Thursday, May 26, 2011

The bad news, and the GREAT news

Well, the bad news is that my weekend camping trip plans fell through. The person I was supposed to be going with did not plan ahead properly and ended up having to work Friday night which would have thrown the whole thing off and made it too hurried and stressful, not to mention it would have caused us to miss the first day of festivities. Not cool. So I decided it just wasn't in the cards this time. I guess that turned out to be a good call because a few hours after I found this out Tuesday afternoon, I spent the evening being suddenly violently ill. Bad enough to suspect food poisoning if not for the fact that I was pretty sick one night last week and have been feeling a little less than fabulous overall. I guess I've been fighting some nasty virus and it got the better of me that evening after a long day out in the heat.

So I've been laid up for the past couple days trying to take it easy and avoid the 100 degree weather. I've been working on some sample socks I started on Sunday to learn the 2 socks on 1 circ toe-up Magic Loop method. It is going great. While I won't declare myself a total Magic Loop convert or devotee, I am most definitely a fan and I'm loving the 2 at once thing. Pics forthcoming... my camera seems to be hiding again. :P

Anyhoo... on to the super awesome fantastic news!
As of tomorrow I shall be the proud new owner of my very first SPINNING WHEEL!!!!!
I found a lovely Ashford Traditional for sale on Ravelry and it decided to be mine. :) Got a wonderful deal from the ever-so-fabulous Debbie of Debbie's Handspun Yarn.

Here are the pics borrowed from the listing:

Beautiful, no?
She's a 2005 Ashford Traditional, double drive, single treadle, w/ factory lacquer finish and obviously infused with lots of love.

Then I saw some of the lovely things Debbie has made with her and absolutely had to have this as well:

Llama merino blend! How could I resist?

I also saw some of her finished spin/knit projects and must say I hope I can produce lace even half as lovely as the previous owner.

I'm so excited it's downright ridiculous.

I have wanted a wheel since long before I ever even considered knitting or anything like that. I was one of the kids who saw Sleeping Beauty and the like and immediately knew I *must* have one.
I don't know anyone who spins but that didn't stop me from learning to knit either, right? I went to a knit night a few years ago where someone brought a Lendrum and while I thought it was neat, the upright style just didn't tickle my fancy like the traditional style. There's just something about that classic look that makes it even more appealing. So I knew that's what I wanted for my first wheel.
I haven't had the chance to try out wheels or receive instruction in person but I've done a lot of research and reading and came to the conclusion that an Ashford Traditional seemed like a safe bet for me. It seems very versatile and has or can have many of the things I want (or think I want). It seems to be as good a place to start as any.
I started saving a little money here and there last year in hopes of eventually having enough for a wheel, then I saw the prices of new ones and was greatly discouraged. I kept reading that used was a good way to go if you knew what you were looking for and could find one in good working order but those sort of items just don't pop up around here so that didn't seem like it was going to happen.

Then I discovered the wonder that is the Ravelry marketplace groups. I browsed and drooled and researched and compared... then I realized that since I decided to put off buying a new phone until after my trip, I might actually be able to swing the right purchase! A couple days later the deal was done! I don't waste any time once I decide I want something. Lol.

Doing business with fellow crafters has just been such a joy. I'm constantly amazed at what a supportive and upstanding community my fellow fiber fanatics are. :)

So that definitely softened the blow of my weekend trip falling through. Miss camping trip, fulfill a lifelong dream... pretty decent trade off. And my mom has agreed that we'll take a trip up to NC at some point later in the year when some interesting festival or fair is going on or we can visit some alpacas or something. We've been wanting to get back up there for a while anyway since that's the area my mom is from.

It all works out in the end.

In the meantime, I finally set the twist for my first batch of spindle spun yarn yesterday. It is the common beginner's thick-thin masterpiece. Lol. Next I need to ply the second batch. But first, I think I'll grab some Kool-aid and try my hand at some dying. I have two small skeins from the first batch so I'm thinking about doing them each one color, then doing half of the second batch in each color and doing a 2ply from that. Then I'll knit it all together into... something. Probably just a big swatch, honestly. Lol. I figure I can make a few of those from my first few trial run creations then put them together to form something artsy. I have no delusions of my first few yarns being highly functional.

I also did a little more work on the fiber shown in the my previous post. After getting that off the spindle, I started working on the remainder. I thought I only had about an ounce left but it turns out I have just over 2oz left! Perfect. I have no idea I had half of it left. That should make plying a bit easier if I can keep my yardage about the same.

So it's been a week of immersing myself in fiber-y goodness and I'm planning more of the same for the weekend.

School starts again next week so this is a good way to spend my last few days off. :)

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