Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A close up of assisted twist short longdraw

OH available so got him to vid the fingers while I tried to spin the assisted twist.
A bit better than the youtube one I made when that I tried to video myself.
The ratio is 12:1 over 1/2 inch - so 24 twists per ince.

This single turned out at 36 wraps per inch. It's pretty robust but still fairly soft. If it works out well as a 2-plied lace yarn (for knitting) I might prefere it to the other ways I;ve tried for that type of yarn.
Snow all melted away Sunday night with the rain. Now all is mostly green again and the sheep are lying about ruminating.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Frozen December


The cold has taken hold at last. House cold despite heating on and a frozen water pipe.
Time to wear woolens indoors as well as outdoors

It's got to the fleece and spinning tools too.
Have to put the current washed fleece in the hot press and the metal combs on the radiator to try to warm them. Combing or spinning with cold materials not a nice experience - the fiber just stays stuck together and then suddenly releases itself in a clump. No good at all!
Wish I could light a decent fire like OH. Mostly my efforts result in dwindling flame that then goes out having used up a the fire- lighters. In fact, the only ting I seem to burn is the fire-lighter so better to wait for OH to come and warm the place up. Plenty of warm drinks though and fleece lined boots. Typing this is fingerless mittens of course.

Oh wait - the sun is out - looks beautiful - must go out!

front door xmas 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Assisted twist short long-draw.

Just a note-to-self on how I'm spinning some of my sheep's longer fibers after combing them.
I want to make thinner singles and then ply for lace knitting.
I find that rather than drafting the fibers out as usual for short-draw where you pinch off the draft until the amount required is presented for twisting, opening them to the twist while my drafting hand twists them clockwise (for Z spin) gives me a smoother and rounder thin single. "Short long-draw" because obviously I'm drafting only about 1/2 inch at a time but it's long-draw in character as the twist gets to it between drafts. "Assisted" as I'm twisting the fibers out in the direction they will be spun
Oh, and the other hand spreads the fibers into a triangle so they wrap round each other easily but not tightly.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold but not hungry!

Decided to use some scraps of yarn in white, red and green to make little festive jumpers - pot wraps - for three small patio roses. These are the remains of an patio rose I bought in the autumn - fully knowing it wouldn't last forever - but it flowered for a month. Not bad. When I found it was made of three smaller plants, I potted them up and stood them in the porch - more in hope than expectation. The porch has been like a refrigerator and indeed is functioning as one with food stored out there.
They actually put out fresh leaves despite the conditions and I felt they deserved a reward for bravery.
three little pot jumpers
After I made the first one, I found Rufus, the feline red devil, eating their leaves!
Rufus eats rose leaves
Get off them you rotten, ungrateful, thieving, soft, affectionate, smart, brave, mouser supreme... ah heck what's a few leaves anyway?

A windfall!
A poor young pheasant must have mistaken the white gable end of our house for the snowy sky and knocked himself out against it. They don't usually come this close to our house but perhaps the cold drove him to try and steal from the hens nearby. He may have left in haste as the white hen is no pushover (recall that she scalped the red one when it first arrived) and Huddie (canine red devil) often hides in the hedge and would roust any bird.
Here he is lying in a pear trtee - not a partridge but probably what a partridge would look like in ta pesr tree on the first day of Christmas:(the faint hearted may avert):
Pheasant in a pear tree 5
He was hung inside a pilliwcase, head up in the garage for 2 weeks (very cold so I guessed he'd need that long)
He did not go to waste (I come from a long line of omnivores) :
After plucking by me, he weighed just under 2 lbs:
Plucked pheasant1
After roasting (170 C in fan oven for an hour an 10 minutes, chest covered in foil for an hour, buttered thighs and basted, tray under rack to catch juices):
cooked pheasant 2
A tsp of cornflour made into a paste with red win, cooked and more rd wine added then strained juices.A really rich gravy.
Really great! Thank you pheasant!

A little knitted Christmas Bunting:
knitted bunting

Friday, December 3, 2010

Time for the full mitt. !

Too cold for fingerless gloves - except in the house:
flip top and thumb 3
This one has a flip top and flip thumb but still not enough,
Time for the full mittins knit with yarn spun from the longer, thicker fleece - fluffy and airy-fairy won't hack it now.
Helix pattern:
helix mittins 1

The Alpaca and doggie-down scarf is no longer an ornament - it's a working scarf for sure now.

The hens are confined to their house now as they can't deal with the snow.
They had taken to sleeping in the branches aove their house all summer and autumn:
hens in the tree 2
When they awoke on Tuesday to 8 inches of snow beneath them, they refused to come down, despite coaxing with food. Had to get the ladder to dislodge them.
The sheep need feeding twice a day as their forage is covered up - they seem OK but I worry about the youngest ones as the older ones, especially the young ram, Yobo, push them away from the feed.
The dogs - well they just love it. Makes me shiver to see Huddie lying about in the snow. Comes from having a mad metabolism.