Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: April 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's here!!!

My spinning wheel arrived on Wednesday. I was so excited that Ray and I opened the box immediately and I stared lovingly at my box full of packing peanuts. Well, that was all that was visible at first, but with diligent fumbling by Ray (I couldn't reach into the depths of the box) we withdrew from the blankety-blank packing peanuts the many parts of an Ashford Traditional SD spinning wheel.

We contemplated the pieces of wood and some metal, the with baggies of tiny oddments, plus a sheet of paper with screws taped to it, and scratched our heads. I went online and looked for assembly instructions, which I found, but could not understand. Then we picked up all the pieces and gently put the back into the box, atop the blankety-blank packing peanuts and decided that I would have to call for help.

The next day my sister came to my rescue. She did most of the work of assembling all the pieces with me putting in my two-cents worth, usually to late to prevent having to dismantle something. Such as realizing after the side rails were attached and the wheel on, that the rails were upside down. I think the most difficult part of the entire process was when sis was trying to get the locking pin lined up in the wheel.

Finally we were able to admire it. I treadled it a bit to try to get used to the rhythm. The drive band kept jumping off the wheel, to which my sister said, "that is an operator issue, my work here is done!". Isn't she just the best sister in the whole world? She certainly is to me!So, I went to the best source of information that I know of for all things yarn, MY PLURK PALS! I told them what the drive band was doing and I got a couple of responses to check my tension, which I tried to do until I realized that I didn't have any fiber on it yet, so that couldn't be the problem. Then Silver said that my wheel may not be lined up correctly with the flyer and winner, winner, chicken dinner, that was it! I made the adjustment and there was no more trouble.

After treadling for a little while longer, I tried to decide what would be the first fiber that I would try to spin. I was having so much trouble with the decision that I simply decided to spin the first fiber that was gifted to me for a wheel warming. That was the mystery fiber that Knitting Dragon sent to me.

It was not easy at first, and it was not looking as good as my first drop spindle yarn, but it was going much faster. As I kept spinning, it started to get a little more even, and not as bulky or awkward. By the time all the fiber was spun up it was beginning to look like my spindle spun yarn! Unfortunately, my legs had begun to swell from not being elevated (I have lymphdema), so I had to stop for the evening.

Today, I re-watched videos on how to Navajo ply (which I had never been able to do with a spindle) and then went for it. Again, it started out really rough, but as I went along it started to become very rhythmic and by the time I was done, I was feeling pretty good about Navajo plying. The final result is not the best yarn in the world, but it is mine and I love it. It is not even and ranges from a DK weight to a bulky weight 3 play yarn. It is approximately 30 yards of yarn.
Now it is hanging to dry in my living room, so that I can look at it. I am trying to decide what little thing I can knit from it as a keep sake. When I knit it up, I will post a picture here so that you can see the grand finally of my first spinning wheel project.

Finally, I can't say enough about the amazing woman who sold the wheel to me and all the trouble she went through to get it to me. She is an amazing person and fellow raveler, and I am eternally grateful to her.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Plurk Pals Are Amazing!

If you don't know what Plurk is all about, you are missing out on a great group of people. I have over 200 of the most amazing friends on Plurk. Most, but not all, of these friends are fiber fiends like me, but the discussions are not limited to that subject by any means. I have never met any of these people, but I have been a grateful recipient of their kindness, caring, wisdom, laughter and generosity.

Speaking of generosity, they offered their advice while I was trying to decide which spinning wheel would be right for me. They cheered me on when I tried to win an ebay bidding war for a wheel. They consoled me when I lost. They congratulated me when I finally purchased a wheel from a fellow Raveler, and they have been helping me try to be patient while I wait for it to be delivered. Could I be any more blessed?

