Seeing as I can make clothes out of sticks and thread/yarn I thought finishing my own spinning wheel would be a skill I could conquer fairly well. I was sooo wrong.
Last xmas hubs got me a second spinning wheel–a Merlin Tree Roadbug. I love her so. She came unfinished which was fine with me because I have seen so many beautiful, personalized wheels on the Merlin Tree website. I thought I could make one, too. I took her apart (it took longer to convince hubs that we should go and get a socket/wrench set) and sanded her. Then I started with the stain, a beautiful Black Cherry. It is at this time (and at no time before) that you see where your inconsistencies in sanding are. I’m not going to show you that.
Next came the varnish. I opted for a satin finish. I thought I was putting it on pretty thin until I looked at the backside of everything and saw the dried, collected goo of day-old varnish drips.
This is what the backside of everything looks like. Except for the actual wheel part, which is worse. I have a big single drip on what I thought was the backside (and thus could hide) but no. It is on the right side. The one thing I did manage to get correct was the stenciling of the elephants and the treadles. Except that I did them on the wrong sides. Yup! The part of the wheel that is the most beautiful will be the side most hidden by the mother-of-all and I stenciled the wrong sides of the feet. Now I have to go back, sand off all the varnish and blobs of varnish, restencil (argh!) and then refinish. I might get to use this wheel again by Christmas.
Sad, huh? I can knit, spin, bake like nobody’s business, and even enjoy assembling Ikea furniture, but a simple stain/stencil/varnish? Rocket science apparently.
But at least I have some nice stuff to tell you about. My thirty-something birthday was on August 2nd. I don’t usually talk about my birthday for lots of reasons but I’m trying to get over it. My sister who passed away last year would, I’m sure, give anything to be around to celebrate another birthday so I should remember that and suck it up, right? Our friend, Jim, gave me a vintage Irish linen handkerchief that he found. Cute, huh?
I also got a package from my sister Joannie and her kids. In it I received some pictures of my grandparents and father that I didn’t have as well as my father’s original Spanish birth certificate so I can go ahead and get my dual citizenship like everyone else. Plus there was also a beautiful, hand tinted photograph of Santa Fe, where they live.
And there has been a lot of knitting–most of which I can’t show you because none of it’s blocked and I can’t block any of it until the dining room table is free and that won’t happen till the wheel is finished. I do have two sweaters OTN–a Mediumweight Pullover by Hannah Fettig and Cassis by Thea Colman, which just came out in an aran weight. The MW Pullover will be for me out of some handspun I have on hand from Three Waters Farm and Cassis will be for my MIL who turns 74 on the 13th. Granted she is really old school superstitious (lots of salt throwing and burying things upside down in the yard) so it won’t be celebrated this year on the actual day because it falls on a Friday, but I can still give it to her. I’m using a possible new base–a Cashmerino Aran–dyed in a medium gray (she only wears black or gray, and high heels. she’s a trip.). Ma has more than 20 grand- and great-grandkids so if the sweater holds up well on her, the base will hold up well for you. We’ll see–I have two versions I’m debating over so we’ll see what kind of damage Ma can do! But I already know that once I finish Cassis for Ma, mine will not be far behind. Such an awesome pattern.
Lots of spinning, too, but on the wheel that isn’t in 50 pieces around the house. This is Enchanted Knoll Farm’s 50/50 Merino/Silk top that I bought last year at Fiber Revival. It spins so well that I almost don’t even need to be there at the wheel. I was originally going for a 2-ply then I thought “chain ply this” and see what it turns out to be. Wish I knew what the colorway was (it wasn’t labeled) but it’s sooo pretty. Muted mauves and purples and whatnot.
Josette’s fibers are so gorgeous that I signed up for her batt club last year (and am still in it now even though I have no business growing the stash). I saw her booth again this year at Fiber Revival and had an even worse time choosing fiber this time (too much pretty and it has to be easily snuck into the house). This is why the club is so nice–the choice is made for me. Ever since Peace Corps I don’t do well with an abundance of choice and it all becomes overwhelming. My friend, Katie, took some good pictures of this year’s revival, but she hasn’t posted them on her blog yet–I’ll let you know when she does!
Speaking of gorgeous, have you been over to the shop lately? I have some amazing new limited edition yarns from a ranch in Wyoming called Canyon Kid Ranch. The yarns are organic, completely raised in the US and comes from happy sheep and alpacas. You should go check them out!
And please, make me feel better about the whole wheel situation by telling me a story of what you’ve botched up lately, will you?