Archive for ‘November, 2007’

Finished Object: Handspun Leg Warmers

It’s the time of year to knit tons of little warm things. I don’t mean to. I want to finish the Treeline Striped Cardigan (getting there), I want to rip out that shoulder and try a new one on the Tomten, I want to start Mr. HelloYarn’s cardigan. I need to pose for photos in my Cobblestone, for the love of kittens. Instead, I spin single skeins of yarn, dig around for yarn for mittens and lay all the colors out to admire them on the coffee table, and knit things that take 2 evenings, tops. The past few days, it’s been legwarmers.

No pattern, they were knit like these, to measure. This pair is 15″ long and took 4.6 oz. of handspun bulky weight 2 ply yarn. I didn’t measure the yardage (too excited to start knitting), but I’m thinking less than 250. They were spun from a mix of Mandarin Corriedale wool and Sugar Lips BFL wool. You have to love those little leftover bits from the dyelots for the shop.

Awesome Stuff:

Shambles had a birthday! He’s 16 years old now and still a maniac. (Sometimes. When he’s awake.)

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Finished Object: Fat Sock Baby Surprise Jacket

The Facts:
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: 2 skeins Hello Yarn Fat Sock- 170 yards, 2.5 oz. each
Gauge: 5 sts. per inch
Size: 17.5″ around, 17.5″ cuff to cuff, so, taking into consideration the thickness of the fabric, to fit about a 6 month old baby according to standard sizing
Needles: size 5 Addi Turbo, 40″ long
Buttons: vintage plastic I’ve had for years and which match so well
Started: November 11, 2007
Finished: November 18, 2007`

Thoughts on Yarn:
I knit this at the same gauge as the handspun one, but with finer yarn (sport vs. worsted). It’s definitely more of a sweater than a jacket, like the handspun one. The handspun BSJ is a softly spun 2 ply yarn knit tightly, and this one is a “hard” yarn knit loosely. The fabric has a very different hand. The handspun feels spongy and amazingly soft, while the Fat Sock in garter stitch acts like a spring! It’s very soft, too, but so different. I’m glad I copied the rest of you.

Pattern:
I didn’t change a thing about the pattern other than I bound off in knits from the right side instead of purls, since I like how the chain edge looks. For the shoulders, I used the running stitch on the wrong side and it’s plenty sturdy in such a small piece.

Fiber Club:
The shipment should be going out at the end of this week. I bit off a BIG chunk with how many slots I opened up this month, but it’s almost done. :)

Winter:
It’s trying to snow and there are Christmas trees at the fruit stand, already! Are you all as excited to finally be wearing all your handknits as we are? Mr. HelloYarn has been sporting the Mean Man Hat every day and Fugl has been my jacket of choice, along with the Noro striped scarf. Don’t tell me they clash!

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Wheel Review: Pipy Wendy

 

The Facts:

– Made in New Zealand of Rimu wood by Philip Poore
– Double drive (I’ve seen what looks like a Scotch tensioning system in some photos, but it’s not on this one.)
– single treadle, comfy for either foot
– one whorl with ratios of approx. 7, 8, and 9 to 1
– approx. 3/8″ round orifice
– 16″ drive wheel
– 28″ tall with an orifice height of 24″ when flyer frame is horizontal
– wooden flyer with lovely metal hooks set in metal flyer frame
– on board lazy kate
– She’s an old wheel and not readily available. I’ve had my eye out for one for a good while and scored this one on eBay.

Wheel Info and My Opinion:

Aw, she’s lovely, isn’t she? I don’t know a whole lot about these wheels, other than that they were made in New Zealand on a small scale between 1962 and 1982. I’ve seen photos of other Wendys with slightly more sophisticated-looking wood-turning, so my guess is this one’s an earlier model.

Since this is an old wheel, I will tell you my experience with this particular specimen. This wheel has some serious dings and came to me in a pretty filthy state. There’s been some cleaning, some gluing, the addition of some leather washers Mr. HelloYarn made to keep the bolts from marring the wood further, and some oiling and waxing, but it didn’t take anything else to get her to spin like a top. It is a pleasure to use in addition to being so stinking cute I could scream.

This is a sturdy, solid wood wheel that, despite its small size, stands solidly when spun on.

Everything about this wheel seems pretty normal until you get to the flyer. It’s held in a metal frame that pivots on a brass rod, allowing tensioning of the double drive system by the turning of a wooden knob. This changes the height of the orifice, but it hasn’t been a problem for me. I’ve found the knob to be very handy and the tensioning to be responsive. The front maiden supports a metal bearing that’s built around the orifice, which isn’t something I’ve ever seen before. ONce thoroughly oiled, it turned freely.

The whorl is solid wood and fits onto the steel flyer spindle, staying put with 2 notches fitting over two flanges. I would think this is excellent news for someone who wants to make new faster or slower whorls. There aren’t any machined metal parts to match.

The wheel treadles nicely, due in part to weights embedded in the rim of the drive wheel. I don’t know if someone added these or if they were built this way, but they really get rid of that dead spot.

Despite being older and small, this would make a great basic wheel for someone. The ratios are middle-of-the-road, the tensioning isn’t fiddly, and it treadles well. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again.

This particular wheel isn’t readily available, so the info contained in this review isn’t going to come in handy for many, but there’s so little online about these that I figured someone would be happy to read this someday. If you have a Pipy, I’d love to hear about it and talk wheels.

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