Have Ewe Any Wool?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fibery Weekend

I kicked off my fiber filled weekend last Friday evening with several hours of spinning and chatting. I got together with my friend, Elizabeth and we were joined by Leslie...another spinner. The best part of the evening (aside from the fabulous company and all the time spent spinning) was that I finally got to see Elizabeth's fabulous spinning wheels.

Her first wheel, a Peacock, is an adorable little wheel that I believe hasn't been produced for quite a few years. It's adorable! It comes apart for easy storage in a suitcase. How cool is that?

Elizabeth's "work-horse" is the Wee Peggy - another wheel that's no longer manufactured. I love the lines and size of this wheel - it's beautiful! I'd never seen a Wee Peggy in real life, I'd only heard about them or heard about people searching for them, so this was quite a thrill.

The wheel spins beautifully too....check out the very luscious yarn that she's created! Elizabeth has spun thin enough for sock yarn. I can't wait to see what they'll look like!

Leslie spent time bouncing between spinning and carding. She had what we think is a about pound of Icelandic that needed carding. The thought of carding that much at one time was unbearable, so that's why she bounced between the two tasks....spinning and carding. She completed a number of fiber "puffs" throughout the evening and definitely made some good progress on the mound of carding. The color is just gorgeous - check out the silvery shimmer!

I brought "Louie"...my Louet S-77, to spin with - it's the larger wheel behind Elizabeth's Peacock wheel in the earlier photos. I love to spin on this wheel! The bobbins are a good size - and it spins like a dream. I'm definitely partial to wheels that have lathed woodwork. I feel that the spindles and grooves give the wheel elegance and visually portray the craftsmanship that goes into each wheel. I'm nearly done spinning the Merino or BFL (can't remember which it is) that I purchased a few years ago at Montpelier. It's a blend of grey, white, and purple (of course!). All told, I have about a pound of it, but have yet to decide on a project.

Saturday, at the shop, I was met with TONS of inspiration! My friend Gretchen stopped in with not one, but two gorgeous shawls. I feel like such a piker....I have so many projects on the needles, and not a single one completed!

The green shawl is made from Skacel Schoppel Wolle "Zauberball" which has very long color repeats that gently fade into one another. It really makes a stunning shawl! The pattern she used was "Aestlight Shawl" by Gudrun Johnston. I love it!

The stunning pink shawl is the "Pinwheel Shawl/Stole" by Two Old Bags. I had seen this one earlier in "unblocked" form. After blocking, it's quite lovely. Another gorgeous finished object Gretchen! I'm so jealous!

My friend Janet stopped in as well. She showed me the most darling purse that she'd made. I think it's just gorgeous! It's in the Loop-d-Loop Volume 2 pattern book from Tahki. (Yes....I confess....I rushed right out and ordered a copy of it - it should arrive any day now!)

On Sunday, I was off to Frederick, MD for lessons on how to knit with my Antique LeGare cirular sock machine. I learned so much! It was a private lesson, so I was able to get all my questions asked and learn at my own pace. Stephanie (the instructor) was a fabulous teacher! It was a very full and fulfilling day!

Here's my "setup" for the class showing my machine and the knitting that I did while in class. It was amazing! A pair of socks will knit up quite fast.....once I get the hang of it! I definitely need a bit more practice.

The sock knitting machines are absolutely fascinating. As I worked through each part of a sock, I marveled at the ingenuity of the designer of these machines. Imagine deciding to create a machine that will knit simply by turning the crank and then figuring out how to manipulate it in order to create heels and toes. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. These machines are definitely marvels of engineering!

During the lessons, Stephanie's cats liked to hang out and keep an eye on things. They also loved to just "wander by" in hopes of gaining some attention - they were very sweet and ultra friendly. They also LOVED to pose for pictures....or would just put themselves in cute poses to make you WANT to take pictures! LOL! Chester was definitely a good lounger - always making himself comfortable on the nearest chair. He even moved onto my chair when I got up to take a picture of my setup!

Obie just loves to drape himself on the top of a chair, or anything that will give him a "bird's eye view" of the room. In typical cat style, he's actually making sure that I understand that he is the "king of his domain". Finally, there was Butch. He liked to wander about or sun himself on the bench in the front foyer. He'd occasionally roam about just to make sure nothing had changed since the last time he'd wandered by.

Like many of us, Stephanie is not only a knitter, but a spinner as well. She has one of the new SpinOlution spinning wheels, "The Bee". This is their traveling wheel. It's a very interesting design and rather unusual. This folds up and can be carried in what looks a lot like a rectangular canvas tool bag.

I wish every weekend could be full of knitting and spinning adventures! I'll need to work on that....


  • At 5:39 AM, Blogger K @ Tidewater Knits said…

    I'm still envious of you for living in an area that actually has a proper fibrecraft culture. =D

    And OMG! That little Peacock, and the teeny Bee. Adorable little wheels, although the Bee certainly looks non-traditional.

    Aestlight is a wonderful pattern. I've been trying to decide on a yarn to make one, but no luck yet. =D

  • At 9:22 AM, Blogger Lizardknits said…

    You took really good photos of both the wheels! I use the Peacock mostly for plying, since the Peacock bobbins are much larger than the "Peggy" bobbins. I just finished a 280 yard skein of 3 ply sport weight from 1 Peacock bobbin.

  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger ColorJoy LynnH said…

    Aren't humans fascinating beings? I traded some handknit socks with a friend for her needing-repair Ashford Traditional. I learned on that one, and kept it a few years.

    But as for me, turned wood is NOT my thing. In a big way. In fact, I'm not hugely big on most wood... like oiled walnut, like Danish Modern oiled teak.

    Our house is antique but old enough to have slab-like oak trim on the doors. I have an almost-antique "treasure chest" which may have come over the Atlantic with my Great-Great Aunt Ingeborg from Norway. It has crystallized brass decoration but the wood is flat.

    My wheel? No surprise. I have a Louet S10. Traded the Ashford for that one and never looked back.

    Of course, it is great at spinning fat yarns and pretty good at thick/thin, which are the sorts of yarns I enjoy spinning. Never mind that I usually *knit* with DK-or lighter yarns, often smooth.

    I have spun thin enough plies before (on the Ashford) to make sockyarn, but I'm far too impatient to do an entire pair's worth!!!

    Looks like you've been crazy-busy with fibery pursuits while I've been catching up on life! Good for you.


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