Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yes, I do.

Spin on my front porch, that is. Last weekend we had a blues festival in town. Not really my husband's kind of music, but I like a wide variety of styles. And the Soulard Blues Band are excellent blues musicians. I could clearly hear them from my office with the window open to the fresh afternoon breeze. It took a few minutes to occur to me that I could work on the computer later that night, but I only had about an hour of good daylight to spin on the front porch (the sun is in the back of the house in the afternoon).

So I grabbed my Fricke and the brown Louet Corriedale roving I've been working through forever and headed out to the porch. Unfortunately the bobbin was already pretty full. By the time the band took its first break, I'd snarled the single around the flyer hooks and the bobbin shaft. By the time I took everything apart, decided to go ahead and ply all three bobbins now and finish the roving later (the lack of a spare empty bobbin factored into the decision), and set up the lazy kate, the band started playing again.

I should have taken a picture, but here's a small portion of my view:
Porch Perspective

There are few things I enjoy more than sitting on my front porch barefoot and spinning, listening to good music and confusing all the tourists.

(BTW, I didn't finish the plying; husband wanted to go for a walk. If the rain stops this weekend, I'll get it done and take some pictures.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

A little repair and renovation

That's what I'm doing to this old blog, and what I did to the fingerless gloves I made my husband. He wears these for work in an unheated warehouse. These made it through two winters with a little patching when the finger ribbing wore through or the thumb gusset ripped a bit. Then disaster:

Total thumb blowout. And I'm out of scraps of this yarn to patch it with. I dug through the oddball bag and found something at least slightly similar.

I backstitched around the hole to stabilize the remaining yarn, then I "warped" the hole by threading the yarn back and forth through the backstitches. Finally, I turned the glove 90 degrees and wove the "weft" through the warp yarn and packed it firmly. Result? Good enough to last the rest of the season, and possibly most of next winter.

Lessons learned: This isn't the first pair of fingerless gloves I've made him. The first pair were Dale Norway wool; although they were warm, the Dale just wasn't up to the stress. 100% acrylic yarn in the first patch cut the original yarn like a knife, making an even bigger hole. Also, 75% acrylic 25% wool isn't as durable as you'd think. I'm considering spinning some worsted Jacob wool for the next pair. If it worked for fishermen on the high seas, it should work for a warehouseman in a Midwestern winter.

Strangely enough, there's something satisfying about making these utilitarian gloves and knowing that they're going to be needed and used hard enough to earn honorable patches like this. It beats making another novelty yarn scarf any day.