In a push to finish UFO’s, I completed a knitted scarf that I started sometime last year. It was about 2/3 done but falling farther and farther towards the bottom of the knitting bag. The pattern is Noro Knots by the Irish designer Kieran Foley. I knit one of these about 3 years ago using Noro Kureyon Sock and have found it to be very wearable, so I decided to make another one using Noro Silk Garden Sock in a colorway I really liked (#272). For both of these I did 6 repeats of the charts, not 5 (well actually, on this one I worked only through chart C on the 6th repeat). Very happy with it!
In January I bought a WooLee Winder for my Jensen Tina II spinning wheel. I like the wheel but was having trouble getting used to having to move the spun singles from hook to hook on the flyer. I haven’t had a wheel with hooks for a long time. The Majacraft Little Gem has a sliding eyelet, much like a Lendrum, and for the Hansencraft Minispinner the standard flyers have a sliding eyelet (you don’t even need to pinch and slide, just give it a little nudge with your finger). I also have the WooLee Winder for the Hansencraft spinner and love it, especially for plying.
I was kind of on the fence about ordering this for the Jensen wheel, as it had gotten mixed reviews on the Jensen Ravelry group. Some people love it and others have had trouble getting it to work right. The flyer has a level-wind mechanism in one arm, much like a fishing reel, and it moves up and down evenly feeding singles onto the bobbin as you spin.
Anyway, mine works great in both double-drive and Scotch tension modes and it is making the eternal spinning project go much faster and more enjoyably! I only bought 2 bobbins as I always wind the singles off onto plastic storage bobbins anyway, for later plying.
We got a lot of snow the last couple of days, at least 10 inches I would say.
Cats roasting by the (not so) open fire….
I decided to put a short warp on my 32″ Macomber and do our weaving guild annual “challenge” project just to put it behind me and be ready when we share our efforts at the April meeting. The theme this year is Lace and everyone signed up for a different kind of woven lace, breaking into study groups. Three of us chose to do a project based on an article by Jane Evans in the May/June 2000 Handwoven magazine. It allows you to weave motifs in Bronson lace using a “split shed” technique on 3 shafts, instead of pickup sticks. You can either weave a lace motif against a plain weave background, or a plain weave motif embedded in a lace background.
It sounds intriguing and definitely a challenge! But after reading through the method again I realized I will never in a million years actually choose to use this for a project, so have decided to do just a small sample to try it out and fulfill my obligation for this year’s challenge. That meant putting on only a 1-yard warp in 20/2 pearl cotton.
These days I almost always warp my looms using my AVL Warping Wheel, which allows me to put a warp on the sectional beam with even tension, and without needing a tension box and multiple spools, then thread and sley from back to front. But I can’t do that for a warp shorter than a couple of yards. So I decided to try out Laura Fry’s method for putting a warp (wound on a conventional warping board or reel) onto the back beam under even tension, then threading and sleying from the front as I am used to. This is shown in her DVD The Efficient Weaver.
Quickly realized that this warp is too short even for that, as it will not be wound onto the back beam at all. So there seemed no point in trying out her way of rough-sleying a reed to act as a raddle and warp spreader at the front of the loom as you wind on. I wound up just tieing the cross end onto the back apron rod so I could pull on it as I thread. The lease sticks are suspended from two string cradles – actually the stick closest to the back rod is suspended, then the two are fastened together so as not to fall out. Got this idea from Nadine Sanders’ “Warping on a Shoestring” DVD.