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I’ve read several places that it is useful to have a wristaff/wrist distaff for spindle spinning. A wrist distaff is a tool which sits on your wrist and hangs down, on which you can coil your strip of roving or fibre. This keeps the fibre organised and away from the spinning spindle. It takes about two minutes for the beginning spindler to see the attraction of this gadget, when the loosely flapping roving is sucked into the path of the spindle and you end up with a huge cloud of fibre half attached to the single. I have seen some wristaffs that are knit or crocheted, but I thought the fibre would easily get stuck on those. Then I saw an ingenious solution on Spinning Spider Jenny’s blog. She’s using a yarn keeper bracelet as a distaff. The piece holding the yarn (or in this case, fibre) rotates, so the fibre feeds off easily. It’s slick, so the fibre slides well, but the arms keep the fibre from sliding to the floor. The yarn keeper bracelet is available online, but I’m impatient and loth to spend money on shipping from the US. A trip to the hobby store later, and voila (or “woe la”, as I recently saw it spelled on a blog):
The wire is not quite as large-gauge as in the original, so it looks a little fragile, but the wire is holding up surprisingly well. I’m amazed at how well it works. Not only does it eliminate the risk of my fibre being “snarfled” (that sounds like it should be a word, doesn’t it) up by the spindle, but my wrist is so much more relaxed and rested when I have less fibre wrangling to do. Also, I can spin longer lengths of roving, because I can fill up the distaff with more roving than I could hold on my arm.
In case you want to make it, I used a pack of 0.8 mm silverplated wire (my pack holds ten metres, but you won’t need nearly that much), four Czech glass beads, a swivel hook, some universal glue and a pair of jewellery-making pliers.
I feel a little scattered right now. I’m still working on the Argosy scarf (a little over halfway now), but other projects, small and large, are popping up all over.
The WIPs are a ballband dishcloth and a bark sedge stitch washcloth. They’re intended for my inlaws, who want some dishcloths for their cabin. The left hand FOs are a nine-patch dishcloth and a modified grandmother’s favourite, which I intend to keep as a backup Christmas presents for kindergarten teachers, friends and book club members. I will make some more of those, as well.
This is a very quick and simple beading project – a nursing memory bead. It is used with a nursing bra (you place the ring over the clip at the top of the cup) as a memory aid to remember which breast should be used for the next feeding. I’m sufficiently scattered right now that I really need it, and it works very well. I’ve seen several expensive versions online, but this version made from a key ring, a Czech glass bead and a small plastic seed bead cost practically nothing.
This is a narrow stole or a wide scarf, depending on your point of view. It’s simple feather and fan stitch, worked in Evilla Artyarns 6/2, in a brown-beige colourway with very long colour repeats. I’ve had this yarn for almost a year, and intended it for a shawl. I recently realised that rectangular stoles are probably more practical for me, and wanted to see what the yarn would look like in such a simple but effective stitch pattern. I do wish that I’d washed the yarn before starting, though. It’s rough and stiff, smells like old sheep and contains a lot of lanolin. I’m very unsure of what it will feel like after washing and blocking, and not at all certain that it will feel comfortable to wear as a stole or a scarf. A very stupid and unnecessary leap of faith, really.
This is a birthday present, and I’m really happy with how it came out. I made a few mistakes, mainly to do with adjusting for thinner yarn and smaller hook, but I don’t think it shows too much.
Pattern: Fat-bottom bag from Stitch ‘n bitch crochet
Yarn: Schachenmayr Punto (55 % cotton, 45 % acrylic) in color #73, 3.5 balls.
Lining: Some 100 % polyester fabric bought at the not-so-great yarn and fabric store.
Hook: 5 mm
Modifications: Mainly to do with size. 23 increase and decrease rows instead of 14, 30 plain rounds instead of 24.
Size: 30 cm wide/21 cm deep.
I have never tried lining anything before, and I’m really happy with the way it looks. Ironing and pinning the polyester was not easy, as it’s very slippery, but once it was pinned in place it was a breeze to sew it in. I couldn’t have done it without this tutorial. The magnetic snaps are sew-in, not the kind you hammer in, which wouldn’t have worked with the thin lining. You can’t get sew-in magnetic snaps here, so these are a gift from my mother-in-law who gets her bagmaking supplies from the US.
I made a small brooch to brighten up the bag as well. This is glass beads and a three-head kilt pin from Panduro Hobby. I think it looks good! Now, I only hope the birthday girl will be happy with it!