I seem to have stepped and got stuck over there in the dark side (see last post)! The truth is, I haven't knitted much. This summer was the hottest on record, and it felt like it. This, for a knitter, means no wool. Even the thought of it made my hands sticky and eww. I did knit a little, though - but I suppose you don't want to see Mount Doom of Dishcloths, especially since they're all the same.
I haven't spun much, either, although I went a little crazy and bought a spinning wheel.
He (yes, he) is a Schacht Matchless, DT as you can see. And he is wonderful! His name is Jeremy, after Jeremy Irons and Jeremy Clarkson, although my friends seem to believe there is a connection with a Ron Jeremy, too.
If you have no idea who Ron Jeremy is, do not google him. Trust me on this.
Anyway, I love the new wheel! I've wanted one for a long time, after I tried my friend's Matchless. And I can't figure out why I didn't get one sooner. It's a true workhorse, does everything I want and need, and adjusting it is so easy. I've been a Scotch tension spinner, but have now seen the light and will spin everything in DD if possible. I absolutely love the double-drive, although my spinning technique did require some adjusting when I first learned to spin with a double-drive.
I also bought the WooLee Winder for mine 2 days after the wheel arrived, and a Strauch 405 carder, which will arrive sometime this week. I wanted the carder for blending batts, and working with finer fibers too. I spun some pure samoyed (mmm yum) and it turned out absolutely lovely - fluffy, soft and fuzzy. It was like an affair between angora, mohair and merino! But it could use a little oomph (that's a technical term, I'm sure it is). There is a seemingly endless supply of the fiber, and you know what I mean if you've ever seen a samoyed! So next time I'll use my fancy carder to blend it with a nice merino or Shetland or some other lovely fiber like that, and hopefully it'll have a little more elasticity then. However, 100% samoyed is a nice fiber for fluffy two-ply (longdrawn straight from the combed hair).
I have one more thing to show you, and it's proof of the fact that I still knit. In fact I finished this prototype in May, but I'm working on the second version right now with a team of test-knitters, which means the pattern will come out soon.
It's a top-down bolero with Haapsalu and Shetland lace. The prototype was knitted with devilish 7-stitch nupps (never again! at least never again in 85F weather), using 440yds or 400m of 2-ply wool. This can be knit with one skein of fingering weight then, but with two skeins, the sleeves and the body can be knit longer.
The second version on my needles will be worked with 6/0 beads instead of nupps, and with approximately 900yds of handspun 2-ply angora blend. I'll show you when it's finished, right now it's a fuzzy lump embellished with beads!
The pattern for the bolero will be out later this month, as well as the patterns for the gray Alpaca tunic and the Emerald Sweater you saw earlier this year. And there is also a sock pattern I'm anxious to show you! Next up will be previews of the new patterns, and updates on the older ones. And the next post will not happen in early April, but hopefully later this week!