Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Up, Up, and Away

Mr Blue Heron keeping an eye on the tower sections
Mr Blue Heron keeping an eye on the tower sections - Click for Bigger

Well, tower work is done for this trip. We erected three 10’ sections of the big tower on Monday, taking it to 90’ so far (finished height will be a little over 130’). Today we hoisted up the guy wires which stabilize the tower. Here’s Peter smiling for the folks at home!

The Big Tower at 90 feet - 20070530
What? You can’t see him smiling?

We’ve got it set up so the two of us can pretty much do all the tower work. We‘re using the Highlander and lots of rope to hoist things. Since the big tower is some 200' into the field and the little tower about 100', we set a 6x6 post right by the driveway which has a big eye bolt. We clip a block on there, one at the base of the tower and there’s something called a gin pole that extends above the last tower section with a block at the top. I simply drive down the driveway and up go the tower sections. Wheee! I’m making it sound simpler than it is. But the two of us have now put up a total of 260’ of tower, taken down 70’, put up five big antennas, taken down three, and put one of them back up with more to go up when the second tower’s done. Only four more sections to go. For now.

Knitting:
The Sock Pal socks are coming along. I’m past the heel turns and decreasing the gussets.
Sockapalooza 4 Socks in Progress
Interlacements Tiny Toes, pattern adapted from Springgrass Socks

I’m knitting the socks in tandem and it will be fun to have both socks done practically at once. And early. I’m usually a major procrastinator, but these aren’t due to be mailed until August 2.

Spinning:

Merino/Silk/Angora - Take One
Merino/Silk/Angora roving from The Woolen Rabbit

This fiber was a bit challenging to spin. The mix of silk and wool spins with occasional lumps and bumps. So after sampling a bit, I finally decided to spin it a little thicker and looser and let it be what it wanted to be which is a little uneven. I have four more ounces of this fiber so, I figured I would have another chance if I didn’t like how it turned out.

Another factor in planning what I wanted the yarn to be, and how to spin it is how the roving was dyed. There was a gradation from blue to green to gold/yellow over the roughly two yard length of the roving, and I wanted to keep the color change rather than have the whole skein barberpoled. So I split it lengthwise and spun it on two bobbins, then plied them each from the same end. The second bobbin was more uneven than the first, had a bit more waste, and spun up shorter. But, I did get my long color sections from end to end of the skein.

Merino/Silk/Angora - Color blocks
Blue to Green to Gold back to Blue

The blend of merino, silk, and angora is wonderfully soft, and drafts to a medium staple length. The angora provides just a bit of halo which no doubt will increase with knitting and wear. I was aiming for enough twist to keep the yarn from pilling too badly in a finished product, while keeping the very soft fluffy hand that is what is so nice about this fiber.

Taking Rhonna’s advice, I tried a more measured approach to plying instead of being in such an awful hurry. I counted while treadling specific lengths of the singles, and got in a rhythm of pinching off sections and letting it wind on the bobbin without stopping. So, the result was as even as the singles would permit, and it went fairly quickly.

This soft, light, lofty yarn wants to be a little scarf or cowl. Definitely something warm and next to the skin.

Details:
Fiber/Weight: Merino/Silk/Angora roving, approx 1.5 oz
Purchased from: The Woolen Rabbit
Spun with: Louet Victoria
WPI/Gauge/TPI: ~12wpi / light worsted / 3tpi
Plies/Method: 2 / standard
Yardage/Finished Wt: 142yds / final wt TBD
Started: 5/24/2007
Completed: 5/29/2007
Intended Project: Small Scarf or Cowl