Saturday, 24 January 2009

Meet the new member of the family

Here is the new member of the family, Cerys the Ashford Spinning Wheel. I learned to spin about six weeks ago and was taught by Linzi, the Alpaca Spinner. The wheel I learned on (Mary) is an Ashford Traditional and I took to it like a duck to water. So much so that I didn't want to try spinning on another wheel. I strongly felt that I wanted a secondhand wheel, one that had been well used and loved. And here she is; Cerys. Cerys has spent most of her 'life' in Wales hence the Welsh name.

Cerys is a wonderful wheel and will no doubt become a good friend. Spinning is the most therapeutic thing you could possibly do. I am now completely free of happy pills; I had been on them since my shocking Post Natal Depression some three and a bit years ago (I had been on the pills for two and a half years as I fed Zoe for 11.5 months), and although they did get me through some very, very difficult times, I had become a bit addicted to them I think. Spinning has been the release I have needed, if that makes sense, a way of coping with daily problems. I am a worrier (that's the Welsh blood in me) who goes through bouts of insomnia, so Cerys is just what I need.

On a day like today, all I want to do is curl up on the sofa with a nice big cup of tea and some knitting, watching Time Team. Thankfully I've got the house to myself this morning - a rare treat on a Saturday- and will be able to watch TT without 'Mummy when can I have CBeebies on' being asked repeatedly!

View from the back garden, about 10 minutes ago. See what I mean?!

I've already spun about 20g of BFL, kindly given to me by Debbie the Mulberry Dyer. It's dyed in madder.

So today I am spoiling myself; spinning,knitting and dyeing. I love dyeing almost as much as I love spinning, but not quite. There's a bit too much chemistry involved for me, but I do love using natural dyes and seeing what happens. Here is some bluefaced leicester, just gone into the dyepot, of mainly alkanet and some cochineal. It's really quite red, isn't it?! I've put in 400 grams of aran weight and 100 grams of sock, so it will be interesting to see how they work out. I've going to make another Liesl with the aran, and some matching? socks with the sock.

On the knitting front, I think I'm about to have an attack of sock knitting again. It's one of those phases I go through every now and again. I've finally finished the Silk Garden Socks (currently blocking and very wet) that I've had on the go on and off since November. The yarn is completely and utterly gorgeous, but I'm not too sure about how the shade (87 for those of you who know your Noro) works on socks. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's just my big ankles and thighs. Nonetheless, they are incredibly warm and cosy and that's all you want out of socks isn't it?

The BFL in the pot. Hopefully some bits will be a bit more pink than red - I love really subtle variegation.


Crafty Cripple said...

I'm very impressed with your industriousness. I would love to try both spinning and dyeing. I have just been contemplating buying some dyes this morning. Maybe in a few months, when I have got some projects out of the way.

I look forward to seeing how your dyeing turns out.

Julie said...

Congratulations on your new wheel - I look forward to seeing some handspun. :)