Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three years ago today....

It's almost bedtime and I just realized that three years ago today I started this blog. I was taking care of my Mom for six weeks after double knee replacement, staying at her house up in Maryland, it was freezing cold and snowy outside, and I was bored. I was knitting a lot at the time, working at a LYS, and stashing lots of yarn.

Now, I'm taking care of her again. She'll probably be staying at my house soon, for a while before going to the Hospice House. I'm not stashing much yarn these days, mostly spinning fiber that needs to be spun up, and antique spinning wheels. While I cannot do much to change how things are, I did knit her some warm socks of cheerful Koigu.

MomSocks 002
Ampersand Socks, but toe-up

And I am just into the lace section of a very fuzzy kid mo Ishbel as a sort of a prayer shawl.

Fuzzy Ishbel 001

Sometimes some fiber therapy helps.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Her name is Eleanor

As I slip down the antique spinning wheels rabbit hole, I thought I’d introduce you to Eleanor. (All pics are clickable for larger.)

Eleanor 017

With help from the spinning wheel inspector

There’s a whole set on Flickr. I’m open to any and all suggestions, help, comments and info. I’m working my way through the cleaning and refinishing threads on the Antique Spinning Wheels group on Ravelry, have books on the way, but would love to know where else to start to figure out what the old girl’s history is.

How old is she? Are the pointy feet a clue?

Eleanor 013

Where’s she from? I think she looks a lot like some of the PA wheels in the Pennington book, but she came to me from near the VT/Quebec border.

Eleanor 007

What the heck kinds of wood are those? (I see oak on a few little pieces and the treadle, and am guessing maple on the rest, but the knot has me stumped on the table.)

Eleanor 045

Eleanor 041

There are some odd inconsistencies, and I know some work has been done in the past. There are pegs that look like twigs, yet metal inserts on the bobbin. There are some goopy repairs to the edge of the drive wheel in a few spots, and the footman may be newer.

Eleanor 029

Eleanor 028

Eleanor 033

Eleanor 047

Cleaning has started, and the first layer of plain old dirt came off with Murphys Oil Soap. A few pieces got the denatured alcohol treatment, and the before and after are pretty amazing. I mean, the wheel is made of wood, not brown crud! The whole wheel is going to need the alcohol, but it’s just too cold to do much heavy work outside at the moment.

new wheel 009

It will be an interesting process, cleaning, oiling, and tightening up some wobbles. The drive wheel spins well, the mother-of-all adjusts easily, and I’m working out an issue with the flyer binding on one of the leathers which was really dried out. But, she spins!

Eleanor 035

Excuses, Excuses

herbivore 006


I've been gone for a while. Got busy, lost my blog momentum, then when things were settling down, Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 4 non-small cell. There were five rounds of chemo (that's a lot when you are 82yo,) and followup with a drug so expensive we've had to get grants to pay for it. She's doing pretty well at the moment, all things considered. She goes to the gym more than I do, lives independently (thank heavens we moved her to Cville last year before all this happened,) and has gotten involved in local activities. But me, I haven't strung too many coherent thoughts together in the past nine months. So blogging, not so much. I'm on Ravelry as lotsofyarn, and you can keep up with me there while I'm in the blog doldrums, and I'll turn up here occasionally.

Now that the 'splaining is out of the way, I do have one new post coming up about a new project, but it's not knitting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mt Rushmore

Is approximately the size of my blogging block! I'm still here, knitting little projects, spinning some and I had a blast at SOAR, learning more about weaving and looking forward to a return to the Campbell Folk School in January. But blogging, not so much. There are lots of things to tell you, when I get home.

We're out of the country right now, on the tiny island of Nevis in the eastern Caribbean. And though I am not getting any knitting done, I do have fiber content.

Nevis Sheep
Barbados Blackbelly Hair Sheep

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WIP Wednesday – Progress

If you ever wonder why the Hubs is so supportive of my fiber adventures, it’s because I help him do this.

shorty40_17 After

A slideshow with captions is HERE. Yes, ham radio towers are bigger than any loom I could ever dream of wanting. Plus, I spend hours standing around in mosquito infested marshy fields, manage hundreds of feet of rope, hoist many tower sections, actually read the instructions, help build antennas, solder circuit boards, and cheer him on in the contests. I'm happy to help him achieve some of the goals he's had for this hobby, literally since he was a little boy. And he has been delighted to cheer me on as I've careened down the slippery slope of fiber arts from knitting to spinning to weaving.

Meanwhile, I’m making good progress on the Fiddlehead Mittens for mitten swap. I’m coming in the home stretch on outer mitt #2. These mittens get a plain liner mitten picked up and knit after the outer mitts are done and blocked.

Swap Three Mittens-03 Progress

I’ve got a shocking pink wool/mohair yarn from local folks Kid Hollow Farm to use for the liners, That should provide a bit of bright cheer for dreary winter days!

Swap Three Mittens-04 PINK for the liner
Oh, you thought I was kidding about the SHOCKING part didn’t you?

Other than the mittens, knitting has sort of stalled around here. I need to finish up the hem of the comfy sweater and get some sleeves started. But, I keep looking at cowls I see on the blogs, and thinking about the handspun stash, and printing out cowl patterns, and thinking about handspun. Maybe I should cast on for a neckwarmer. With this.

spin 070426 good-2a
MMmmmohair and BFL

More on spinning and weaving soon!