Friday, 28 August 2009

Finally - a knitting blog

I thought it was about time I started a blog on knitting/spinning which is my main hobby, though sewing may make the occasional appearance too. The garden is becoming more quiet now, heading towards winter so I spend more time on other things.

This is my spinning wheel - I've been knitting most of my life but I only took up spinning last September and it is rather addictive. This wheel is very handmade, seems to have been originally designed for flax spinning and by the looks of the design, may (only may) be an Arts and Crafts wheel. You may notice that the treadle seems to have a bit of floorboard attached - I suspect it is not original! Anyway, it is a bit wobbly, the flyer is not symmetrical and it is very idiosyncratic. But I like it...
It only came with one bobbin so I had some made by a very nice man who did an excellent job (click link for his website) - he also makes niddy-noddys and shawl pins, drop spindles etc, so if you're in the UK you might want to look him up.
So after a year of practicing, my spinning is improving. I'm currently working on a Balwen fleece which I bought from a farm in Wales last winter. I started carding this fleece as the books say, but then realised it was better worked without carding. It's unwashed, and as you can see, is various shades of dark brown with some bleached tips. I love the depth of colour you get in a natural yarn like this.
It sheds a lot, but spins up well - here is today's 47 yards. At present it looks like a DK/worsted but once it's washed I expect it to be more an aran weight. I do have a project in mind for this yarn, but I have a long way to go - here's the sack of fleece!
It was very tightly packed, and expanded when I opened it, but as you can see there is a long way to go before I get to the bottom of the bag!

While I'm doing that, I need to start thinking about what I'm going to do with the Jacob/Icelandic yarn I finished a while ago. I can't keep putting it in the stash cupboard as I have no space left!

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