Monday, October 31, 2005

Sing Along with RiffRaff

It's Just a Jump to the Left
I finally managed to get the warp set up so that I could start weaving. And here is the first little bit below.

I have to say, despite my novice bungling, like throwing the shuttle screwy to begin with and missing threads in the shed (that's the open area between the raised threads and unraised threads), I'm pretty pleased with my efforts. This picture was taken about fifteen minutes after I started. The picture below was taken later on, as I began to feel more comfortable.

The selvedges are ratty but they'll even up with practice. Actually, the whole thing is pretty ratty but that's how it goes when you begin.

I'm working my way through Deborah Chandler's book, Learning to Weave, which has been a godsend, along with Loopy, who must take full responsibility as chief cheerleader and mentor. Hey, Cotton Fleece doesn't make half-bad practice yarn for weaving.

It's nice to be a raw beginner again, with lots of interesting things to learn. (That's my public view; my private view is mostly "Fuck.")

And Then a Step to the Right
Several people have asked me to write a bit more about my Woolee Winder that I use on my Schacht Matchless.

Honestly, I debated buying this, and for quite a while. First of all, I never really had an issue with moving my singles from hook to hook on the flyer. I've always been very good about trying to do it so that the yarn feeds onto the bobbin evenly. So did I really need it?

That said, I could use a little help to increase my spinning speed, especially since I have quite a bit of fiber to spin these days, especially post-Rhinebeck. If I didn't have to come to a rolling stop to move the yarn, that would be a good thing.

So I finally bit. And I must say, while it's not a must-have accoutrement, I'm very happy with it. Below are two bobbins: the top one was spun with the Woolee Winder, the bottom spun the regular way.

But besides being neater looking, plying seems to be much smoother, even with just the one bobbin. And faster. There's no question that I am getting more onto a bobbin, be it single or plyed.

Ease of installation? Simple. You replace your old flyer with the Woolee Winder flyer that's customized for your wheel. Put the special bobbin in place, making sure the gears mesh and you're ready to roll.

Now for the cost. This baby ain't cheap. The flyer and one bobbin cost $148 (for all models, and they make Woolee Winders for all the major brands of wheels). However, you have to have a minimum of three bobbins, so you'll need to buy two extra at $25 each. With shipping at $9 for the U.S., you do the math.

A necessity? Hardly. Nice to have? Definitely.

In Another Dimension
I spent so much time fucking around with the loom this weekend that I haven't advanced one iota on the Melanie shawl. And John and I decided to make a trip to the movies to see The Weatherman, mostly because I love both Nick Cage and Michael Caine. While it wasn't award-winning, we both enjoyed it, primarily due to Cage and Caine, not to the story, which I thought did not explore Cage's character nor his relationship to Caine nearly enough. An interesting movie, though, and one worth seeing.

So much for rare and handy reviews. Have a happy and safe Halloween. Liz is going to be a Sumo Ballerina. Don't ask.

No comments: