Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yarns and Ball Winding

Wow I've been busy. I can't show pictures yet, as I have half a dozen gifts in the works.

Ever since I started working with yarn that comes in hanks, aka nice yarn, aka expensive yarn, I've wanted to get a ball winder. The thrifty in me said I could find one online cheaper, and pay less than $45 for this little piece of plastic, but no. They were even getting bid up on Ebay. So I finally broke down and got one.

Ball Winder

<insert angelic chorus here>

So, I wound my first ball before this one, a llama/wool mix that got entirely too tangled at the end. Sadness. The item I didn't shell out for was the $70 umbrella swift. I've seen homemade ones with 4 adjustable points, but I happen to think the umbrella one is really cool. Then I found plans to make one over at Schoolhouse Press (toward the end of the page), which I gather from reading online is really insane to make. Oh well, I'll consider it a challenge, and will be immensely pleased if I can actually make it.

I wish I could take credit for this improvisation, but I can't. This lady came up with it, and I copied. It worked great for the most part, until it started getting loose at the end, and then my husband held it for the last couple rounds.

Swift-Winder Setup

Marmsy's supervising from the floor. She was VERY interested in the llama yarn, sniffing it intently, and rubbing up against it. If I have enough left over, I'll make her a little toy/pillow. I don't remember what the purple is. I think it's an angora blend, but I'll have to go back to the shop, as mine didn't come with a tag.

Speaking of yarn, I did a lot of shopping last weekend. Michael's is having a great sale, which is pretty dangerous. Among the usual acrylic (I know, yarn snobs don't touch the stuff), they had some nice wools, wool-soy blends, and bamboo.

I know now why I started with acrylic. Though once I get used to the different fibers, I may be able to find better deals online... At the boutique shop I got 4 large hanks and 2 small balls of various wool/angora/llama blends, and I spent the same amount at Michael's and filled one of their largest bags, plus another smaller bag. Quality vs. Quantity, I know. However, I've been more impressed lately with Michael's selection. They've been moving more into cottons and other blends. I'm really excited to try the wool-soy... They had some awesome colors, and it was about 75% off, so I couldn't resist =)

Oh yes, the little baubles next to the yarn winder are glass fridge magnets I'm making. Something like this. I found heart-shaped marbles, and a heart paper punch that almost fits perfectly, so I had to try it. The hearts aren't completely clear, but it's nice that they're glass. I've been meaning to go to Tap Plastics to get some of the cabochons which will be lots clearer.

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