Frustrations and Playing

To continue where I left off yesterday, whilst my fabulous man was preparing a scrumptious chicken chasseur last night, and with all my littlies tucked up in bed or otherwise occupied, I decided to try my hand at spinning.

I settled down with my spindle, bag of fleece and YouTube and I believe I made two fatal errors, both of which result from my usual modus operandi of going off half-cocked, full of enthusiasm and without the requisite knowledge: 1) I assumed that the fleece I had bought had already been carded. And 2) I didn’t realise you could get more than one standard spindle size.

So, 1) It hadn’t, and was a pig to try to spin, and 2) You can, and mine, it turns out after just a few minutes’ research on YouTube, is too small. That is, it is made of pine and barely 3″ diameter, when, it would seem, at least 4″ and hardwood gives you the weight you need to keep it spinning. To add insult to injury, the carders I acquired with my spinning wheel have not been used in a very long time and are consequently a little rusty / dirty with the result that they turn my once white fleecy wool a less fetching russet. Harumph. If anybody reading this has first-hand experience of such things and feels like sharing their wisdom, you’ll find a most grateful recipient!

In not too very long, I hope, I shall be receiving the wool from the black sheep, which will mean I can card it without any real change in colour, and I will order a larger spindle. Incidentally, whilst perusing eBay for said larger spindle, I found a listing for some Roman spindle whorls, carved from black rock. Now wouldn’t that be a thing of beauty – dated around 100-200 BC… Food for thought…

I gave up on the spinning and sat twiddling my thumbs for a moment, wondering which of my many WIPs to pick up. None of them enthused me, and I didn’t fancy starting the crocodile just before supper. Then I stumbled across one of the first neckwarmers I ever knitted. I never wear it because I made it too narrow. And since I first knitted it, I have begun to crochet, and seen half a million totally inspiring fusions of the two methods, so I decided to pick a few chunky yarns I had lying around and play a little. Below, you can see what happened, and you can make out, I think, the original chunky rib knitted in a heavy multi-coloured (flecked) yarn:

Knit / Crochet fusion neckwarmer
Knit / crochet fusion neckwarmer

I haven’t taken it off since, except to bathe and sleep πŸ™‚ It has also inspired me to look into knitting or crocheting a sweater with a neck similar to this one (I love my polo necks and this winter seems to have gone on forever. It is snowing as I type and nearly Easter!) I’ve seen a few patterns which are knitted from the neck down, which I find quite an intriguing and challenging idea, since I’ve only ever tried garments using the ‘make-this-bit-and-add-it-to-this-bit’ method. I’d love to hear from anybody who’s tried it, or feels like sharing any links to patterns. πŸ™‚

As I mentioned, the snow has not stopped, and I am grateful to have a large drawstring bag stuffed with hats and neckwarmers I’ve knitted the past few winters. Here is my number 4, complete with infectious toothy grin (that one at the front is about to fall out) and a hat I began by knitting for myself, gave to my youngest, who refused to wear it, and that has now been appropriated by this one:

Chunky Monkey
Chunky Monkey

But most of today has been taken up with Norfolk Beard Oil – packing and posting new orders. We’ve just released sample bottles, which are proving rather popular. “Try before you buy”… If you have a hairy man in your life, you might just want to take a look πŸ™‚

Norfolk Beard Oil
Norfolk Beard Oil
‘Lover’ beard oil sample

I guess I have to hope for more crafting tomorrow, if the laundry permits…



8 thoughts on “Frustrations and Playing

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  1. I think you’ll find that the rust will come out when you wash your yarn. If not, there’s always another hobby waiting: dyeing! πŸ˜‰ Ask me how I know… I don’t know if you can get the rust off the tines, but you could try any kind of spray on rust remover and then oil the tines afterwards. If you can’t, I think you’ll be happier with a new pair.
    You can still use your smaller spindle (unless it was badly constructed), you just have to spin finer. I used a 14 g spindle I made myself for my first lace project, anything heavier than that and the thread kept breaking. Otherwise you may be able to alter it. If you place weights along the rim, heavy beads or small coins, the spindle will spin faster and longer and do the job you want. And lastly, try to start your spin with a longer leader, it will help you keep the spindle going if there is more thread to contain the twist.

    1. Pia, you’re a diamond! Thank you πŸ™‚
      Everything you say makes perfect sense.
      I had been wondering about weighting it a bit more…
      I am intrigued by dyeing, too – my mother-in-law has promised me a book on natural dyes – but must restrain myself a little since I’m not very good at ‘one step at a time’…
      Patience! πŸ™‚
      Thanks again. I really appreciate the insights.

      1. I know about the impatience. I want to do and learn a million things, all of them, right now! I’ve really had to practise moderation and taking things in turns to not get stressed out by the things that are supposed to be fun. And having a family you are obvisouly even more pressed for time and focus.

      2. I’m with you! I’m trying so hard right now to focus on what I already have underway… But because they’re big projects with a lot of repetition, once I feel I’ve ‘got it’, I want to move on to the next thing! It’s a really good lesson in patience and perseverance (and if there were an exam in those two things, I’d be resitting it *a lot*) πŸ˜‰

      3. Oh yeah, repetition…. hard not to let your mind wander. Or simply accept that you have a lot of WIPs.

      4. Or build a hut in the garden for them…! Which is the other problem: hard to blame the mess on the many boys, when half the sofa is taken up with WIPs and balls of yarn πŸ™‚

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