You betcha! (I can hear the groans) These wonderful people passed my address amongst them and sent me fiber as wheel warming gifts!!! Can you believe it? Each day a little squooshy package has been arriving at my door, filling me with delight, gratitude and an overwhelming sense of what a privileged it is to be able to get to know these incredible people from all over the world. Where else would a handicapped person, who sometimes feels trapped in her own home, get the opportunity to associate in any way with such a diverse, global and yet close group of people? Bonus, they are constantly making me laugh!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful fibers I have received. (I apologize for the quality, as photography is not my thing.) The first picture is of some very colorful mystery fibers from plurk's Knitting Dragon. Yes, I am speaking of that incredible man with the sexy voice from the Sweaters for Dragons podcast fame! Don't forget to check out his online store, Cables & Lace.The second photo is of orange merino with a little bag of black mohair from plurk's kchealy! You can explore her online store and blog, Wool Obsession.
The third and forth photos are of Hungry for Handspun rovings from plurk's Moonlightbaker! You can find her lovely fibers at her etsy store, Hungry For Handspun.
The fifth photo is from plurk's Boutrosbabe. She only lives about 20 miles from me, so I hope one day I will meet her. This fiber is from Ashland Bay, it is merino in the Primrose colorway.The final photo is from plurk's Loribird, whom I suspect of being an organizer. She is also from Maine, so I have hope of meeting her one day too. I wish I could have caught the sparkle in this fiber, to do it justice. It is from Enchanted Knoll Farm, here in Maine. You can also check out Loribird's wonderful fibers at From the Wool Room. I have purchased some sock yarn from her and it is almost as wonderful as she is!
I am at a loss for how to adequately thank each of them. Will you please help me thank them by visiting their online stores and if you see something you like, purchase from them? You won't regret it! Also, if you see the postal delivery person with my spinning wheel, please tell him I'm waiting. Thank you!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I missed my deadline, again. The ever so formidable Maine Moose Afghan is still not completed and my SIL's birthday has come and gone. I have failed, again. This behemoth of a project is approximately two-thirds completed and I will not quit. She will get this afghan some day. I just hope that she won't have changed her room theme by the time I finish it.

In other news, Saturday I received an e-mail from the person that I have purchased my spinning wheel from, stating that she took it to a packaging-shipping company and it is on it's way. I am absolutely giddy with excitement and ready to pounce on any delivery person who comes within striking distance. Gimme!

I think I am going to work on a 2nd sock today, to see if I can actually complete a project for a change. What are you working on?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Craft Books

This post is just to redirect you to another bloggers post about how books, especially craft books are made versus how they should be made. I strongly encourage you to go to the Knitting Purl's blog, Knit-A-While, read what she has to say on this subject, and please leave a comment. My hope is that a publisher will read her blog and the readers comments, then heed the wisdom to be found there.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I am so excited!!!

I have just sent payment for a spinning wheel! Yes, really! I have been wanting one for so very long and the right one for me was offered for sale by a wonderful person on Ravelry. She has been wonderful to deal with and very generous in the deal as well.

The following information and picture were provided by the seller:

Ashford Traditional SD Double Treadle, plus the original single treadle.

  • 4 regular bobbins
  • Jumbo set with maiden, Jumbo flyer, 4 Jumbo bobbins, plus a bushing so you can use regular bobbins on the Jumbo flyer 3 Speed Flyer (ratios of 6.5, 12.5 & 17.5:1)
  • Original kate (holds 3 bobbins at a time)
  • Ashford Maintenance Kit
  • Stretchy drive band (about a month old)
This wheel spins beautifully and is super smooth. Double treadle, jumbo set up and 3 speed flyer were purchased about a month ago.She will be shipping it out to me on Saturday and I am simply overcome by anticipation! Okay, I am a little disappointed that the cutie pie chihuahua doesn't come with it, but I will get over that.

It has been an exhausting process of elimination, trying to decide what spinning wheel would become my first, and most likely my only, spinning wheel. I need to thank my plurk pals for their support and feedback during this process, as it has been invaluable. Also, the man in life has been very encouraging and that means a lot to me as this is a big investment for our meager means. I feel that I have made a good choice and look forward to many years of happy spinning. Now I just need to try to be patient while waiting for it to get here.


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