One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Entries Tagged as 'Spinning'

Two

February 24th, 2014 · 2 Comments

I did quite a bit of spinning yesterday. I’ve split the 4 oz into thirds and have the first two done. I’m about to sit down and start the last bit while I watch the Bachelor.

 I included a standard Schact bobbin to show how very huge the bobbins for the Norm Hall are. They are immense! And yet the wheel is very fast. The hugeness makes it look like I’ve barely spun anything but there is well over an ounce each. They should all ply up to a nice fingering weight. Have to love the speed of a CPW with more than one bobbin, and a giant one at that!

Today only sucked a little. I went to the mall for lunch and did a little retail therapy. Made my first stop in a Vera Bradley store and picked up my very first of her bags. Much lighter than the leather Coach bag that I’ve been toting around. Though it is far more colorful than I am used to!

 Craft on!

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Tags: Spinning

Updates

February 23rd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Once again it has been a long time between posts.  I guess I’ve fallen out of the regular habit of posting.  That doesn’t mean I don’t think about it, I do.  Often.  I still take pictures and look at projects with an eye towards posting.   I just don’t get around to do it, or take the shortcut and post the picture directly to Facebook or Ravelry.  Since I’ve paid for yet another year of hosting, I might as well try and take advantage of it.

Work has been stressful recently and not because I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.  That’s pretty much S.O.P.  I’m busy re-writing the company’s iPad apps in a cross platform way using Xamarin so I only really have to write the real code once and just add pretty front ends for each platform we’re targeting.  For some crazy reason, my boss thought I could do three apps on three platforms each in two months, on a part time basis since I spend half my days putting out fires in the current website codebase and tilting at windmills.  Fun.  Not.    I’ve grown to like my job less and less over the last month or so since I’ve gone from a Lead position to one of peon.  My 15 years of programming experience were recently compared to 6 months of side learning from videos.  Yeah.  Not so much.  The stress level is increasing daily and my coping mechanisms are being challenged.

This weekend I remembered how much better fiber makes me feel.. and not the bran kind of fiber.  The wool kind and particularly when mixed with whirling wood.

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The fiber is merino/sw merino/silk in Courtly Frog from Into the Whirled.  It arrived yesterday and I started spinning it immediately!  No marinating time at all! The wheel is my Norm Hall on the fastest whorl.  Think CPW with Jumbo bobbins for this wheel.  She’s super fast with massive amount of storage.  I haven’t used her all that much, but will be doing more in the future.  I’m going to make an effort to spin more as it really does help me unwind and I can seriously use that about now.  I’d rather not continue coming home ready to rip someone’s face off.

I’ve also been knitting, though that seems to be limited to Hebrew School Sunday mornings while waiting for the kids to get out.

IMG_1547I’ve taken to hanging at Panera with a tablet to watch Netflix while I knit 🙂  That’s the first of the latest pair of socks that I cast on probably in October now.  I do miss the train for knitting while I don’t miss the hour+ commute.

Craft on!

 

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Tags: Spinning

Another

January 12th, 2014 · 5 Comments

I must confess, I added yet another spinning wheel to the fold.  I’m still sort of on the quest for the perfect spinning wheel for serious travel when I won’t be a short walk to the car to get whatever I don’t feel like schlepping right then.  I have some grand ideas of taking a wheel onto a cruise ship and spinning.  A girl can dream. 

Anyway I’ve gone through a number of small wheels that fold/break down but don’t pass muster for one reason or another.  The Sidekick went because assembly was just too many steps.  Some others (Victoria) didn’t keep the position because while they went together quick, they just weren’t enjoyable to spin on. I *might* have the solution this time.   I spotted this wheel for sale on Ravelry – the usual source—and decided to take a chance.  I had an exchange with the craftsman who fashioned it wherein he described the breakdown/setup process.  I couldn’t get any idea of real size of the thing but the images I could find online gave me an idea that it was small.   I wasn’t prepared for how small.  This is what came out of the box two nights ago (iPhone included for scale):

Fully assembled and sitting next to the Matchless:

How cute is she??  She’s also got the niftiest of flyer designs:

And yes. She can spin.  This 4oz ball of fiber looks huge:

She’s a Carson Cooper Sabrina wheel in a mixture of woods, primarily cherry with a 12" metal drive wheel and metal flyer.  I thinks I love her Smile

Oh yes, I still knit.  I started a test knit project.  Not sure how much I can divulge, but I feel this picture is safe:

It’s a pullover in Cascade 220 Fingering, held double throughout.  What you see is the folded hem with the dark on the inside. 

