Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ladybird, Ladybird (don't) Fly Away Home

Last Christmas, Mr. SDSC surprised me with a totally unexpected present - a spinning wheel.

It is a Schacht Ladybird and is very cute.  The only problem was - I had no idea how to spin.  So my poor little 'bug sat all alone awaiting the day that I could find someone to teach me how to spin.  And woohoo -  at last I have found some tuition with the Heritage Weavers and Spinners.  Now, before you get thinking that I will be spinning and weaving the fabric for my dressmaking - let me show you my first skein:

I should have put something next to it for scale, suffice to say that I was not aiming for a thick/thin novelty yarn, but come the apocolypse I will have warm toes and fingers!!  Here is some of my spun yarn waiting to be plied like the skein above:

Yes.  It is a little 'twisty' - I have a long way to go :)

But that leads me onto some knitting that I finished off at the weekend.  A couple of years ago - before the dressmaking bug came and bit my behind, I was churning out a pair of socks every one to two weeks.  I now have more than 100 pairs and have knitted some for Mr. SDSC, my father and a few special people.  Somehow, I lost my 'knit' and have had a few pairs on the needles for a while.  Including these which I have now finished.

Sorry for the pasty legs - but there is still no sight of Spring in this part of the Northern hemisphere . . . . .

For these socks I have used a self striping yarn - the yarn is dyed in such a manner that you knit round and round and the yarn knits up in stripes.  I love blues and yellows - very seasidey!

So, I have my 'knit' back again, and I am thrilled.  I find that during the week I like to plan my sewing, but do not have the enthusiasm to actually do anything about it.  Most likely because once I start, I don't want to stop and go to bed!  So this means that I can now knit in the evenings whilst planning my sewing.  Perfect!

How about you - what post apocalypse skills do you have?!  Talking of which, have you seen the BBC2 series Tudor Monastery Farm?  It is a UK documentary about life in the Tudor period in the UK and includes shepherding, sheep shearing, spinning, etc.,  It is fascinating - the kind of show that makes you wonder why you are not milking your own sheep to make cheese, or spinning yarn to make your own fabric.  Here are some You Tube links.  It is currently being shown on the Knowledge Channel here in Canada.


  1. I love the stripey socks. I have some on needles, for a couple of years, that I need to finish. I tried to spin using a drop spindle and realized I am one who should buy yarn.

    1. You made me snort my coffee when I read about the spindle! Taking classes really have been helpful, but I can also see how much I need to practice before I can produce anything resembling sock weight! Good job I have a yarn stash . . . . !

  2. Love your ladybird and wish I could be near people to learn how to spin. I also love your socks. I need to set up another pair for myself. I love them in my runners when I am out doing my walk/run.

    1. Thank-you! You can't beat hand knitted socks!

  3. What an amazing gift! I think your first wool looks amazing (but then I don't know anything about spinning or knitting!). Just lovely and soft and fluffy. And I now have sock envy! They are a million times nicer than shop bought. I haven't seen the series you refer to, but I did watch one about a Victorian farm which I absolutely loved, although I have to say, it looked like very hard work for all concerned!

  4. I agree about the hard work - it seems idyllic to think about spending all day knitting/sewing/tending to the garden etc., but when you remember that your livelihood actually depends upon it, and you have to do this day/day out, year in/year out, it kind of loses its appeal!!


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