I have received the yarn for two items which I am working on for a future surprise project. The first is going to be made from up to five balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in a beautiful, sophisticated and almost muted palette.
Although I haven't been able to get very much crafting done these last couple of months, it was never far from my thoughts, and I looked towards a dream of mine when I decided to treat myself to something to congratulate a huge milestone for me, celebrate all that was good in my life and also to make my new job seem all the better for me. I bought myself a spinning wheel.
Now, I do admit straight f that I know nothing of spinning wheels, only that I really wanted to try one, but I've never seen one and don't know anyone who has one. I did a little bit of research before choosing my wheel, and eventually settled on the Kromski Fantasia for a combination of reasons. I say combination because I do not want people thinking I chose entirely due to the connection with the Neverending Story. That is only part of the trust.
First off, admittedly, was price. The wheel has a relatively low price point because he main wheel is constructed from MDF. Lots of Fantasia owners spend a lot of time and patience decorating their unfinished wheels. I painted mind with some chalky blue paint and decided she was beautiful.
Also, I really like the small 'footprint' of the wheel. It takes up very little space and sits neatly against the wall, so it hasn't become a feature of the room. I was well advised by many people that I might be able to pick up a second hand Ashford for not much more than the new Fantasia, and I did consider it but fell to my choice both for the small space required to store it and the wonderful interchangeable whorls. I actually got the set of two whorls free, which basically means that I now have six different ratios to spin at for the price of the wheel.
The one problem I did have with the wheel was the whorls were actually a little tight to slide on. Both myself and Mr Awesome tried several times but it was actually declared impossible. We bought a small round file and filed away the hole in the centre of the whorls until they went on smoothly.
I'm actually really pleased with my choice. The wheel is simple and unfussy, spins smoothly on silent ball bearings and comes with a few little touches like a magnetic system to hold on the flyer, is double treadle and has and sliding hooks which make the wheel lovely to use.
And it makes yarn. My first yarn was a very basic two-ply yarn made from a slightly rough fibre that I cannot remember the origins of.
It spun up into about 340 metres of worsted/light Aran weight yarn. The colour changes of the two plies more or less line up along the whole length of the yarn, but I think that is more a touch of luck than of skill.
I haven't soaked this yarn yet, but it seemed to come out rather well balanced, so I think it will need minimal work before being knit. I'm not sure what to make from it yet. I wondered whether I should make a bag or cushion to get the most out of the colour changes. I did also ponder a (lined) hat, but I don't think I would get all of the way through the rainbow to make the most of the spectrum.
I've now moved onto the third play of my second spinning project. This one is from some merino fibre I purchased a couple of years ago and finally can use, and is made from all the colours of a warm autumn day.
Now, where there is yarn there is inevitably knitting, and I have a couple of great surprise projects on the go at the moment, which shall be revealed towards the end of the year. I'll have to also think of what to do with the rainbow yarn so I have some knitting progress I can get back to blogging about soon.
Now I have loads of blog reading to catch up with, too.
Well, I started a new job two months ago, and (yes) I put this blog aside whilst I got used to the role. It was in a completely different field to anything I had any knowledge of and I have had to learn about a whole business and role that I had no idea about before two months ago.
Yes, little blog, you were abandoned. I am sorry. I still really love you.
But I think that I now am comfortable in my new role, and I need something to actually stop my head from being filled with nothing but work and talk f work in the evenings (especially as I have started to dream about it, something that always worried me when Mr Awesome did it in the past).
Strangely, I have decided that this is the weekend to re-pick up this blog after what has definitely been the worst week at work since I joined. There were actual tears shed this week, in frustration as well as sadness, and something in that has made me realise that it is time that I spend some time concentrating on my life and loves, and this is one of those things.
I have also now the benefit of Mr Awesome being extra awesome and fixing the complicator, which will be both fantastic for his site but will also allow me to sit and write blog posts of an evening.
I didn't totally abandon all crafty pursuits when I took on the new role, but I did definitely dial back my involvement to quite a degree, and time for knitting, stitching, painting and other craftsy things have been few and far between. Firstly though there are a few outstanding things to round up before I start catching up with my creative side.
There are still a few outstanding prizes from Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2012.
Messages were left on blog contact sheets for the winners of the photography contest but I only heard back from one of the three main recipients, so there are still prizes outstanding from both that and the Something a Bit Different competition, and then (and it is admittedly all my own fault) I forgot to chase it up further, but I had a couple of messages in the last week reminding me, so I'll chase it up now.
Please could the immensely wonderful and clever folks from Crafts from the Cwtch, Crea In The City, Bear Ears, Thinking Space, A Pile Of Sheep and Stitched Together all please simply submit there details via the Contact form. The form is fully secure and your details will not be made public or shared with any companies or mailing lists.
Again, I haven' totally abandoned all creative pursuits, but they have been far and few between. One great thing has come about from the break for me, personally, though. I celebrated my new job and continuing change in life by getting myself something I thought I would never own... But I'll save that for the next update, which I promise will be full of positivity.