Craft on!

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Tags: Adult · Spinning

Happy New Year

January 7th, 2014 · 1 Comment

I know that it has been a while since my last post. It should go without saying that I have been keeping busy. I’m still making progress on the plying on the fly spindle, as well as a number of other things. Hopefully more soon.

Craft on!



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Tags: Spinning

New Techniques

December 10th, 2013 · 1 Comment

One of my favorites aspects of the internet is the ability to learn something new all the time.  I’ve been spinning since 1999 when I got my first wheel.  Several more followed and then came the spindles.  That’s a long while that I’ve been spinning, and yet, there is always something new to learn.

I’ve been relatively active in the Ravelry Forums and found a technique I hadn’t learned.  Plying on the fly on a spindle.  Wow!  It’s n-plying on a spindle, which in itself is not novel, but doing it as you go IS.  Basically, you spin a length of singles, and then chain ply it to wind yarn onto the spin.  There’s a video here, which is what I used.

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That’s three ply BFL on my new Red Oak Bosworth Midi weighing .67 oz.  I like this technique.  I’ve never been a huge fan of plying and this method gets it out of the way in small bites 🙂  It also allows you to ply a truly balanced yarn with draping the plied yarn to see how it springs.  No discounting what you see because one ply has been hanging around for hours/days/weeks/months/years waiting for its cohorts to be ready to ply.  Not to mention it allows me to 3 ply with my short attention span and inability to spin three of anything before I see something shiny.

Craft on!

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Tags: Spinning

NYSW

October 22nd, 2013 · 6 Comments

 

Saturday was the annual pilgrimage to Rhinebeck, NY.  I had my trusty festival buddy, Miss Kat, along for the ride this year.  The weather was beautiful, the wool fumes intoxicating, and it always feels like being home amongst my kind.  Nowhere else can you wander up to someone, touch their knitwear and compliment/question it.  It is a tactile persons heaven, though it can be a tad overwhelming at times.  Its become extremely crowded, making it difficult to see and touch all the things, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

I went this year to deliver my Hansen MiniSpinner to Jessalu as it and I just never made good friends.  I liked spinning on it, but sadly, the motor would overheat and shut down with my style of plying.  Not a problem I have on the Womack so it was time to move it along.  Jess was in the market, I was ready to sell, so the stars alined.  Which they truly did because as she was texting me that she’d arrived at the fairgrounds and was at the gate, I was yelling her name as I too approached the gate.  Serendipity indeed!

Other than the delivery, my shopping list was small, and honestly not much of a list.  I was finally going to get the spinning chair from Norm Hall that I bought from him at the fair last year. I wanted some fiber from Cris, wanted to see what Loop had (conveniently right across from Cris), and wanted a sweaters worth of some crisp fiber to spin something else from A Fine Fleece now that Fylingdales is well under way.  Okay so I got those things, and some Fiber Optic, a new spindle from the Bosworths, and a new wheel.

There.  I said it.  Yet another wheel.  I had been wandering through a barn, happened on the Robin Wheel booth and asked if I could try it.  I’ve never been a big fan of bobbin-lead but then my exposure has been relatively limited.  I tried I think 3 of them in all these years of wheeling and dealing spinning, the last one being a Babe Pinkie.  Not exactly some of the smoothest spinners out there.  So anyway, I decided to give these beautiful wheels a shot figuring it might just be a better experience, after all, others I know and respect love them.  I sat and spun.  And spun.  And spun.  Then I decided I wanted one to discover there were two available for sale:  one in cherry and another in black walnut.  I had trouble deciding which I wanted, cherry would match all the other cherry, but since the Van Eaton left, there is no black walnut (other than maybe the accent on the Schacht).  Angela, who was booth helping for Gil, suggested the only logical thing, try them both.  So I did.  And I spun.  And spun.  And spun.  Swapped wheels.  Repeat.  Repeat again.  I decided on the Walnut because it is different from the others in the herd in more than one way.

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I spent Saturday evening trying her out with a Loop batt while watching the Red Sox beat the Tigers and move onto the WORLD SERIES!

