on probably didn't help.   However, it's filled with a huge layer of lemon curd and will likely taste yummy despite it's wonky appearance.

I did another little Bayeux Tapestry border animal embroidery.  When I first tried my hand at this, each little animal seemed to take forever to embroider.  Part of that was inexperience and the rest was using Jaggerspun SuperLamb 2/24 at just under 6000 yds per lb.   It's pretty skinny yarn so takes a lot of extra work for coverage.  I used 3 strand Persian Tapestry yarn for this guy, as I'd done for the pouch I'd made earlier.  It works up a little more quickly.  This guy took only a couple of evenings and a bit of time one morning, embroidering while catching up on computer stuff.

The rest of the time, I was digging in the garden.  I was mainly weeding and pulling out innumerable bits of leftover plants from the previous owner's that I've been trying to get rid of.  One flower bed is ready to go and now I can start on a large flowerbed which runs along the back of the property.  This year it's overgrown with softneck garlic gone wild, orange poppies and who knows what else.  I know that there is almost nothing that blooms after June, and that has got to change.   It will need vast influxes of Rudbekia Goldsturm - which I've not seen this year in any  nurseries and some assorted Cone Flowers, Bee Balms and Gaillardia!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I know what you mean about spinning white and it's the dye possibilities that keep me engaged too. I just have one very portable wheel, but have a ton of bobbins. Just tonight I came across some skeins that I'm kicking myself for not labeling - sigh.