Another week, another lesson, and success

Rice paper-Who knew they had an attractive weaverly design.

Rice paper-Who knew they had an attractive weaverly design.

Things did not go as planned last week, except for improving my diet. Success in that area, well except for one meal. Tasted good, but not pretty to look at. I made the shrimp summer rolls from Skinnytaste. It was the first time I have ever used rice paper, and I was not very successful. I think, because I reduced the servings for the recipe, I over stuffed the rolls, so a knife and fork was necessary. One of the things I’m trying to accomplish with this healthier food project, is to be able to put some things in the freezer. That way, when it comes to dinner time, and I don’t feel like cooking, I can grab something homemade from my freezer. It’s definitely a work in progress.

The plan had been to dye every day, thus finishing up all the yarn needed for the upcoming project. But before I moved forward with that, I decided to test some yarns on the warp I’m using. Lone Star Loom Room has Mobelatta, a very tightly twisted 2-ply wool yarn with a nice sheen. I really like the way it wove up; my only complaint is that the ties on the skeins are too tight for dyeing, so first up was to redo all the ties. I plan to use three strands at once, so I decided to combine the Mobelatta with a singles of the type of yarn I use all the time (2-ply Crown Colony). That meant I had to use the skein winder because all the yarn of this type is on a huge cone from R&M Yarn. They don’t have it on the website currently, so I hope it will be available again. But that huge cone leads to the next step.

Yarns clipped to arm

Yarns clipped to arm. Notice the curves on the arms to “hold” each skein?

So to backtrack a bit–In 2010 I bought an electric skein winder from Crazy Monkey Creations. My fuzzy mind seems to remember that there was a wobble when I tried it out, then life got in the way, and I didn’t get it out again until a couple of weeks ago. This was THE week to use it! I balled up some of the yarn, because this thing can make three skeins at once! My third skein was coming from the huge cone on the floor. Notice those clips for the ends of the yarn? The guides to place them in the correct part of the arms? A thoughtfully designed machine. The operator, however, was not so clever. Singles yarn kinks. Coming out of those center-pull balls did not mean there was smooth sailing of unkinked yarn. It just kind of went back on itself until there would be a clump of yarn finding its way to the skein.

Counter works now

Counter works now

Then there was the next problem: the counter didn’t work. I had no way to know how big my skeins were in terms of weight for dyeing. So I contacted Benjamin, the genius behind this machine. He suggested that a new battery was necessary. I carefully laid the thing back and removed the counter, took out the battery, and went to town for a new one. Glory hallelujah! The counter worked! I then took one of those disastrous balls of yarn and wound it onto a spool and made a skein electrically. The conclusion is that when the arms are set for a two yard skein, 250 revolutions will produce a 100 g skein. Perfect! Now I just have to warp the loom. Not a problem, right?

So, all in all, a good week. Didn’t get everything done, but learned a couple of things, and I’m back on track with dyeing and warping. And I love this skein winder! By the way, the design for it looks to have changed a bit since I got mine, along with the price.

What’s going on in your world? Accomplishments? Lessons learned?

 

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