Sunday, March 28, 2010

More spindling - and other stuff

The blue-green yarn plyed, on to an Avi Wassermann spindle. All of it! Well, it is a big spindle, and I did buy it for plying. I paid attention this time to the fact that it is a centre weighted spindle, rather than rim weighted, and yes, indeed, it was harder to get going but went on spinning for longer. As more yarn was wound on, this got more and more marked, but had barely reached the point of being a problem when I ran out of yarn. So, highly successful. This will now be wound off, and washed, and then no doubt left to mature for a while before turning in to something. Might make a cowl....

And still on the subject of spindles. When I was at SOAR last year, I bought my first Grafton Fibers spindle, a very pretty little thing. I always check spindles before buying and this one worked perfectly in the booth.

Got it back to our room, tried it later with some fibre that I just happened to have hanging around, and - ugh. Wobbling all over the place. I decided that I must have bent the hook somehow in transit.

Got home, tweaked it a bit, seemed fine, started spinning something - more ugh, wobble, wobble wobble. This went on - and on. Very mysterious, these are supposed to be good spindles, and I am supposed to be a reasonable spindler. So, WTF?

Couple of days ago, I tried again, same thing. This time, I got mad. This was not an insoluble problem, I was not going to be beaten. I tried rotating the position of the hook. And suddenly, I saw what the problem was. Sort of with the design of the spindle, but primarily, operator error.

If you can bear to look at the bad photo - talk about wobble! -

See the shape of the hook? My normal practice is to take the yarn from under the whorl to the back of the hook and catch it round the hook that way. Do that with this spindle, and the yarn lodges in the slightly exaggerated lower bend, and hence it is not centred, leading to - wobble! When I shifted the hook round so that the notch was to the side, and thus I was leading the yarn up straight in to the hook, all became clear. (And that also explains why the spindle was perfect in trials, because I was always beginning afresh, hooking directly in to the fibre supply. Well, duh.)

A pretty, functional spindle; and a very slightly chastened spindler!

OK - an easy day today after a couple of days out. So, knitting and iPod, maybe? I sorted out a couple of socks that had got a bit discombobulated during Friday's AH sock class, but then knew it was time for some serious thinking about the mohair waistcoat.

People have looked at it on the needles with a puzzled air. Yes, it is a weird construction, but I have always known the shape I was aiming for with the basic garment. It was where to go with it after that stage that was the conundrum as far as I was concerned.

The blue-green is the basic waistcoat. I need more yarn that I have to do what I intend (as I have now decided) which is to go the crochet route. So the brighter green must come in to play, but also some beautifully and serendipitously matching silk from Chasing Rainbows. After all, if it doesn't work, I can easily riiiip and go with Plan B......

Now, in the background of that photograph. Something strangely shaped and violently purple.

A cat tunnel. Well, another cat tunnel. When they were babies, we got the Snowshoes a little, yellow tunnel, that crinkles. They love it and still play with it. Some time ago, we got them a bigger one, as befits their adult status and size, but they didn't like it. Then, yesterday, we went to a Cat Show, and found on one of the stalls, a larger version, or rather, longer. With pop-holes. And lots of crinkle.

We didn't need television last night, I can tell you!

We didn't go to the Show to show, I hasten to add. Or to look for kittens....I have been persuaded to get involved with the Snowshoe Breed Advisory Committee, and I actually think it could be very interesting. I have no axe to grind, and I am very good at being (and I am terribly sorry, but I can't resist this) a dogsbody.

(Oh, and we also bought them a cube with dangly bits. We are such sad people......)

1 comment:

beadlizard said...

I've had similar challenges with perfectly normal spindle hooks. I now own a drawer full of pliers!

I love the mishmash of blues and green and am rather glad the purple cat tunnel isn't supposed to become part of the waistcoat...!

Fond thoughts of you two.

How many spindles *do* you own?