Today is for housekeeping. Dad left yesterday, which was actually a few days earlier than he originally planned. Mom's grave marker was installed last week, and he wants to stop in Kansas to see it before continuing the rest of the trip home to Maine. The second half of his stay here went a little better than the first half. Anyway, we survived the first visit without Mom.
So I've been doing regular housekeeping like laundry and turning the guest bedroom back into an office. But I've also been doing some blog housekeeping- namely, taking pictures of things I haven't had a chance to post about yet.
First, there's the finished pair of socks, made out of the OnLine self-striping yarn. I really like these. The yarn feels so much nicer than my other self-striping socks. Hopefully it will hold up as well as that other yarn. Oh, and for Agent Gray, who asked where I got the yarn, it was at my LYS, Island Wools in Friday Harbor, WA, but I googled it and it's for sale lots of places online. (Ha! OnLine yarn for sale online!)
And here's an update of the doily I started in August and last updated here. As you can see, I haven't worked on it much, as the scarf took precedence for a while, but this is the next up on my "to finish" list. It's about halfway done at this point. I like the chevrons.
And what have we here?
Why yes, it’s a lace flyer! I have wanted one of these for ages because I find that I mainly enjoy spinning fine to very fine yarns. This has ratios of 15, 20, 30, and 40:1. Hooray! This is my Christmas present, which is how I justify the expense, though I did get a really good deal on it and sold my jumbo flyer unit to offset well more than half the cost. I still have my regular flyer, with ratios of 6.75, 11.5, and 15:1, which is good for worsted- to sport-weight yarn. The only problem is that to switch between the two flyers, I also have to switch the maiden uprights, since the lace flyer has a smaller orifice and works better with the ball bearings.
I’ve tried it out a bit, but obviously didn’t have much time last week. So far I like it a lot, but I’ve been having a bit of a problem with the drive band slipping on the flyer whorl. It’s like the band isn’t “grippy” enough- if I have the band tight enough to turn the flyer reliably, it’s too tight too treadle easily. I think I may have solved it last night, when I took a piece of chalk to the drive band to give it some tooth. I think if I used the polycord drive band instead of the cotton cord band it would grip better and treadle easier, but that band is thicker and would give lower ratios. I use a polycord band with my other flyer and love it.
I need to take a few hours to just sit and spin on this flyer, to learn all its quirks. I foresee a lot of lace yarn in my future. And one advantage of spinning laceweight is that a little fiber goes a long way!
And finally, I’ll leave you with some of the Chestnut-backed Chickadees that are flocking in my backyard right now. At one point yesterday afternoon there was a mixed flock of probably 400 chickadees, juncos ("Oregon" subspecies here), robins, bushtits (which are drab but very personable), nuthatches, and a few Townsend’s Warblers (gorgeous!) swarming through the trees, gobbling newly ripened madrona berries and assorted insects. That’s a lot of birds for my little yard!