… a big pile of bobbins! I have some many Schacht bobbins as each wheel comes with 3 or 4 bobbins and I have 3 Schacht wheels that take these bobbins. The huge bobbins are the Hansen Woolee Winder bobbins. My Schacht-Reeves bobbins were already clear and aren’t in the photo. I managed to clear all the bobbins on Friday thinking it was the end of October and Spinzilla started today! I have no idea where that week went in my brain, but I’m glad to have that week back! Spinzilla starts a week today.
I have no idea what is going on with the UK weather, usually September is the start of the weather I love. Autumn is my favourite season, with cooler days and nights and the start of a few rainy days and of course all the Autumn colours. (Autumn = Fall for my US friends)
But it has been unseasonably warm here this week, with the kids back at school without their coats and hats and mittens seeming like a distance concept still. I suppose I shouldn’t complain when the weather man says highs of 29C next week, but to be honest I’d rather it was a bit cooler and I could get on with some DIY with sweating!
So instead I’ve spent this week getting back into the work groove after 6weeks of school holidays off. During this long holidays I keep up with customer emails, Ravelry and knitting on current design ideas, but the actual hard work of designing and teaching gets set aside.
I’ve updated the blog and added some of my patterns to the pages here, which used to be available through my web shop, which is now closed. So I thought it would be helpful to have my designs all in 1 place here. So I’m nearly done with that.
I’m re working one of my oldest patterns and that will be tech edited and rereleased in the next few weeks.
Spinning, oh how I love to spin to relax after a busy day at the computer.
With these 2 bobbins of slightly slubby chunky merino 2ply yarn finished, I settled down to make a felted bag for my Flatiron wheel. I like a bag to store the whorls, oil bottle, spare drive band and brake band and any other bits like WPI gauge. I decided to make this bag slightly bigger as I know I will take this wheel out to events and it would be nice to be able to tuck a spare bobbin in as well.
For knitting that will be fulled (some just call this felted) I don’t bother finishing the yarn first, I find this makes for firmer felt fabric. So I lazily knitted straight from the bobbins. As soon as the knitting was done I went to the sink to felt it, and once it was wet and soapy, I thought “oh no, you silly woman! You should have taken a photo.” Before felting this bag was very loose and shapeless and obviously much bigger!
My method for felting knitting is as follows;
Run a bowl of hot as I can get it warmer from the tap and top up from the kettle. I wear thick rubber gloves to prevent scolding myself! Add detergent I find dish washing liquid (aka Fairy Liquid) works well to the hot water.
Soak the item in the hot water until it’s wetted through, then start felting.
You can either run a 2nd bowl of cold water and refill it often so it doesn’t get warm, or use the cold tap running.
Aim of the game is to put the hot wet soapy knitting into really cold water, over and over. This is the quickest and least energetic felting process.
I agitate the item in the hot soapy water, rubbing it between my hands and scrunching it up, then move it quickly to the cold move it around until it’s cold, squeeze the cold water out with my hands and return it to the hot water. Squeezing it out helps stop the hot water going cold and saves having to refresh the hot water.
Repeat, repeat until it is firm and I’m reasonably happy with the size. This method works well and prevents sections getting stuck together or creases forming which is quite common if you just throw it in the washer.
I was only at the sink about 15mins. It’s probably quicker if you are really vigorous and use a sink plunger or something, but I’m too laid back for that.
Rinse all the soap out thoroughly, pull into shape. Then I put mine in the tumble drier as this firms the felt up really well. I put it in until it’s almost dry.
Then stretch over a form of some sort until fully dry.
The finished bag hanging on my Schacht Flatiron.
The bag has a row of eyelets around the top. I added extra twist to a length of the yarn and folded 4 strands and let it twist back on itself, making a cabled yarn. I then threaded this through the eyelets to hang up. It also has a small side pocket for the oil bottle as this is probably the item I use most often from the bag.
Still loving my Flatiron.
After finishing the dark Merino scraps for a little spinning wheel bag, I started on 200g of Merino/Silk blend tops.
The Flatiron really made spinning these singles a breeze. I will 3ply them for a fingering weight yarn. You can see a small ply back sample on the top of the bobbin.
After 2 years of having indoor cats, (because a local man who allowed his dog to enter my neighbours garden and kill her cats on 2 seperate occasions, he didn’t care) the risk seems to have gone and we have decided to let our furry beasts out again. Alan had never set foot into the outside world before, so he was quite timid, mostly sniffing around the patio!
He had a little look at the grass, but thought better of it and pottered off back inside. Bobcat on the whole hand walked the whole garden perimeter and spent a lot of time munching grass!
He’s a fat little cat and could do with the exercise after spending the last 2years indoors. He really loves it outside, I’m sure the grass won’t spoil his diet.
Tomorrow there will be knitting I promise.
After an excited wait my new Flatiron from Schacht Spindle company arrived this week!
These great new wheels come totally flat packed, hence the reasonably small box for a 22″ saxony wheel. So I cleared the table and set about assembling this modern wheel. Looking at the table of parts might feel a little daunting if you’ve never assembled a wheel before.The team at Schacht have not only created a great product that is precision cut and beautifully finished, which makes the assembly straight forward, they also created this Assembly video which should put you at ease.
Assembly takes about 90mins and all you need is a Phillips head screwdriver and a straight head screwdriver, they have included all the other tools you need. Only fully tighten things when you are told to and for the nuts and bolts holding the nut still with the spanner and turning the bolt with the screw driver/hex key is easiest.
Oh and I didn’t tell the most unique thing about this wheel. You’ll notice the flyer is on the right, rather than on the left like most saxony wheels. Well Schacht came up with a design that means that every Schacht wheel can be set up with the flyer on the left or the right. Change your mind, loan your wheel to a friend, sell your wheel, then you can take it apart and reassemble it with the flyer on the other side. Brilliant!
I decided for her first spin I’d spin some oddments of black, navy and purple merino into a thick slightly textured yarn to knit into a little fulled bag to hang from my Flatiron with the oil bottle and spare whorls etc in.