Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bountiful BaaBoo

Hearthside Fibers is at it again:  providing major yarn support with their beautiful yarns.  I mentioned several design ideas to them, and they sent me these fabulous fiber-y treats.

First, for a one-skein knitted shawlette, their BaaBoo yarn in the Galway Bay colorway.  It's variegated, as you can see, with soft colors that blend really well together.

I love the BaaBoo!  It is luscious to work with, featuring Merino wool (the Baa) and bamboo (the Boo), and a smidgen of nylon, making it machine washable and great for all our fingering weight projects, even kids' stuff.

It's about 438 yards per skein, perfect for a shawlette or a pair of socks.  Plus, it's really fun to say, "BaaBoo."  Irresistible.

I also got enough BaaBoo for a larger knitted shawl I have in mind.  I've got the Wingtips colorway (the grey), and a skein each of Grape Jelly and Orchid for dashes of color.

I've worked on a prototype--I still have some math to figure out to give it the shape I want, but I'm zeroing in on a plan.

Last but not least, they sent me more of the wonderful Polwarth and Silk DK weight that I used for the crochet Symphony Infinity Scarf.  This time it's the "Extravagance" colorway, about 280 yards per skein.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet, but I might just crochet another Symphony.

Can't wait to wind this stuff and get down to some serious fiber play!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Shadowbox for Beginners

 I chose a block of the month from a past Guild newsletter for this charity quilt.  After I started making the blocks, I saw a friend who was making a similar pattern, only she had the wits and experience to do some strip piecing first for the boxy bits, which makes it much easier.  If only I had thought of that!

Live and learn.

I'm not crazy about the end result here, especially the atrocious pieced backing.

At least I used up some less-than-stellar donated fabric, and practiced free motion quilting some more.  Here's hoping someone at the hospital will appreciate it despite its imperfections.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Clean a Squeaky Wheel

I finally finished plying most of the pound of teal fiber I bought over three years ago.  There is just one partial bobbin that has a thicker single than the rest, so I've set that aside for now.

Clearer photo
The reason this fiber took so long to ply, never mind spin, is that my Louet S-10 had become a squeaky wheel.  It sat around unused for so long, it developed a very loud, complaining sound, and every time I tried to ply, it was pitiful and painful to hear.

I thought it probably needed oiling, even though the S-10 supposedly is made in such a way that it never needs oiling.

An expert spinner friend of mine agreed it needed oiling, so I went on the hunt for some wheel oil at the nearest fiber festival a few weeks ago.

No one had any wheel oil for sale, and I was feeling frustrated, until friend Elisa guided me toward yet another woman spinning away at her booth.

I explained my situation and the wheel in question, and she said (and I paraphrase), "You don't need oil.  Just take a wet wipe and wipe down all the parts where dust has probably settled, and that should solve the problem."  She even offered me a wipe.  People are so generous!

I said I would use just a damp paper towel or something, and she said it would be better to use something with a little more cleaning power than plain water.

Closer to the actual color
I am well-stocked with wipes myself, so I came home, grabbed a couple of wipes, carefully removed the bobbin with the partially plied strands of singles coming off the other two bobbins, and wiped down wherever anything joined or poked into anything else.  Twice.  Then I carefully put everything back together, with only minor tangling and cursing, and it really worked well.  Still a bit of squeaking, but nothing so painful as before.

Now that I am done plying, I am going to give the wheel another cleaning.

And now I have hundreds of yards of what appears to be fingering weight yarn--yippee!