Thursday, April 03, 2008

As may have been observed, I've been obsessed with using my Ashford drop spindle since I bought it at Skip North.
It spins so fine - and it's portable and I can do it while I'm walking the dogs. Tilly is so slow these days, what with her arthritis and the fact that she likes to sniff every blade of grass en route - our walks take twice as long, so spindling is ideal while I'm waiting for her to catch up.
Here's a skein of angora/wool that I spun from the fuzz that my secret pal sent me way back in July . I can see the progress I've made - it's so much more even than anything I've done so far, I think. I photographed it outside with some grape hyacinths - it's been lovely weather the last couple of days - like someone pulled a 'Spring' switch! DH saw a swallow. Beware though - snow showers forecast for the weekend...

Maylin sent kindly sent me some purple dyed yarn from her own goats (along with a load of other goodies) when she heard I'd got my spinning wheel (and as a birthday present) - I've only just got round to spinning some of that up - one of these skeins was carded before spinning, the other wasn't.

Anyway, DH and I were invited round to a friends for supper on Saturday, so OF COURSE I took my newly acquired spindle to show it off - that’ll teach me - got talking, drinking and then suddenly realised it had disappeared. Looked around, and after several minutes found it. In the dogbasket, being gnawed on by my friend’s Jack Russell.

Now I realise what soft wood it’s made of! It still functions - after a fashion - even with great gouges taken out of it. Look at those teeth marks in the shaft and the huge bites in the whorl - in the pic below.

Here you can see the little skeins of yarn I've been spinning from the 'rainbow' dyed merino from Winghams Woolworks in Wentworth (the same fuzz that the Saatje's bootees were spun from).

I felt in dire need of consolation and ‘tlc’ (t’was such a shock, you understand), so I’ve gone and ordered a Golding RingSpindle all the way from the States as compensation. See the Purpleheart 2" 'sweetheart' spindle on this page. Well - it had to be, you all understand, don’t you?

I've had a touch of 'startitis' of late too - I won't own up to all the castings on, but I will show you the Baby Surprise Jacket I finished. I've wanted to knit the BSJ by Elizabeth Zimmerman ever since I first read about it - the construction looked fascinating. I finally got around to ordering the pattern from the Schoolhouse Press and it arrived promptly. Had to cast on immediately - used (washable soft left over) stash I already had (feels very virtuous!) - and tried the fibonacci stripe patterning. It knits up very quickly - only took a couple of evenings to end up with this:

And here it is all sewed up. I made a teenytiny mistake in the shaping on the left front which only I know about, right? Noone will notice if I don't keep going on about it. The little coat reminded me of a Chinese smoking jacket, so I used Chinese type metal buttons (that have also been sitting around in my button box) to fasten it with. It has a home already - I caught a neighbour's baby on Monday night (lovely home birth) - and turns out these colours are Mum's favourite. So this cardigan goes to Baby Isla with lots of love.


Pixie said...

Aww what a gorgeous baby jacket, and what a shame on your spindle, dogs have a lot to answer for!
Its lovely and spring like here today, perfect for pottering around.. yes heard snow for Sunday.. what ever next lol..
Thank you for dropping by, and just got to darn in ends for the second Anni shawl, the first did take over a week to do, umm this one less than a week.. but then I do have more sitting and knitting time.. that busy you..
All the best to you Pixie xxx

Steph said...

Oooh your poor spindle! Love the BSJ though. :-)

riggwelter said...

I've been meaning to knit one of these jackets for ages! As you say, the construction looks really interesting. day.

Your poor spindle :( You've really come on with that spinning malarky, it all looks wonderful, especially goat yarn.
Take care.

Jo said...

Great spinning, shame about the spindle, but as a spindle addict I can completely understand the need for he purpleheart sweetheart, trying desperately to resist one myself now!

belaybunny said...

what a cute little baby jacket.

commiserations about your poor spindle, but I do like the new one you've ordered. Your spindling looks great though, I love the purple yarn.

Susie Hewer said...

What a gorgeous jacket and I love the colour of the wool you spun. We had snow yesterday but it's gone now. Jack Russells do love to chew things don't they, little ******!