Around and around she goes, fiber edition

It’s been a while since I’ve taken pixel to “paper”. So much has happened recently, and little has happened at all.

Life is quieter right now.

One reason for this is a little less money sloshing about and waiting for transformation. My husband’s work has suddenly changed from projects with periodic largeish payoffs to ongoing, steady work with relatively modest paychecks. We also had a larger than usual tax bill due to both some projects coming to fruition and to the loss of our one dependent exemption. We lost the higher ed tax credit as well. This is what happens when your kid becomes a grad student with a stipend that she can live on, and is one of those really good changes that helps you smile a little as you write a check to the US Treasury.

And work - well, it makes my head spin. Meat for a separate post. My work hasn’t changed that much, though, because my agency has regularly had financial ups and downs in the decade I’ve worked there.

I’ve been knitting away and have added a few finished items to my Ravelry project pages. I made socks for R. that he loves - they are very tall, and probably consumed more stitches than a full sized sweater knit out of worsted weight yarn. I also made a baby seater for a friend and co-worker’s new baby boy. It was also a farewell present, because she no longer works at our agency, and has moved a couple of hundred miles away. Beyond that, I’m still knitting on the same sweater, shawl, and socks that I was working on a few months ago.

There were a couple of other small projects as well - more about them later.

What is new in my life: I have a spinning wheel.

I’ve been terrified of spinning wheels ever since I found out that people still use them to make yarn. I avoided sitting down at one until last fall, when my daughter prevailed upon me to just give one a try at a wool festival. The yarn I made was truly horrible, but I realized that this was something that I could learn to do.

My daughter has longed for a wheel for a long time, and hinted loudly for months that she would love to have one this year as her major gift of the year. So - we did it. We did our research, identified a wheel that we could afford to purchase in duplicate, found the money for the purchase, and bought two wheels in February.

Most spinning wheels purchased by mail order come unassembled. And so my daughter and I found ourselves in February with wood stain, paint, and wood finish, and a pile of interestingly shaped wooden parts. It only took us a couple of days to put together wheels that we are very happy with indeed.

The wheels are Kromski Fantasias. The Kromski company is a family owned business in Poland. The Fantasia is a new, modern design that both A. and I both loved at first sight. I bought the wheels unfinished, saving quite a bit of money. The wheel is made of fiberboard with a lovely walnut swoosh, so we decided to paint the fiberboard, stain the rest of the wood to match the swoosh, and finish everything with a water-based wood finish.

Here staining is underway. “Tiptoe through the wheel parts.”

The wooden parts have been coated with finish, and A.’s wheel is painted.

My wheel being painted.

A.’s wheel is assembled and in use. She is an excellent spinner already, by the way.

My wheel. Isn’t the swoosh beautiful? It also serves to stop the wheel in an excellent position for both resting and restarting the spinning process.

My second spinning attempt, and it was not too bad. I’ve knit the yarn into fingerless gloves for myself. The fiber is Lincoln, and was a beautifully dyed and combed top. The dealer that sold us the wheels gives free fiber with each wheel purchase, and this was one of our choices.

Finally, a felted tea cozy I made in four days last week. It includes some yarn I spun earlier this year with a drop spindle, where I learned some of the basics of handling wool as you transform it from fluff to yarn. I plied the yarn on the Kromski. The cozy is a great success - it keeps a pot of tea warm for a couple of hours.

It is very calming to spin - truly meditative. I’m grateful for the calmness these days.

There is only one problem. I can spin yarn faster than I can knit it.


  1. The yarn is absolutely gorgeous! I'm so jealous, I would love to know how to spin one day!

  2. The wheels look good. That is a great project!


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