19 Nov

I’m still alive and kicking – just not posting much!

This weekend I turned 51.  It’s an awfully big number but I don’t feel 51.  I have to get my cholesterol under control and lose some weight but besides that my overall health (according to my latest TWO insurance physicals) is good.  And that’s everything, isn’t it?

What did I get for my birthday?  The kids and Dan and I jointly cleaned the house.  That’s a huge present for me!  Since my mom has been laid up and not housecleaning anymore, the bulk of it falls on me each weekend.  So to get help is wonderful.  Dan also finished this:


This is called the Dodec spinning wheel.  The wheel is a do-decagon (12 sides).  It’s made partly out of maple and partly out of pine.  The actual wheel is pine because it had to be light.  But the base is maple.  It was a learning experience to make and it took the two of us about a month.  He did 90% of the work obviously.  I helped mark pieces to be cut and read the instructions.  🙂  It still needs tweaking.

What do you do with this Dodec?  Well, the reason I wanted it was to ply yarn that I was unraveling from Thrift Store sweaters.  The cashmere in particular is like thread.  So if I can twist the threads together two or three at a time, I can get decent weight yarn to work with.  Right now I just hold the 2-3 threads together.  But plying or twisting them is a “cleaner” look – especially in lace patterns.

These aren’t the best of pictures because they were taken with my iPhone but here’s my first attempt.

Plyed yarn on the spindle.  And "plyed" is spelled correctly evidently.  It's not "plied" when we talk about this particular process.  Weird.

Plyed yarn on the spindle. And “plyed” is spelled correctly evidently. It’s not “plied” when we talk about this particular process. Weird.

After soaking it and hanging to dry it relaxed and then I balled/caked it.

After soaking it and hanging to dry it relaxed and then I balled/caked it.

I actually think I’m over-twisting the yarn.  It really relaxed nicely after I soaked it though. I’ll knit up a swatch with it and see if it’s over-twisted or just about right.  I’m only making small balls/cakes right now til I get the process down pat.

Can I actually spin yarn from fleece with this? YEP!  🙂  I bought some roving (fleece that’s been washed of all debris and combed nicely).  It’s from a breed of sheep called Blue-Faced Leichester (BFL).  It’s supposed to be good fleece to start with because it’s easier to spin than other breeds supposedly.  Roving is the last step of the process before it becomes yarn.  I bought it off eBay.  It’s soft and undyed and should be another whole experience to… well… experience.

I have to get the bugs worked out of the wheel (a few tweaks are needed this weekend) and have to get a rhythm going before I even attempt spinning roving into yarn.

My Custom Fit Sweater #2 (cardigan) is going very well.  I’m on the last half of sleeve.  I have the fronts attached to the back and the button band attached.  One sleeve is finished and blocked.  The sweater should be done entirely this weekend.  It’s MUCH BETTER than the first Custom Fit sweater I made.  I like it a lot.  Cardigans are more “my thing” than pullovers I think.



One Response to “51”

  1. bsburgess November 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM #

    Glad your birthday was special. Like the spinning wheel.

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