Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pleasure Principle (Habu, Mini Combs, Cormo and Goldregen)

I'm no Spring Chicken. I'm at the point in my life where I want my leisure activity's to be as pleasurable as possible as my "pull date" looms closer. I've found that knitting lace and spinning are wonderful, relaxing and rewarding activity's and I have great fun experimenting with supplies and tools. See above the center for "Goldregen", another Herbert Niebling pattern from Burda E 903. I'm knitting it using Habu orgazine degummed indigo dyed silk (NS-18J, 21d/10x2). A skein contains 1,400 yds for 2 ounces. I'm using US 0000 needles and I'll try to get a better shot once I can get enough stitches to go onto circular needles. The silk is slick, a little crispy in texture and it's best not to drop a stitch as it wants to slither away. Beautiful stuff. However, if you want to get any I suggest you pay the extra money to have it wound onto a cone since it is very difficult to wind into a ball and wants to unwind itself into a tangled mess. Having washed about 2/3 of the Cormo fleece I bought at Dixon, I have a new appreciation for anyone willing to clean it for me, not to mention color it. I purchased the pretty Blue Cormo Lamb fleece from, The Fiber Denn. While the fibers are not as long as the fleece I purchased from Cormo Sheep & Wool Farm they are very soft and should spin up nicely. But first, I have to prep the fiber and that brings me to my new tools. Up until now, I have been using a flick comb to tease a lock at a time to spin from. While it works, it's a little tough on my hands and the amount of fiber I can prepare this way at one sitting is pretty limited. See above the mini combs that my sister bought for me as my birthday is in a few months. Made from Cherry wood(though you can pick whatever wood you like best) , they were made to order from The Wheel Thing and are constructed by a gentleman named Alvin Ramer who lives in Canada. These combs come with a stand that holds the combs safe and secure when not in use. The stand can be clamped to a table and there is a slot where the stationary comb can be inserted, held in place at different angles with a pin so that you can easily comb locks. This set comes with a tool to straighten the tines if one ends up out of alignment and two sea shells with holes drilled into the center to act as a diz. As for how to use these combs, I have looked at a few videos on U Tube which illustrate how to use them. One in particular from Manda Crafts was very instructive though it's on the use of English Wool Combs rather than mini combs. I haven't had time to try out the new toys yet but I'll get a few pictures and let you know how it works out :-)