Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympics Sunday

I had a good crafty weekend – thanks to the Olympics. I have never been a big fan of summer Olympics but this weekend I have had the TV on while I have been spinning and knitting. The games have given me a good excuse to do what I love. As much as I have done, I don’t have much to show you. First I finished the quick and easy knit that I mentioned last time. It is blocking at the moment, and the knit itself was so quick I never got around to take any pictures for the blog while I was making it. Which was quite bad… if I had done that, I could have blogged about it few times. Now that it is done, there is just this and the next time with the final pictures. I need to think up something new to knit... I don’t know what it will be. Being so busy for the whole weekend I just might take a day or two off from knitting.
Then I have been spinning – a lot. The new yarn, 2ply, little over 800 meters altogether is soaking right now. I might make a little top out of it but I need to think it over. I would love to use more handspun yarns. I need to bring my spinning to a new level. I can make usable yarn, but I know I am stuck. Skein after skein the process gets easier but I don’t see that the quality of the yarn is improving. I am comfortable spinning lace weight but this last batch is thicker yarn, something that could be made into a sweater. I would like to learn to mix colours and fibres, and for that I would need to learn to dye and need to buy a drumcarder. I wonder if I would love it or if it would after the first love end up being unused expensive equipment, or if there even would be first love. I don't know anyone near by who would have a drumcarder so that I could try it first.

I know I am a fibre person through and through and if I could be sure that this would add on to my life long hobby, I would buy it but I am not sure. I wonder what I thought before I bought my wheel because I have never regretted buying it. I have handcarders (2€ from flee market, old and unused!) and have tried them a couple of times but I don’t like them - yet (the reason being that I am not good at using them). I wonder if I should learn to love them before jumping ahead. At the moment I am dreaming of grey tweed yarn with white and yellow specs. This is a lovely dream. The realistic side of me is showing pictures of messy kitchen with dye pots and wet skeins dripping all over and sweaty me trying to crank the drumcarder that is stuck and won’t give me these beautiful, lustrous batts.

I just checked the weather site and saw that the sun rises 0432 and sets 2209 (1009pm) here, so the day is less than 18 hours at the moment. The temperature today was 15 degrees C (59 F) and it was sunny and lovely. But there is definitely a chill in the air. Last night the puppy woke me up 0130 and while I was standing outside in the dark cold air, I felt a little sad, this feels like too soon. But then I realized that the stars are back and the moon will be building bridges on the black lake soon. That sight is something to wait for.

And luckily there is wool and luckily there is plenty of it.


Ps. Belle Ciel mittens are not fully lined, there is just this little extra edging in the cuff.


  1. The close-up of the ribbing reminds me of newly-plowed fields.

    Very satisfying to look at, ribbing :)

  2. Anonymous21:51

    Thanks, Lene! Here, it's dark at 8:30 - the latest it ever stays light is about 9:15 PM.
    Margie in Maryland

  3. Looking forward to seeing the FO as that bit of a teaser, the stitches are beautiful.
    I'm yearning for the day to be able to spin lace weight, I have some lovely Teeswater fibre that longs to be a lace shawl. At least that's what it keeps whispering to me.
    I think maybe, in a past life, I have lived far north, everything you write about your seasonal cycle says something of 'home' to me.
    Good luck with the drum carder dreaming :^)

  4. Ellen in Conn01:15

    Hand cards: I got to be moderately proficient with these, but I always hated them. One of the saving graces of my carpal tunnel syndrome is having an excuse never to use hand-cards again! I bought a fleece and sent it to a carding mill to be processed, and saved myself many boring and painful hours. I did have the thrill of cleaning the fleece, though - turn the water heater as hot as it will go, and soak in the "washine" until clean! Dying can be very cheap, and maybe some plants near you yield nice colors.

  5. greetings from a lurker in northern Kz -- we had daylight hours like that about a month ago, so I know exactly what you mean about the number of hours! What time does it get light in the winter -- here it is 9:00 am!
    (nice knitting, too, of course)

  6. Anonymous15:12

    I also didn't know if I would like a drum carder, but I love it. The batts it makes are so light and fluffy. I Z-strip them, and I can spin faster from a drum carded batt than from the same weight of hand-carded fleece, and the yarn is smoother. You have to fluff the fleece locks up ahead of time, but this is a good thing to do in tiny amounts of time (like when you might knit a row on a sock, but don't feel up to doing that) or when watching TV. When I get a large grocery sack full, then I card. If you ever get the chance to come to the USA to take a class, take a color-blending class from Deb Menz. You will bond with your drum carder. It is a terrific class. Ellen in Virginia

  7. Hi Lene, if you have fleece available to you than a carder is worth it. You can blend colours and whip up roving in no time. You may want to read Spin Off magazine for inspiration. The only equipment I regret a little is my Picker. I rarely use it. By the way, I enjoyed your embroidery on those lovely mittens!

  8. Clearly you need your own fiber and dye studio! :-) It could be in a little shed down by the lake, except that in winter you'd have to keep clearing a path to get there. But oh, wouldn't it be lovely? :-)

  9. I too think a drum carder is totally worth it. First I was shown that a wool-mohair blend is a very good thing, then that you can do some heathered color blends, then finally Deb Menz came to town and had us do the layered color blends that aren't as blended. You might see if you can watch her color blending video or get her book if you can't go to one of her workshops in person.

    Deb is buying dyed rovings, but cards each one individually to fluff it up. Once you are doing that, you might as well blend in a little mohair, a little silk, a little glitter...