WIPWed #97: Monogamy Makes For Boring Blogging

I have been motoring along on the same two knitting projects, which means my WIPWed post looks nearly the same as last week’s, just with a few more inches of knitting on each thing. This is great for progress, but pretty boring for blogging. Here’s an update anyway!

My Favorite Socks Ever:

WIPWed #97: Monogamy Makes For Boring Blogging | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock LW, colorway Gran’s Kitchen. Click for project page.

Still in love with this colorway and enjoying this pattern, still my favorite socks! I’m crossing my fingers that I can finish them this week and — get this — I even have plans to knit ANOTHER PAIR of this SAME PATTERN (that never happens). That’s how much I love it, guys.

Colinton Cowl:

WIPWed #97: Monogamy Makes For Boring Blogging | Woolen Diversions

Colinton Australia laceweight mohair, colorway Dove. Click for project page.

My laceweight mohair cowl is growing, growing, growing but as you can see, we had a little mishap. Mohair fibers are more slippery and less elastic than wool, so it’s pretty easy to drop stitches (especially if you’re all wrapped up in a particularly thrilling episode of The Vampire Diaries while you’re trying to knit). When I knit with this yarn again (and that’s definitely when, not if, because it’s lovely) I’ll likely use bamboo or carbon fiber needles, which are both a little more grabby than my wooden ones to help prevent the dropping from happening in the first place. The cowl and I need to have a careful tinking back date soon.

Eggplant in Ashes Singles:

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BeeMiceElf BFL/silk, colorway Eggplant in Ashes. Click for handspun page.

Remember the 2-ply vs. singles sampling I did a few weeks ago? I’ve decided to give the singles yarn a try. I’ve nearly finished the first of two braids of this gorgeous BFL/silk fiber from BeeMiceElf, when it’s done I’ll finish the yarn and knit a mini version of the bias stripe wrap to see how I like it. If it works, great! I’ll finish spinning the rest of the yarn and plan to knit that scarf. If I don’t like it, I can always spin the rest of the yarn up and then ply the two singles together for a 2-ply instead (I think/hope).

That’s all for me this week! I am sort of in between books at the moment (I know, gasp!) and have been working my way through the latest issue of Ply magazine instead. Not sure what I’ll dive into next. Linking up with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

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And Now We Wait

I had quite the exciting (and productive!) weekend, which is always a nice way to start off a new and busy week. I missed my Inspiration Saturday post this weekend because the Fiasco and I were off hunting for spinning wheels at the knitter’s mecca: Webs!

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And with a well-placed sunbeam, no less.

If you remember from last week, I was having an internal debate over whether to make the 4-hr drive there and back twice in one week: once on Thursday to try the wheels out (when they are open late) and again over the weekend to pick up the wheel. The goal of this plan would’ve been to insure that I got my wheel order in before they sold out, since they were having a big 20% off a single item sale. In the end, I decided that making two trips was too crazy, even for me, and that I’d have to leave it up to fate and see what was left when I got there.

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Trying to try a Matchless.

Everybody in the store was super helpful, even though they were totally mobbed with customers. The extremely sweet store manager, Stephanie, helped me try out the wheels. The Schacht Matchless was a gorgeous wheel: large and solid, with an attractive shape. The treadles were large and very comfortable to work. Unfortunately, we had quite a bit of trouble getting the double drive tension system set up so I didn’t get a chance to really try it out. I could see the Fiasco’s face start to fall as he watched a couple different ladies come by and fiddle with it for several minutes to try get it to work: he knew that since I’m crap with machines, he’d be the one who would have to fiddle with it at home. I didn’t want something that was a pain to set up or work with so we decided that at this time, the Matchless was not for me. (Disclaimer: this could have been this particular wheel or my general inexperience with double drive, I’ve heard wonderful things about the wheel from people who own them.)

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Trying a Ladybug, with the Lendrum behind me.

The other wheels I went to try where the Schacht Sidekick, the Schacht Ladybug, and the Lendrum DT. (Note: the Lendrum link is an affiliate link to The Woolery, I could not find a company website for Lendrum.) I wasn’t interested in purchasing a travel wheel, but I tried the Sidekick anyway while I was there. You can just see one of its treadles in the back behind the fiber. It’s a tiny wheel, quite adorable really, and I like the look of the teal drive wheel (obviously). The sideways wheel was surprising to spin on, I often use my foot in a rung of the drive wheel to start it spinning and its not possible to do that on the Sidekick. I think that would bother me a bit at first but is likely something I could adjust to. The Ladybug was also a cute wheel, and seemed much smaller in person than it looked online. It was definitely much smaller than the Babe I currently own, so I felt a bit hunched over as I tried to work with it. There were some tension system issues with this wheel as well, the takeup wasn’t working properly, so it was difficult to get a good feel of how it would spin in tip top condition. Many people are very happy with their Ladybugs, but I wanted something a little larger and more solid (it is made with lightweight MDF, not wood) since I already own a lightweight, plastic wheel.

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Lendrum Original DT. Photo from The Woolery.

I was so caught up in spinning on the Lendrum, that I didn’t even take a picture! I loved this wheel the moment I treadled it. It’s much more attractive in person than I thought, the maple wood is lovely and the wheel has a nice, solid feel. It’s a tall wheel that is tilted at a bit of an angle so the orifice is closer to you than it would be if it were perpendicular to the floor. It seemed very simple to set up and use, and I appreciated small details like the slot where the orifice hook resides. I was already biased towards this wheel when I went in since I love that the complete package came with a lazy kate and three different flyers (regular, fast, and jumbo) that allow you to spin at 9 different ratios from 5:1 to 17:1, making it a very versatile wheel from the get-go, for which you won’t need to purchase many accessories right away. When I tried it, the spinning was smooth and effortless, and the store manager couldn’t say enough good things about the wheel — basically everyone who spins at Webs owns a Lendrum, and she was very excited to welcome me to ‘the cult’. Stephanie was so excited that even though they didn’t have any more in stock (they thought they did, but they couldn’t find them, even though the system said there was 1 left, but then it said there were 5 left, which was just crazy) she ordered a wheel for me and still allowed me to purchase it at the sale price. Huzzah!

And now we wait. I had mentally prepared myself for not even being able to purchase a wheel, so I thought I would be cool with not getting to take one home, and even bragged to the Fiasco about how I cool I was about the whole thing and that it was better this way since the wheel is supposed to be my Christmas gift so if I wait for it, I’ll get it closer to Christmas. I thought I’d be cool, but I’m so not! I want my new wheel! The more I think about it, the more excited I get! Also a little nervous, since that was the fastest I’d ever made a decision about a large purchase. But I think I did enough research and should trust my instincts anyway, right? Right! And of course, I didn’t come home from Webs empty-handed.

With the purchase of a wheel, you get a pound of fiber so I took home some Ashland Bay Falkland, which I think I’ll use to break in my new wheel. Even with a pound of new fiber, I couldn’t resist that blue-green braid of SweetGeorgia superwash BFL. I’ve admired Felicia’s colorways for a long time but had not yet purchased any. And even though I know I said I wasn’t knitting any Christmas presents this year, it turns out that someone on my list really wants some winter accessories and I think a chunky blue/purple cowl made out of Malabrigo Mecha will be just the thing. Finally, we went to a nearby gift shop in Northampton and found the coolest literary-themed candles ever. Aren’t they awesome?

What do you do to help yourself wait patiently for something really exciting? Help a knitter out!