Sunday, 7 May 2017

Just a few little projects

I finished the bobbin of Blue Faced Leicester  singles.  I wound them into a centre pull ball and plied the two ends together.   There is lots of controversy over plying from a centre pull ball.  Some people say the grain or twist is different.  Others say that you get these little twisty tails from this method.    I've even had someone tell me it was just plain wrong and didn't work. 
This is the way I was taught, so plying from 2 bobbins took some effort.  Until I learned to control the tension of the two bobbins, I'd get those tails from that method.    One risk with a centre pull ball, is that with fine singles, the centre core can become tangled as it collapses in on itself.   To counter act that, you can put something in the centre of the ball to hold it secure.  Sometimes I'll wind the ball on a core like a toilet paper roll.  Other times, I'll slip my thumb in there, or more often these days, I use a piece of well sanded dowel.  As long as you keep your tension even for both threads or ends, no matter what method you use, you should get an even ply, with no little tails sticking out from it.  My conclusion is that use whatever method works for you. 

This afternoon I bottled the light amber ale which was in the fermenting bucket.  I have decided that I don't like using the bucket, because I need help getting the stupid lid off it.   I purchased a spigot and at some point I will turn it into a bottling bucket.   I'm not certain that I like the bottling wand and siphon method.  My bottling wand valve sometimes gets stuck, so that I have overflow and a bit of a mess.  Putting a hose clamp on the top of the bottling wand, where the siphon hose attaches, stopped the excess air getting in while siphoning and the siphon actually worked a treat this time.  Yay!    It should be carbonated by the long weekend in May. The recipe called for chocolate malt, but the recipe description suggested it was an amber ale.   I'm pretty sure I'll be more careful with using chocolate malts as this batch is pretty dark.

I made gluten free gingersnaps, which turned out quite well and are really delicious.  I put chocolate chips in 1/3 of the batch, but really, they were just as good without.   I'll put the recipe up later, because it finally stopped raining and there is so much to do.

More BFL on the wheel.  Nothing on the loom, but lots of ideas.   The formica is now on the counter top and not in front of my warping board, so that at least gives me options.   Finished and installed kitchen counters are so close that I've been told to research back splash materials..... squee!

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