Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Knitting After 9 PM

But first, a note about plying. (And even before that, about wool balls. They can be used as pincushions, cute decorations, children's toys, pet toys ... or stuck in odd places and left there forever.) Plying, however. My lovely gray yarn almost plied itself. I knew I wanted a high speed whorl so I didn't have to sit and treadle forever, and so I set up my wheel accordingly. I treadled, let the twist accumulate, and then whooshed the yarn onto the bobbin. But it didn't whoosh. The whorl and bobbin were too close in size to whoosh properly.
So, I experimented. I discovered if I just let the bobbin pull the yarn in, the plies were nicely twisted. And that left me with nothing to do but treadle and hold the yarn loosely in my left hand, so.
With my right hand, I wielded a camera, and then the book of the month for the Puritan Reading Challenge. I've never read while spinning before, but in this case, there wasn't much else to do. One hand was occupied, so I couldn't really knit, could I? Besides, I needed the yarn I was pling for the next round of the mitten.

I also had time to think, and I discovered (by consulting with various sources) that spinning wheels aren't supposed to go 'clunk' when one treadles. Stuffing a tissue between the crank and the footman helps temporarily, but I will keep an eye out for a longer-term, more elegant solution.

But now, the mitten. May I present Latvian Mitten from Graph 97, at 9:05 PM?
And then, the same mitten at 10:01 PM. Following Rachel's Rules of Knitting, I did have to frog the mitten a bit in there -- something about the pattern being different from what I had imagined it to be (ahem.) It still went along quite nicely, and I think it will be me-sized.
I'm not sure if I'm a Tour de Fleece dropout - my spinning wheel is ready to be put away for another season - or if I was a sprinter that finished early. 100 grams of fingering weight, spun and plied in 3 days.


Pensguys said...

WOW! You go!!! LOVELY mitten and thanks for the info on the wool balls.

Shan said...

Holy smokes, good work. I love that mitten.

TwistedinStitches said...

I agree! Your wheel was smokin' sparks were a flyin'! Congrats on a sprint well spent!

And I love the mitten--the gray and black is very lovely!

I knew you was a RULE BENDER!!!!


MagistraCarminae said...

Your creations are just amazing!

And about Jason Gray- my Minesota girl, Elsa, knows him, as he did music at Camp Shetek for many years, and she and her twin sister, Bethany, were the "kitchen girls" all through high school and college there. She gave me this CD for my last birthday, and I am enjoying it!

How is that young lady (she too old to be a girl, i suppose) doing these days? I still think of you guys and pray for her :-)