Wheel Wobble

Yesterday when my friend was using my Kromski Prelude, I noticed the wheel was wobbling a bit and as I watched, I realized that the drive wheel supports were both a tad loose. I have two Allen wrench sets in my tool box, one metric, one American standard. Since the Kromski is Polish made, I brought in the metric set, which is missing the 3 mm size. I feared that the Allen head screws were 3 mm, but got lucky, they were 4 mm. Now the set is missing two sizes because I put the 4 mm one in my wheel repair kit. Hopefully if I need it elsewhere, I will remember where it is. The design of the wheel makes it very difficult to get to those two screws and I feared I was going to have to remove two legs to tighten them. That would have been a hassle as the treadle and its connected footman are attached to one of the legs. With some difficulty and the short end of the Allen wrench, I managed to get them tight and the wobble is gone.

As I was so enamored with my new spindle, I continued working with it last night until the entire fiber sample was spun. Then I hand wound it off the spindle into a tiny center pull ball and plyed it on itself. It was such a tiny amount, that it produced only 24 yards of light fingering weight yarn.

With the 73 yards spun on the Jenkins Turk recently, if I can find a good coordinating fiber to spin, I will use those two as garter ridges in a hat.

Tonight, I am spinning on the wheel, some Coopworth and Alpaca roving, and on the new spindle, I have some silver Shetland. I want to finish the fiber on the wheel, there is very little left, but the bobbin is getting full, so I may be playing chicken with the bobbin. When I leave for my fiber retreat weekend next Thursday, I want to leave with empty bobbins and some fun fibers to spin. I have one colorful BFL braid, two others at least 4 ounces and a 2 ounce due in the mail, hopefully to arrive before I leave.

I also need to make some lip balm that has been requested by friends prior to my leaving. Hopefully, the bobbins will be emptied, the lip balm made and I will concentrate on knitting the Close to You mini shawl and the strandwork hat both on the needles and spin on the spindles until I leave.

Weekend doings!

Our weekend started with a luxury dinner out for our Valentine Anniversary. There are few nice restaurants in our nearest big town. There are more in the nearest city, about an hour away, but this was the first February 14 that we have spent at home that it hasn’t snowed, so we don’t make reservations that far from home. Last year, we went to the same restaurant and having been there several times before we expected a good dinner and left very disappointed. They post their menu a few weeks prior and we gave them another chance. The starter, salad, and dessert are set, but they had a choice of three entrees, beef, salmon, and pasta, each well presented. Hubby got the beef, I got the pasta and we were both pleased.

Yesterday was a quiet day, not much accomplished but some knitting and spinning, some laundry. The coop needed cleaning as did the house. There was no straw or woodchips to use in the coop, we needed dog food, chicken food, and bird seed but didn’t want to go out yesterday.

After a lunch out today, a trip to Tractor Supply took care of all those needs and the coop was cleaned, sprayed down inside and refilled with fresh pine chips. Tractor Supply had 6 pounds of Black Oil Sunflower seed for $7, but 40 pounds for $10. Not sure how I would deal with 40 pounds, the bargain was too great. Every extra bucket is filled, along with the bird seed container and the bag still is about 1/3 full. The house was vacuumed, dusted, and the kitchen cleaned. Between jobs and preparing dinner, the fiber that was being spun on the spindle was finished and a few rows knit on the scarf.

Left is the fat little cop of singles, Merino, bamboo, and silk from Inglenook Fibers; Close to You being knit from Lollipop Yarn, and the fat little cop of the plied yarn. Looks like I’m stuck in a color warp.

The warm winter and lengthening days have upped egg production from 1 to 3 a day, now getting 4 to 6 a day and the yolks are taking on a nice healthy golden orange. This is the first winter wince I’ve been raising hens that there have been any winter eggs.

A Typical Saturday

Most Saturday’s are started with breakfast out, followed by the Farmer’s Market. Yesterday, we debated whether that would be a good idea as it snowed lightly all day, mostly horizontally as the wind howled, then enough after the sun went down to wreck havoc on some of our local roadways as they weren’t expecting it and the roads weren’t pretreated. When we got up this morning, there was barely a dusting in the grass and on the cars, the gravel drive was clear and we headed out. Any snowfall that slickened the steep roads last night was gone and it looked like the salt truck had been through even on our mountain road. After a fresh bagel at our local shop, a brisk stop at the Farmer’s Market for some weekly goodies we headed home. Just in time to meet up with our local blacksmith friend who has done some work for us lately.

I have previously described our Rumford style fireplace. It has a floor vent size hole that goes from the front of the firebox to the outdoors. We immediately put hardware cloth at the outer opening to prevent it from becoming a mouse freeway, but the air still had free movement. For all the years we have lived here, a piece of 1 x 6 board has sat on that opening when no fire was burning, and it has been replaced numerous times when someone tossed it in the fire as kindling. There is also another rectangular hole, not quite as large that had a hinged flap so that ashes could be scooped down it, but that made an awful mess when they fell a whole floor down and didn’t hit the bucket at the bottom. More than a decade ago, at a local craft fair, we bought a 3 piece hand forged fireplace tool set that lacked tongs.

This is where our local blacksmith friend enters the picture. First, he made us a metal cover for the floor vent sized hole and put a handle on it to make it easy to remove from the vent when we are going to light a fire. Last time we had the chimney cleaned, the sweep glued the door on the ash dump shut, but the fireplace heat broke it free again and so Josh welded it shut for us. About a week or so ago, we had a fire going and a log rolled over the vent hole which allowed smoke to start entering the living room and I wrestled with the log with a poker and the ash shovel, prompting a message to Josh about making us some tongs. He met us with us today because he finished them.

He made the tongs to match the older tools. And he makes both hammer in and screw in hooks, hanging hooks, shawl and hair pins, and other metal work as well as teaching blacksmithing locally. If you need anything, you can seek him out on his Facebook page JJL Forge.

Most of the morning chores are done and I am working on spinning the alpaca/merino and Cormo rolags I blended yesterday morning on my blending board. I have about 2/3 of them spun so far. I didn’t weigh it first, but I think it was close to 4 ounces of fiber.

I don’t know what it will become, but whatever it is will be soft.