Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekend In Review

I started off the weekend by going to lunch at the local Thai place with my neighbor. When she and I were talking last, we had discovered that we were both interested in trying the food there - and that our husbands were both NOT interested - so a plot was hatched. We were delighted to find that the menu was quite extensive and the food was incredible. I had chicken in a sweet red pepper sauce, garnished with cilantro, cucumber and pineapple. Yummy! And made all the more fun by the opportunity to just sit and chat with my neighbor.

After lunch, we went to the U-pick organic blueberry farm. It was so picturesque I was sad that I forgot my camera. They have a rustic little stand equipped with a scale and old coffee cans with twine. I hung the can around my neck and was tickled (in a silly, but absolutely down to my toes way) to find the first few berries going ker-plunk, just like in Blueberries For Sal. Hey, I've never been blueberry picking before.

I also kept my promise about the wheel. I finished spinning this on Saturday afternoon and was able to contain myself until Sunday night... when I gave in a plied it. (I don't know how long singles are supposed to "settle" but I think it is probably a bit longer).

The technical rundown on this one:

I have changed the way I hold my hands at the wheel and I am seeing improvement in the consistency of the yarn. When I first started, I imitated someone I had seen who held her hands very close (3-4 in) to the orifice and very close to each other (3-4 in). I don't know why (fiber qualities, personal preference, different wheel?) but for me it works to draft out 8-10 inches of yarn (treadling v-e-r-y slowly) and then work the fiber from there. I have been alternating between actively drafting with my back hand and then feeding the yarn in... and sort of pinching with my left thumb (front hand) and holding the fibers a bit with my back hand (hands maybe 4-5 inches apart) and letting the tug of the wheel do the work. This is possible, in part, because the fiber I am working with is very clean and even, and I'm predrafting it using harlot's method, except I put my hands closer together and "snap" the fiber the first time (can't remember where I read about that one or I would link...)

One thing I am enjoying about the wheel is that it is much easier to avoid over twisting than it was with the top whorl spindle. When I swatched the last yarn I got a much more squishy, soft fabric. So I've decided to jump in and spin up the last of this natural wool blend for a secret project (shhh). Maybe after that this blog will stop being the all cream/grey/brown channel :)

1 comment:

Octopus Knits said...

The Thai food sounds great, and it's wonderful you got to spend some time with your new neighbor. What fun - picking blueberries (I love "Blueberries for Sal")!

Your yarn looks soft and squishy, and I'm curious what your secret project is. Hopefully it won't remain top secret for ever...