Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Knitting Game

I'm done buying yarn. I ended up buying more after Stitches West than during! Don't get me wrong, buying yarn is way fun! But I need to be reminded of the main reason I buy it and that is to knit with it -- and I've got plenty to knit. So Cris and I thought up a game to help us (mostly me) not buy anymore yarn for the rest of the year. Yeah, yeah, I know, been there done that. We all know how Knit From Your Stash 07 went...badly. We also know why, there were too many exclusions. This time it's different. While there will be no restrictions on buying yarn, it will count against you.

Very simply it goes like this, starting March 5th (because I was buying yarn up thru March 4th) to December 25th we get 1 pt for every yard hand knitted. For every yard purchased it's -1 pt. Here are some guidelines that we discussed over im:

Jocelyn said: only finished projects count and projects in progress at the beginning only count per remaining balls

Cris said: we need to keep track of: how many yards we knit and the number of yards of new yarn we buy

Jocelyn said: just purchasing yarn counts as a negative

Cris said: and you get points if you knit with it. so if you buy yarn and knit it up the result would be 0

Cris said: fiber counts

Jocelyn said: (reluctantly) ok let's go with a worsted count for fiber so buying 4oz would be -200yds, and if it counts then knitting handspun would count too

Cris said: charity knitting will count

Cris said: I'll be knitting some scarves for charity and I'll be using my machine so instead of 1 point/yard it should be 1 point/2 yards

Jocelyn said: I'm planning to sell some yarn that should be by half as well

And finally, the prize:

Cris said: the winner gets to choose ANYTHING from the loser's stash!!! and the amount they get to choose, will depend on how many points they won/lost by

I still can't believe I agreed to that. But it's been 10 days and I haven't bought a thing (and dudes, that's good, because I'm constantly bombarded with opportunities to buy). And while I'm still uncomfortable with what's at stake (I do so love my stash), I don't plan on losing...Game On, Cris.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spinning and Spinning Wheels

I started spinning again. I learned to spin in 1997, a year after I learned to knit. Since then I started a collection of spindles and wheels. This is my Journey Wheel. I chose it because it was the only truly portable double-drive, double treadle wheel. I like the ease of double treadling and since taking a class with Judith McKenzie-McCuin I prefer double drive spinning. It really is a matter of preference, which I won't get into here. Like turning a heel or knitting Continental vs English, we all tend to do what we learned first. BTW, I prefer the flap heel over the short row and Continental over English.

I'm spinning some very colorful superwash merino beautifully dyed by Lynne Vogel. It's been awhile since I spun and it's a little over twisted so I'm going to navajo ply it and hope for the best. As you can see here, I'm using the color changes to remind me to change hooks.

Now that I'm spinning again, my oldest daughter decided she wanted to learn. This is her first attempts appropriately done on my first wheel an Ashford Traveler. I'm very proud of both of them.

The oldest wheel in my collection is a Wee Peggy. I rescued it from a friend who was ready to toss it. It WAS a single treadle, double-drive wheel. I loved the way the tension is adjusted, but I hated the single treadle. It was a real ka-thunker so, I removed the treadle. This wheel is no longer made, but a similar wheel, by Baynes has a double treadle kit, which I bought.

With that and some fancy-work from my father-in-law who's handy with a welding torch (original part on the left, 1st prototype of dual axle spinny-thingy on the right -- it took 2 tries) we were able to turn my ugly-duckling...

Into the beautiful swan she always was meant to be.

It has since been finished. She has a mere 14" diameter drive wheel and while she's slow, she's smooth as silk.