Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spinning my wheel(s)..

Sorry, it's been a while! Life has been delightfully busy, and I've neglected my time here.

A few weeks ago, some friends and I went to a Wool Gathering at Young's Dairy near Springfield, Ohio. If you haven't been, I highly recommend going, even if you live 4 or 5 or 6 hours away. It's a lovely collection of vendors selling everything from enameled jewerly and shawl pins to historical reinactors, wheel dealers, and fiber. Did I forget to mention the yarn? LOTS of yarn, including a ball of cashmere lace for $20 at 1000 yards a ball. That one came home with me.

So did this.

That's right, I've finally bought a spinning wheel. It's an Ashford Kiwi, a beginner's wheel to be sure, but I couldn't be happier with her. That skein hanging on the wheel is my first handspun. It's BFL. I've got high-flying dreams of decorating her, which is difficult to do right now, since I can't bring myself to stop spinning on my wheel. Even a serious cut on my thumb hasn't stopped me from spinning on my wheel. FTW, always cut away from the hand holding stuff. Ask me how I know. Atleast this time, I didn't need stitches. You'd think I'd have learned that by now, huh?

So far, I have worked out a plan to stain the wheel. First, I wanted water based stains and seals. Miniwax makes water-based stains and varnishes, for the record, which dry much faster than the oil-based ones. Plus, there's that whole issue of compatibility. I did my homework and found out that paint on varnish will not stick if you use things with different bases. Not surprising, since oil and water have never mixed well together. I plan on painting on the rim of the wheel after it's stained, but I'll be using water-based acrylics. I'm hoping that all this water based stuff is easy to clean up, given my lack of gracefulness lately. Plus, since it dries faster, it means less down time on the wheel. I'd get started this weekend except for the whole-cut-on-my-thumb issue. I have a slice on my wrist, too, but that one's shallow and I have no idea how I got it.

After getting dizzied and disoriented by the wide variety of supplies at Michael's where I bought my stain and varnish, I decided to lengthen the finishing process by holding off on purchasing the paints. I'll varnish the solid wood parts first, before continuing with the actual wheel. The actual wheel is not solid wood, but medium density fiberboard (MDF), and won't look like the rest of the wood once stained. I think I want to paint the wheel to resemble wood grain after I stain it. Depending on how much I like it, I may or may not decorate it with further stenciling in vines and flowers. Then I'll seal the wheel with varnish to protect the paint.

That's the plan anyways. It's harder to enact because I'm stuck more or less spinning until my thumb heals. Knitting hurts right now, but thankfully, I don't need a thumb to spin.
Welcome to Crazytown, where my friends have proclaimed me queen. Why did they do that you ask? For some reason, there's very little that I fear about knitting. Hmm, a dress in laceweight done in lace knitting written by vogue? Sounds great! I have very few inhibitions when it comes to knitting, and that sometimes ends disasteriously. Apparently, other people think this signifies a level of crazy that only the royalty can attain. Follow along with my escapades as I dive head first into all sorts of insane techniques and projects without much more than an "Oh! That looks pretty, I can make it!"

Those will probably be my famous last words.