Friday, November 21, 2008

Knitting feat!

This is my friend Jeffrey.

He knits with pikes.

This is what happens when his entertainment director tells him to "make it bigger"

Because this started with size 9 needles.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Playtron! and other ren faire pictures

I saw a guy walking around in some patently classic garb. Jeans, tennies and armor. But this was special armor.

I had to take the picture, if nothing else than to share with Sensei Shaw.

This poor defenseless sleeping fairy was about to get her toes eaten! Oh noes!

Ren Faire Endings

The past weekend was a great! The sun set on the 2008 season of the Carolina Renaissance Festival.

Thanks to our local friends who were taking care of Callay, we were able to enjoy a fantastic weekend with old friends and new. It turned out to be one of the most refreshing and relaxing weekends I think I've ever had.

My friend Kim was kind enough to let me use her booth to show off my stuff. Not a lot sold. I think people get scared of the price tag on handspun, but those that persisted, or were really really nice, I'd almost always give a discount. Since most of the cost involved in handspun yarn is my time, if the time I spend with someone is pleasant, it should be rewarded by giving them the time it took me to make something they want, like yarn!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A what? an update!

Blah blah, I've been busy, blah blah.

While yes, I have been busy, I've also been totally slack about taking pictures of stuff. Honestly, that's why I haven't been blogging. I like having pictures in my blog posts!

So what all has happened since SAFF? Well, I went to Indiana to visit my brother's family. They have an adorable new baby, Nick. He's awesome. Such a laid-back baby. He'll fuss a bit when he's hungry or wet, then just kinda wait patiently, sucking on a pacifier until it's his turn. Oh, and the best part in my opinion? His ears. Little dude totally has elf ears. But that picture is on my phone, so I'll upload it later. Then, in the joy of joys that is school-age children, Ben brings home a stomach flu that dropped us all, one at a time. I was the last to get it, and of course it happened the day I was leaving, so I'm flying home, trying desperately not to get sick. I'm okay now, and NEVER want to do that again!

Okay, onto the yarny content!

A while ago I showed you this yarn. I finally decided what to do with it. It's the "apple shawl" making progress on the Ravelry bars to your left. It's going well. I'm hoping it'll make it, the shawl called for 250 yards and I have 263. So theoretically I should be good. But there I go, tempting the knitting fates!

I also finished my Danish tie shawl, but haven't gotten a decent picture of myself in it yet.

Most exciting, I got a new wheel! It's the Road Bug or mini Hitchhiker from the Merlintree. I just got it last night from The Bull City Fiber Loft. It is too cute for words. Weighing in at only 8.9 pounds and 16" tall, it's a cute little compact thing. I have some cute ideas for how I'm going to finish it, involving greyhounds. I'll try to do better and keep posting about that as it progresses.

I took to it quite quickly. The heel-toe action actually makes it easier to start and stop, which is good, because it would be a pain to have to reach down and start the wheel every time. I discovered after playing with it for about an hour that if I knew where I ended, I could just keep going. It does make a lot more noise than my Traveller, but because of the direct-drive nature of the wheel, this is to be expected. It kinda sounds like roller skates! For me, it blended in to the background and became white noise. Molloy agreed with the roller skate analogy, but found the rhythmic changes to the tone to make the noise continue to stand out. Hopefully when I get more comfortable with the wheel, the light "whuzz whuzz" of the wheel will even out.

The actual wheel is very light and so has less inerta than the wheel on a traditional spinning wheel. This means that the pressure required by the treadler to make the wheel go is less. The only downside is that it doesn't continue to spin on its own, due to the decreased inertia.

With my traveller, with the big thick, rim-weighted wheel, when I get it going, the effort I have to put forth to keep it going is minimal, but I do need to think ahead when stopping.

With the HH the amount of effort for treadling is constant, but constantly low. My ankle was a little tired after spinning on it for an hour at the shop (and then another hour at home!) but I think that may be just a matter of conditioning. It does make me wish my legs were longer though!

Looking at that picture, I just realized I have some bad posture issues going on. I will need to have Jeff take a few more pictures of me using the wheel and using my Traveller as well, and fix it before I cause myself problems! It may simply have been because I needed a shorter chair. At home I usually spin on an old woodern student's chair, which is low enough that my thighs are parallel to the floor. In that chair my knees are below my hips, and I know that's a no-no for spinning posture.