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She spins very nicely and I can spin my standard thickness (or lack thereof) without fighting the bobbin lead!  Nice.  Opens up a whole new avenue for the collection 😉

I’m going to have to keep up the quest for the travel wheel because I just lost the last one I acquired for that purpose:

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That’s little miss tucked between the end of her bunk bed and dresser (smallest spot in the room) with my Joy spinning away on some of the Falkland batt I bought her from Cris.  Saturday evening after we got home and unloaded the car, she pulled out her spindle and the fiber and started to go.  But had little success, getting terribly upset, and maybe a little mad.  She hasn’t spun since June and the bash at the Goldings, so no surprise that she was having trouble.  Add in that she was trying a merino/silk blend iirc and a new spindle.  I knew that she’s got the spinning action down so I suggested that she try a wheel again.  So she did.  And spun.  And spun 🙂  I found her like this Sunday evening before bed.  No spinning last night but she went to sleep at 6 complaining of a headache.  Poor smidgen.

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that my kids are spinning.  For one, it will give us something to share, some common ground that hopefully will pull us together as they grow up.  Kat and I spent a while Saturday night, sitting side by side, spinning on our wheels.  It also means that my herd will be recognized for what they are, what they are worth and appreciated.  Kat’s goal at this point is to practice enough to be able to spin on <gasp> on of the Goldings 🙂

Craft on!

 

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Tags: Family · Spinning

Updates

July 28th, 2013 · Comments Off on Updates

I know it's been yet another blogging break for me. Been busy. Between the road trip to Vermont for the Goldings bash, which was AWESOME for all sorts of reasons, the road trip to Pennsylvania (more on that in a bit), starting the new job and running my first 5k, I've been busy. I bought some new spindles and started spinning some super fine silk:

I received a new wheel (pocket wheel) and have since sold it. Which is a shame as I was hoping that it was the holy grail of travel wheels. Alas it was not to be as it didn't agree with the ankle and I kept getting hit in the leg by the flyer Road Bug style. It sold super fast and I ordered the best of the past, an Ashford Joy, which is a smaller light weight wheel that isn't bad to spin on. It should be here this week. The Golding Travel Wheel is an awesome spinner but a tad large and heavy and something that I will definitely not be taking to the boat.

The new job is awesome so far. Three weeks in and I am over the moon happy with the chance I've been given. It is the best of all worlds. The commute is all of 8 miles and I can drive there in less than 30 minutes even hitting traffic and all lights red. Yes I had this with the consulting gig but the job itself was terrible and non-challenging in anyway except trying to contain my growing frustration and not snapping heads off. This job is making use of all my skills. We've got a new developer starting tomorrow that ill be leading 🙂

Ok now for the new wheel. I found this wheel listed on Ravelry and Etsy and couldn't let it pass me by. I've finally got a Norm Hall for the herd.

 

She spins super nice too. Came with FIVE bobbins which are just immense!

Bobbins from left to right:

  1. Journey Wheel
  2. Pocket Wheel
  3. Golding
  4. Schacht Matchless
  5. Hansen
  6. Norm Hall

I've made progress on Wingspan as well:

That brings us closer to caught up. More soon.

Craft on!

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Tags: Knitting · Spinning

Monkey Brain

June 27th, 2013 · 1 Comment

I can definitely be accused of having a busy monkey brain.  I flit hither and thither on all hobbies big and small.  I’ve been bouncing between coding for fun, spindle spindle (drop and support), wheel spinning and knitting.  But this is nothing new for me (nor you if you’ve been around these here blog parts long enough).  I added features to the iOS version of my knit counter and its been approved by Apple.  Thanks to a query by an Android version user, I’ve been prodded towards making the same modifications.  Towards that end, I picked up a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 so that I had a modern platform to test the code on.  My ancient (and no longer used/updated) Droid X just wasn’t going to cut it.   Got my development platform updated and now just have to decide the best way to add the features without breaking everything!

I have an insane number of spinning projects going.  There’s the remainder of the 40z of BFL fiber that I started last summer during the TdF on my Bosworth moosies.   I think I finally hit the halfway point on that project.

