Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hooray - Pictures!

A belated Happy Holidays :-)

As long-overdue promised, I finally was able to put some pictures together of some things I've done recently. First, I wanted to show some of the handiwork I did with the Little Meggie kick spindle from Heavenly Handspinning:
I used some pastel wool roving from Sullivan's here to make this yarn. I eventually knit it into a nice little hat: It's a bit on the big side but it works for the days I have my hair bunched up in a bun, or more often, when I've got an inflated ego. Since it's wool and I double-stranded the yarn, it's also great for the cold snaps we get where I am occasionally between late December and mid-February when it can drop down to the single digits and below zero.

Also as I mentioned a while back I've been learning hairpin lace. I started out by making my own loom out of plastic knitting needles and a pair of foamie letter I's:
Eventually as I became more comfortable with the technique, I splurged and got a handmade wooden hairpin loom they sell on Stitch Diva as a birthday gift to myself - here you can see me making another strip for a poncho I'm making for my friend's daughter who got the little sweater and hat I made for her birthday last year: I'll post a couple pictures here when I'm done with it.

I've already managed to make a few other projects with hairpin lace, the first being a couple of scarves:
The one on the left was a Christmas present to my daughter, made with Patons Cha Cha in Vegas. The one on the right I made for a 13 year old girl that I picked from our giving tree at my church, again made with the Vegas Cha Cha and Patons Pooch in Spring Blush.

I decided to be more daring with my next project and made a shrug: Being as I'm still learning this technique the shrug is a little tight but it'll be good for the warmer spring days when I wear shorter sleeves under it. For what it's worth it did keep me on the warm side when I wore it over a turtleneck Christmas Eve. I made it using Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist in Flashy.

I also made myself another hat with the hairpin lace: I based the hat on this pattern, but it didn't turn out the way it was supposed to as you can see. So I improvised and added the braided tassels with leftover yarn to make it funky and eccentric instead. This is also in Yarn Bee Mosaic Twist and Paradox in Pansy.

I've been learning cross-stitch and punch needle embroidery too. I gave my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law punch needle projects that I unfortunately didn't get to photograph before I wrapped them up. But, I was able to get a picture of my first cross-stitch effort, an ornament kit that I picked up from the thrift store: I also made a bookmark for my daughter that's personalized with her name - here's a close-up: Finally, I knit another hat for my son and crocheted him a pair of mittens using patterns from Bev's Country Cottage site - the yarn is Red Heart Super Saver:
So there you go, there's some of what I've been up to lately. It's a lot but I also know I'd promised pictures and I haven't uploaded any in months so you might say I'm making up for lost time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

About the Mother Marion Spindle...

A couple of people have written me asking about my Mother Marion kick spindle, where they can get one and how I like it, so I thought I'd write a quick blurb... I do first want to clarify that the videos you're seeing on my blog are NOT mine, but rather the seller of these spindles. I've simply referred them on my site so people can see what they look like and how to use them.

That said, I LOVE it. I have the Little Meggie model, which has the scalloped wheel. It has a nice balance and weight and spins very smooth and freely.

It's also just plain gorgeous. I don't recall what the wood is but I recently used some beeswax wood preserver to clean it up and the wood absolutely glowed. Being a family member of various men who did woodwork and took pride in it, I definitely appreciate the fine craftsmanship.

I am able to spin yarn with it a lot faster than a drop spindle, which I still use from time to time as it's easier to take with me when I travel. But the kick spindle takes precedence when I'm home... I suspect the only thing that will tear me away from using it is if/when I make or buy a spinning wheel and learn to use that.

Oh, another advantage to the kick spindle is that it's great if you live in a small home with little space like I do. My husband and I are constantly playing Tetris with our stuff to try and make more room, but with my little kick spindle I never have a problem finding a place to either sit and work with it or put it away when I'm done.

The seller also said that smaller kids love to sit on the floor and spin the whorl to "help" spin and she's right - my son will come over, say "Push?" and then start twirling it. He even knows after watching me what direction it should go so he won't end up unwinding my work :-)

Now, where to get one... the person who sells these normally does so on eBay, but if you contact her and ask real nice she would probably be more than happy to sell you one direct. If she contacts me and gives me permission I'll post information on how to get a hold of her directly, but for now I'm going to respect her privacy and just direct anyone who asks to eBay.