Thursday, 14 February 2013
Then I took apart my travel wheel. It's a Kromski Mazurka and a very pretty little thing. It weighs only about 9 lbs so it's really light and easy to haul around. I got it unfinished. I stained it and finished it with a Scandinavian Tung Oil. I used several coats the first time and it was nice and shiney. However, a couple of years of hauling it around, general use and of course winter with a woodstove had left it looking a bit dull and dusty. Most of it just pegs together, but I didn't bother to glue the legs in so that I could disassemble it almost completely should I need to. So I took the poor old gal apart. I rubbed down all the pieces with fine steel wool. Then I wiped them down with damp linen to remove the dust and Kevin hair as most of the time I was working on it, he was unsuccessfully hiding under the wheel. Then I put a fresh coat of Scandinavian Tung Oil on it and after a difficult 24 hour wait, I put her back together. With a nice bit of oil on the axles and leathers, she runs as smooth and as quiet as ever. She is a sweet little wheel.
I might mention too, that I'd left the tin of oil in the garage from the cupboard project. With the really cold weather, I'd worried that it might have frozen. I called the company's tech line - Behr and had quick, friendly advice telling me basically, it can stand being frozen a few times but try it on a scrap to make sure. I hadn't want to waste the time experimenting if getting cold would ruin it. It is obviously a flexible product because it worked perfectly.
I'm anticipating needing over 200 yards of white for a dye project later in the spring. Better to spin it now, before I forget about it and have to rush it, two days before the event. This is the first bobbin - short forward draw , which I'll ply to get about 4 tpi. There is no rush on it though, so I'm taking my time and enjoying the process.
Then of course I needed to try out the Mazurka, because I'd not have known it was running as smooth and quiet as ever, if I'd not tried it out.
This is the roving I dyed as extras for the shawl. The roving was a little bit compacted so it took several tries to figure out how best to use it. I tried just loosening the fibres, but it was still difficult to draft. Then I pulled it apart and hand carded it into rolags. This worked okay, but the staple length is approaching 5 inches long and that made it a bit difficult to card. Finally I walked by the diningroom table, which I noticed that I'd left the drum carder set up. It's not like I don't go right by it 10 times a day, but I guess somethings become invisible after a while. The drum carded batts drafted best of all. It's also less work than rolags. I'm half through the second bobbin and will ply them together. It's still a lovely shade of blue.
Shortly after the socks were done, I started to knit my daughter a pair of fingerless mitts. However the Shetland yarn I had spun some time ago, albeit nice yarn, was too thick for the intended pattern. Instead, I made myself a pair since during the cold spell, our house was rather chilly and my hands were periodically a bit cold. These are thicker than I'd normally make, but flexible and I spun in them last night, despite my hands not actually being cold. They'll be useful, should the temperatures drop outside again.