I have another drop spindle project, the Shetland wool on a bunch of Goldings that someday I hope to make a hap shawl out of.  I’m almost done with the first 4oz of the multi colored stuff, but have a second 4oz, as well as 4oz each of coordinating solids.  I’m leaning towards the multi being the outer color on the shawl, so I guess I should have started with a solid 😉

I think this one is going to be my TdF project for this year as I’m on Team ITW and Team Golding.  This one covers both bases.

No pictures of any wheel spinning, but I’ve now added yet another knitting project: Wingspan, in leftover Kauni Effektgarn from my second Kauni sweater.  I wooshed thru the first two triangles and its languished there for a couple of days.  Oh well.  I’ll return to it when I can stay up past 8pm.

I think I’m just a US4 knitter as I’m happiest on that sized needle.  Also, I’d like to add, the Signature Stilettos that I bought at MDSW are probably my favoritest needles of ALL.TIME.

And now for other news that I announced on Facebook yesterday because it became official.  I applied for a permanent position at the company where I’ve been consulting for the last year.  It is in a different department and not a support developer role but as  Lead Developer in the Marketing Communications group.  I’ll be working on the public facing web products rather than the internal tools as I’ve done for the last year.  It was a position that they sent an email around to all IT on 6/10.  I saw the description and felt as if it had been written with me in mind.  I tweaked my resume and applied.  Two days later I had an interview.  The next day I had a second rounder with the VP, as well as HR (Thursday).  Monday I was told they were going to make an offer, but needed to have their lengthy process play out (signatures on it from VPs, Moses, G-d, etc) and i should hear something by Thursday.  Well, didn’t take that long.  On Wednesday, Fedex delivered an offer package.   Yesterday, after signing all paperwork, surviving a background check and passing a hair drug test, my start date became official:  July 8th.  It will be nice to become a FTE again with benefits and time off (yes I know my time off was built into my hourly rate as a consultant but I’d have to keep reminding myself that when a holiday rolled around and I could no longer bill or get paid for a 40 hour week!).

This weekend, Miss K and I are heading to Vermont for a bash at the Golding Farm.  I’m really looking forward!

Craft on!

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Tags: Knitting · Misc · Spinning

Speedy Catch Up

June 13th, 2013 · Comments Off on Speedy Catch Up

I didn’t realize so much time has passed since my last posting.  Rather than a whole bunch of recaps, I’ll do a quick photo essay of what’s been going on at chez CFL.

I was keeping busy for a change.  Writing an update to iKnitCounter on one, reinstalling OSX on another, listening to a baseball game on a third and honestly can’t remember why the fourth was there except it was the original computer I’d done the counter on :)  Updated version of iKnitCounter in the app store if you haven’t already gotten it. 

There’s more but I have to get to a meeting shortly..

Craft on!

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Tags: Family · Socks · Spinning · Stash Enhancement

There and Back Again

March 8th, 2013 · Comments Off on There and Back Again

 

Its been one of those periods where I’ve meant to blog, but just haven’t.  One thing or another has kept me from doing so.  Mostly it is an allergy to computers.  I’ve hit the point where I spent all day in front of the computer for the day job or the side job, that I just don’t want to spend additional time.  Work is busy busy busy these days.  I might have complained over the summer about not having anything to do at work but that is surely not a problem now.  I’m putting in a 45+ hour week (and getting paid for every one of those hours – G-d bless being a consultant) so that’s why blogging is srsly reduced.

Tuesday we got back from the yearly cruise to the Caribbean.  Not too much to write now that I haven’t written in the past three years.   We took the same ship out of the same port on the same itinerary as the past years from 2/24 thru 3/5.  It was a wonderful 10 day break from the daily grind.  I brought a couple of my dearly treasured new Golding spindles with me.  Here’s my Tibetan Flower peaking at the harbor in St. Thomas.

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We took an outing to Trunk Bay in St. John to do some snorkeling.  My spindle (and I) really loved the beach there!

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We then went to that pretty little island in the bay near Samana, Dominican Republic were we went two years ago, Cayo Levantado.  Tibetan Flower was joined by her sister, Moon Cats for that excursion.

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The final stop was Labadee in Haiti. I thought I had a beach picture like the above, but I lost my mind in all that sun and warm.  Best I managed:

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The spindles (and the kids) and I had a lovely trip.  Slowly getting back to normal.  The snow outside is NOT helping 😉

Craft on!

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Tags: Spinning