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Barbara's Blog - Having A Spinning Spree

At last I got myself a new spinning wheel and will be able to reburbish the old Ashford when I get time. My new one is an olde worlde upright. Despite looking at 30 photos of it from various angles, it had its problems. It has taken time, but all are fixed one way or another, apart from it having a small intake orifice which makes a rasping noise as wool goes through sometimes. However, now I have it working, it spins really well so long as I'm not spinning something thick. I think I will have to keep both wheels to cater for all types of spinning.

I also had a spend-up on 7 bags each containing 600gms of waste wool. Each bag had so many different types of spinning yarn that I can have fun trying them all out. The disadvantage is that I can't identify all of them and can't buy more of any I like as they are end of lines. Another disadvantage is that I have to find easy access storage space for it all!! Here is a photo of the contents of just one of the bags. Most is Merino tops, some silk, cotton, flax, bamboo mixes. It was great fun sorting, bagging and weighing it all up.

I made this hat from my first spinning efforts on the new wheel. It is a present for the lady who sold it to me.

These are 2 little suntops I made for Eddie's granddaughters. I knit in the round for main part, then knitted a front and straps, and picked up some stitches diagonally. On this diagonal, I increased into every stitch on every other row 3 times and cast off. I then sewed large beads at intervals to hold the frill down. I also attached bead either side of ends of straps.

I've been doing a lot of experimenting and this was my first attempt at blending 2 different colours together from my waste bags. This is a dull orange and a brown and result is lovely and soft. This was spun on new wheel.

My next experiment was with a lovely blue green merino carded with cotton wool pleats from the chemist. Pleats are good because you can use a pleat as a measure for adding same amount to carder each time. I used half a pleat to each carding. It is so cheap and same as raw cotton. To buy raw cotton is about £2 for 100gms. to buy cotton wool in chemist cost me 29p for 100 gms (That's about £1 for 350 gms) - Big difference. After washing the skeins, it bulks up very nicely. The carded wool fibres grip the cotton wool so well that you can spin really finely.

Last thing today is another experiment. I wanted to try weaving, so I converted a disused embroidery frame, and did a piece long enough to make this little lined bag. This was a good way of using up a lot of the not so soft wool odments that I have.

It has taken ages to get round to doing this blog I know. I had some health problems that left me too tired at times to even lift my knitting needles. I have now had the tooth removed that was causing a lot of my problems. The jaw is still stiff and creaky but hopefully will get better now. With the nice weather, there are other distractions in the garden and many household chores to be done. Some days I despaired of ever getting any 'me' time at all.

I am now spoilt for choice as to what to do next. I have also bought some Bamboo fibre, Banana fibre, White, Fawn and Mid Brown alpaca and next time will tell you what hard work it was making a cotton flannel from cotton wool. That will definitely be a one off!!

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Comment by cherylbwaters on April 15, 2010 at 10:47pm
Oh, Barbara, you appear to be having a wonderful time with your new wheel. I agree with Susan, I think the orange and brown is especially nice. And the weaving is terrific. ♥c
Comment by Susan the Blue Lake Knitter on April 15, 2010 at 7:05pm
Barbara, You continually amaze me! Your wheel looks wonderful, and the yarn you have created is lovely! When I was "given" three huge bags of various fibers, I spent two evenings going through it and sorting it out and playing with it. I think you did well. By the way I love the orange and brown... it looks wonderful! The suntops are fantastic! What a wonderful design. Very creative! I've tried a little bit of weaving, and don't really care for it. I can't wait to see what you do next. ♥s

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