Monday, January 31, 2011

deep freeze

As I am writing this at 1:13 am (why yes, I am a night owl), the temperature is -35 C (-31 F) with a windchill of -46 C (-50.8 F). Thankfully the cold snap isn't supposed to last too long. Warmer temps are forecast for Wednesday. Good. This is ridiculously cold. It makes a person want to just crawl into bed and hibernate until it ends.

Even though I haven't been posting much lately, I have been keeping busy. Shuttleworks had a sale on Louet products and I was itching to try a venerable S10 DT so I bought one.

My intent was to use it for plying so that I would have easy treadling with the Irish tension (bobbin led) and be able to get into a rhythm for consistency. As much as I like my espinners, I find that I have an easier time gaining plying consistency when my feet and hands are co-ordinated. In order to gain speed for plying fine high-twist yarn, I ordered a couple of fast bobbins in addition to the regular ones that came with the wheel.

I didn't really think that I would fall madly in love with the S10 but I have. It's a truck but it does its job amazingly well! I quite like the kate that comes with the wheel too.

Here it's plying some Shunklies Humbug BFL for sock yarn.

I liked the Humbug BFL a lot too so bought some from International Fleeces to play with dyeing. Here it is with the finished Shunklies yarn.

I have some lovely Cotswold locks from Wooly Wool of the West in my stash. I scoured and dyed some to play with boucle singles a la Judith MacKenzie.
After a bit of practice I was able to get the hang of spinning a thin core yarn with my back three fingers against my palm and using the thumb and forefinger with the other hand to pull out teased locks to wrap around the core. It's pretty fast once your hands "get it" and yields an art yarn that is quite usable as a single. It's light but strong.

(The Roberta package is for sale again if you are interested. The price has been reduced to $1100 including shipping within Canada and to the US.)


Monika said...

Oh my god, that's cold! Your spinning wheel reviews always make me want to get a new one too. I just started using my Kromski again, but I like spinning with my Elisabeth better. Your sock yarn turned out beautifully!

Jody said...

You definitely have it colder than we do Susan!
I need a little workhorse like the Louet for plying. That looks like quite a large much does it hold?
I sold my Ashford Traddy to help finance my Watson wheel but I miss her big bulky bobbins for plying. I now must use my Rose and I only have regular bobbins for her :-(

SissySees said...

Beautiful handspun. Isn't it funny how we bond with a wheel?

Stay warm!

Lovs2Knit said...

We've had the bitter cold here too. It's finally starting to warm up a bit since it's only -6F this morning. I hate going out in this cold because it makes my joints hurt so bad.

Love the art yarn. I haven't tried my hand at spinning something like that.

Mickey said...

Your sock yarn looks wonderful. Do you use 2 or 3 plies?
The art yarn was interesting. I found myself trying to fit my hand into that shape and I am afraid I don't have the concept, you spin a core and wrap in one pass? Are you adding the locks to a prespun core?
We have that cold temp now and I can see a new hat with a fuzzy brim in my future.