Sunday, January 19, 2014

Getting warped

A sleighed reed.
 Nothing quite beats the good feeling of getting a warp on.  All I need to do now is to tie the warp on and start weaving.  I would have done that this weekend but I became sidetracked by my spinning projects.  I did lots of fleece picking, and bit of carding and quite a bit of plying, but very little in the way of weaving.
New shelf in workshop.
I did no weaving, unless you count putting a shelf in my workshop so I can see my yarn stash as a sort of weaving.  I suppose if that is so, I can also count drooling over the latest Yarn Barn catalog.  My husband and I finally got around to putting the shelf up.  We purchased it a couple of months ago, but you know how that goes. Other things get in the way.  The promise of three to five inches of snow kept us from going out, so Saturday was the perfect day for small home projects. Shown on my new shelf is my collection of cotton yarns. And yes, the braces for the shelf aren't evenly space.  That's because our stud detector also detected AC power midway along the shelf.

First ply.
My new plying technique for fine yarns will include two passes through the wheel.  Trying to get a good ply the first time around is tedious for me--it takes some fast treadling with slow progress to get the sort of ply I want.  So I went ahead and took ply like that show above and put it back through the wheel.

Second ply.
Then I get the sort of ply I want without he tedium of waiting for the yarn to twist to the level I want.  It also saves me from my major disadvantage, which is daydreaming.  Once I let my mind wander and I stop paying attention, I'm likely to get a few yards of bad ply--by putting it through the wheel twice, I can daydream to my heart's content and still get the ply I want, making me a much happier spinner.

Freshly carded batts.
Carding also took up my attention.  I picked that Jacob fleece I dyed a few months ago and now I'm creating batts.  In February, I hope to start spinning it up for a rug project I have planned. This is carding up very quickly and I am already halfway through the bag.  I hope I have enough for a rug!

Grass-fed beef stew.
Something's been cooking around the Craftstead too.  Ever since I started with that slow cooker book, I've been slow cooking up a storm.  Yesterday, I made Shrimp Gumbo and it marks my first time ever cooking with okra.  Okra is an odd looking little vegetable but nice and tasty in Gumbo.  We loved it so much that next time I'm making a double batch. Today, I made beef stew.  That was quite delicious too.

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