Monday, 26 September 2011

Spinning and knitting

I have been trying out the chunky handspun Jacob's Fleece on various knitting machines to see which works best.



The Bond I bought at the auction on Thursday actually knitted OK but I don't think the machine will be able to knit handspun for long. The Singer Designer 2 wouldn't knit it at all, but the Brother Chunky KH260 knitted it quite well and I think with wax on the yarn will work much easier.


I decided to knit myself a chunky jacket from the Jacob's Fleece, and I will knit this by hand to give it that handspun/knitted look. I have enough spun to knit a tension swatch and start on the back, but need to card some more fleece over the next few days.

I carded some cream Leicester Longwool a few days ago and spun some this morning. The fibre is beautiful and soft, shearling from a sheep called Maddie. It spun up well, I could get it quite thin with not many slubs. I tried spinning it uncarded and it was no more difficult than the carded.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Autumn evening

The nights are drawing in even quicker now. This afternoon has been very wet with driving rain. we went into Claybrooke to buy straw for the animals and went to our nearest town, Lutterworth for some groceries. It was just before 6 when we got home and it was nearly dark. Lowering skies, ragged clouds and rain soaked landscapes all combined to make the early evening like night.

We rushed to close up the animals and feed them before it was quite dark. Fortunately I have electric lights in the rabbit sheds. Poor Phil was out feeding and watering the chooks with only his headlight to pierce the gloom.
That done it was indoors for a cup of tea and cream muffin before I settled down to photograph a sewing machine to put on eBay.

I have put a variety of goodies on eBay this week as I don't have a knitting machine ready to sell. I listed some Toyota knit tracer patterns, machine knitting books, some washed fleece ready to card, some punchcard packs and 2 sewing machines.

The Singer 12 machine I put on yesterday has a bid already, and 18 watchers, not bad for 24 hours. Now I am off upstairs to card some cream shearling Leicester Longwool fleece ready for spinning tomorow. It seems as if everything is accelerating towards Winter and life is accelerating towards some as yet unknown change.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Weavers and Spinners Guild

Spent the day at the Weavers and Spinners Guild at Botcheston near Leicester. A brilliant day, about 30 women there with spinning wheels. What more could you ask for, a whole day to spin, with like minded women, gossip and lunch. We all brought contributions for lunch and it was spread out on the worktop in the kitchem so we could help ourselves. A lovely buffet with pies, quiche, salads, ham, potato salad and other goodies. Then, there were the desserts. Apple pie, cherry and strawberry pie, lime cheesecake, lemon cake and to top it all, a huge chocolate iced cake measuring about 10 inches square brought in by Debbie. With that went cherry pie filling and fresh cream. It's a long time since I've eaten so much.

Before luch we had a demonstration on cords and braids which was very interesting. After lunch we had notices, then we got on with our spinning. Sue (the lady from Countesthorpe who breeds Leicester Longwool sheep),  who gave me a lift had brought an Ashford Country spinning wheel which is for chunky wool. She inherited this wheel along with another more traditional wheel and found this easier to use. I tried it and found it difficult to use. Then Jenni came over and looked at the wheel and adjusted it a bit so Sue found it easier to treadle. The huge bobbin had come apart so that one of the discs was loose and kept moving round and scraping on the flyer. Eventuall Sue managed to get it going once Jenni told her to hold on to the fibre until it started to draw into the orifice.

I was happy with the amount of Jacob's Fleece which I span, nearly a whole bobbin. I tried yet again with the North Ronaldsay which I had difficulty with last week, but still couldn't get it to catch so abandoned that in favour of the Jacob.

All in all, a very good day. When I got home, I had a cup of tea, did a bit more spinning and then decided to walk down to the fishing lake as Phil wasm't answering his phone.