Category Archives: Amusing Miscellany

Pirate Peg the Foster Wheel…Yarrr!!

Recently a friend of mine had given me the remains of her yarn stash. She’s had some serious medical issues, so she doesn’t really crochet or spin anymore, which is a crying shame. She also gave me her old Kromski wheel to fix up. It used to belong to another friend who wanted to be a spinner but lost interest, and it had been in boxes for a good long while. Of course I felt protective of it the red-hot minute it came into the house…

Pirate Peg the spinning wheel
Nothing like a spinning wheel in a box, whispering, “Please love meeee!”

The poor thing came to my house with a broken bobbin, several pegs missing, a part of a metal cable tying her treadle to her driveshaft, no flywheel…and no legs. No legs?! Zero legs!!

Happily, the flywheel and two of the legs turned up in another box. The flywheel has a big chip out of the side, like somebody dropped something heavy on it. As for that third leg Matt was sweet enough to cut down a dowel to the right size.  At first we thought it would be a temporary leg until I could get a new one from Kromski. (I’ve heard glowing tales about their customer service; getting new parts shouldn’t be a problem.) But the more I looked at it, the more I became enamored of that goofy wooden leg…and named her Pirate Peg.  And immediately started thinking of modifications for her–a new tension knob with a skull on it, copper around the bottom of the peg leg and a garter around the top to hold her orifice hook, black and walnut and cream and possibly gold leaf in a paint job that would wow anybody who saw her.

Pirate Peg
One of these things is not like the other…

 

At first I had doubts. Would this be too silly, even for me? So I talked to various fiber artists of my aquaintance who unanimously responded with gleeful enthusiasm. “Yes! Oh God, yes! Holy crap, this must be a thing! Where will you put the eyepatch?! Will there be a flag? Yarrrrr!!” and so on and so forth.  Nothing makes a weird idea better than more happy weirdos who like it too.

So I spun up a little yarn on Pirate Peg to see how she did. Even without her tension knob and that flywheel chip, she made some lovely, lovely yarn.  And lots of it, 110 yards of fluffy orange fun!

Orange yarn
Really nice, even yarn…Not bad at all for a wheel that just needs some love…

So this weekend between other things, I’ll give Peg a little lick of paint and sculpt some wood putty into the flywheel chip. And think piratey thoughts…Yarrrrr….

 

If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!

It’s been a little while since I posted here. Life just got a little more hectic recently, with projects and and whatnot. I also…heh…got engaged. I’m very happy about it all. Of course, now I’m thinking about things I’d never really considered before. Are there registries that aren’t specifically full of beige-colored towels? (Apparently there are. I still have to go digging around for them, though.) What will I do about a dress?  How much cake? What kind of cake? And how many Gothly decorations can I bust out at the reception? (Quite a few, actually.) Do I change my name, and to what? Sadly, even though it would be perfectly legal, my sweetie put his foot down at being called Mr. and Mrs. Dracula.  *sigh* Another dream shot down…

Meanwhile, a dear friend of mine brought me a very interesting bag. Cornelia had been traveling through Scotland recently, and spent some time happily wandering around the sheep-filled heather, plucking bits of wool off the fences here and there. People used to do this sort of thing all the time to get a little wool to spin up; it’s the original meaning of the term, “woolgathering.”  When she came home, she presented me with a nice fully Ziplock full of soft plushy wool…

Scottish fluff!
A wonderful bag full of Scottish fluff!

The wool smelled wonderful, all heathery and peaty. I kept inhaling the scent while Cornelia told me with a grin, “That, my dear, is what Scotland smells like!” Scotland smells this good? Wowwwww… I gleefully showed off my bag to my boss at work, who is very pro-Scotland. After happily squishing the wool and huffing it, he asked if he could keep a pinch, for the innate Scottishness. Of course I let him.  How often do you get to snort another country at work and have it be legal?

So now I’ve been spinning it all up. I hand-carded the wool that very night, and chose my nice heavy Ashford spindle to do my spinning. For some reason spindle spinning just seemed right with something like this. The sort of thing someone would do while walking a hedgerow, woolgathering…

Scottish yarn
A spindle full of Scotland! Well, maybe not full, not yet…

What will I do with the yarn once I’m done spinning? Hard to say. I’m guessing once plied up there will be enough for maybe a couple of sachet bags or some cool cabled bracelets. If I need more, I’ll have to talk Cornelia into going back to Scotland to gather some more wool for me. I may have to go with her, for ummm…quality control. Yeah. That’s it…

 

 

Steampunk made easy…

I finished up the pendants I wanted to play with last week. Here’s what I ended up with:

Purple eye pendant
I have a few leftover taxidermy eyes from a haul I made at Axeman, years ago. I hoard them like treasure. But this turned out nicely!
Steampunk pendant
Polymer clay plus watch gears equals rainy-day fun!

It’s been great goofing off this way. It kind of helped me get back into knitting things again after a short break. I thought of this pendant, and then though how cool stitch markers with gears would be, then thought about various projects that needed stitch markers…and before you know it, bam! A scarflette finished!

Of course, a lot of my knitting has been on breaks at my work. I also do a little sketching here and there to help with stress. I’ve had this look on my face pretty much the entire week…

Gothic Side-eye
Just a tiny little dollop of side-eye and annoyance…

So there you are…

 

The Joys of Puttering…

It’s my personal Saturday today. Which isn’t actually a Saturday. But that’s all right. And because of it, I can relax and get some well-deserved puttering in. I carded up some wonderful wools, and I intend to spend the afternoon spinning it all up while watching horrible tv or equally horrible movies. And this morning, I plan to goof off with polymer clays and old watch parts a friend donated to my artistic whims. Think of how cool a new drop spindle would be with watchparts embedded in the clay…

Polymer clay and watch parts
You see polymer clays and funky watch parts. I see…potential…*evil cackle*

It’s always such pure joy when I have a few moments away from work and busyness generally to just play with something cool for a while.  I’ll take photos a little later of the fun, but I have to go and have the fun first…

 

Holiday Knitting DangerZone…

Ah, the holiday season…where everybody, including me, starts to panic about presents for the loved ones in their life. Like anybody who knits, I get loads of requests for last minute speed-knitting of pretty, warming things. Some of them are very doable. Many are too time-crunching. A few are jaw-droppingly ludicrous. Sweaters. Elaborate socks. Entire blankets. Union suits. Alien face-hugger masks with bendable leggies. Huge Dwarf helmet-hats with horns and braided beards. While it’s extremely flattering to hear that people think I have magical knitterly skills, I have to turn the big projects down. I also start getting that hunted look on my face, where I’m expecting to sprint down the corridors at work with my coworkers chasing me, yelling, “No, wait, it’s just a last-minute thing, I know you can do it by Christmas!! Come Baaaack!”

But that said, I’ve cranked out a few pretty things, here and there…

Mochi marshmallow wristwarmers
Mochi Marshmallow wristwarmers, with mohair,merino and handspun angora…
Silver angora
A skein of silver angora I plied with a soft silk thread for extra strength and shine…

Both of these lovely things have already been claimed. I should make more. When can I make more? So many things to make!! So many! Do I have enough yarn? The right kind? Do I have to make some? Why did I make this fussy, time-consuming thing that everybody wants now? I Must Make Many Many THIIIIIIIINGS!!

And then possibly ask Santa for a Time-Turner, or manybe a Margarita machine. It’s medicinal, I tellya…