Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Suspicious Minds

Last night, Dan came home from work and said, "So, what have you been doing all day, BLOGGING?"

I think he's suspicious.

I think I threw him off the trail...I said, "Not all day! I went out in the afternoon; I bought some glue for the floor. I did some laundry." (half a load, but that is still LAUNDRY, right?)

Dan: "So what are you going to do tomorrow, BLOG?"

Me: "Uh, maybe go to the grocery store."

Dan: "What else are you going to do?"

Me: "Um, more laundry."

Dan: "Aren't you going to glue the floor?"

Me: "I thought you might do that."

Dan: "I don't have time to glue the floor."

Hmmm...this is a man who spends so much of his time sleeping or playing his guitar that I was kind of speechless at that point. (To be fair, the man works very hard teaching teenagers...he deserves his sleep!) The grilling about what I was going to do today went on for a few minutes. This is totally not like Dan...I think he's suspicious. Maybe he thinks I should actually be cleaning this place? Hmmm...

Spinning Wheel Pit Stop

Okay, this is most of what I did today. I glued the floor first, though, because I wanted to get it done. I have the world's ugliest kitchen floor and it's coming apart at the seams, so today I had to glue it down. I would much rather tear it all off and get a new one, but for some strange reason, Dan thinks we should wait to replace it until the kids are older. (Why?!?!?!?) But I digress...

It's really the Harlot's fault. The Harlot spins every Tuesday. The Harlot shows all her spinning projects and new fiber on her blog. And since I have been reading her archives, finally catching up yesterday, I have seen everything the Harlot has spun for the past two years. It's her fault, I tell ya! This is what I did when I should have been cleaning!!

Yesterday (when I went out, remember) I bought a can of MinWax and a staining pad with plastic gloves. I had decided to finally stain the new flyer I had bought for my Ashford Traditional Double Drive spinning wheel, aka Bessie the Yarn Cow. Laurel had broken Bessie's original flyer exactly 3 years ago (though I had stopped spinning a few of years before that.) I ordered the parts then, then when they came I stuck them in a drawer.

When I started thinking about finally staining and installing the flyer, I suddenly remembered: I had bought a jumbo flyer attachment for this wheel years and years ago and had never stained that either! I could get all the staining out of the way in one fell swoop!

It is a testament to the size of my house (small) and the photographic nature of my memory (sometimes compared to an elephant's by my husband, though if he compares anything else to an elephant's, NO MORE LASAGNA!!!), I was able to find the box with the jumbo flyer attachment in about 15 minutes in the utility room.

So now instead of the amount of staining I had to do with just the flyer, I had this much staining to do instead. The jumbo flyer (which allows you to spin bulky yarn) comes with it's own maiden (the piece all the way to the right on the bottom), whorl (circular piece) and bobbins.

After sanding all this to get rid of any rough spots, I laid brown paper down on my stamping table and got busy staining the pieces. I had bought "golden oak", which is what I thought I had used to stain my wheel when I put it together from the kit I bought. I had taken the whorl along to the hardware store to try to match the color.

Funny thing is, it didn't really match on all the pieces, but it did on some. The original whorl is the circular piece on the bottom and the flyer matched it perfectly, but the jumbo flyer, the new whorls, and the bobbins were much darker. Hmmm...

Then when I was trying to put the old whorl on the new flyer, I found they had changed the flyer. The old one had a whorl that screwed on, this one just slid onto a slotted piece. I was pleased, since I had often had trouble with the whorl unscrewing itself.

Once I finished assembling the new flyer, I decided to install the other thing I had bought at the same time as the new flyer: a plastic drive belt. I had gotten tired of the cotton string ones coming apart. It's made of very thick plastic and you string it around the wheel, cut the ends so there is a slight overlap, then weld the ends together using a cigarette lighter to soften the plastic and sticking the ends together. You'll be glad to know I didn't burn myself...much. I did resolve, though, that if I ever had to buy another one, I would get someone with much steadier hands than mine to do this part. It took me a couple of tries to get it right.

After starting the wheel, the belt proceeded to doff itself immediately. Reading the directions, I oiled the band to prevent this from happening again...this necessitated going to the stash to find the bottle of spinning wheel oil. This was in my spinning bag, which coincidentally contained the last ball of wool I had been spinning before I stopped. My, my...what a coincidence! Funny how that wool is now lying next to the wheel, isn't it? I also found...well, I'll tell you in a minute!

ANYWAY. After much cursing under my breath as I adjusted the wheel to accomodate the new drive band. I stood back to admire Bessie. I had told myself, "Just put the thing together, get it done, then put it away so you can work on that sweater! You don't want to get caught up in spinning when you should be doing something else, now do you?" I dusted Bessie carefully and oiled all her little joints and adjusted everything so it lined up right. She's not the most beautiful yarn cow out there, there are many nicks on her as well as the place where Spanky (our late cat) chewed on her (note: if you ever have a cat that likes to chew on the maiden of your wheel, wrap rubber bands around the top of the maiden...works like a charm) but she is a faithful yarn cow, a contented yarn cow.

Good yarn cow. Time to go back in the barn now, faithful Bessie, because I really should work on that sweater. Though I could spin just a bit to make sure you are working correctly...but not much, just a leetle bit...

Um....what happened? I sat down to spin just a little bit, thinking that I would have to remember that at least the first two or three yards of whatever I got would be absolute crap and suddenly, I have half a bobbin full! Funny how that wool was lying right there next to the wheel and pieces of it just kept JUMPING into my hands, predrafting themselves and making their way onto the bobbin.

Funny how I managed to blow off a whole hour just spinning this, isn't it! But I know who to blame...


Yarn Harlot
Toronto, Ontario CANADA

Dear Madame,

I wish to inform you that as of 2:30 PM this afternoon, that I began again that fibre addiction which I had previously been so grievously afflicted by. You are to blame with your enticing blog and your indecent pictures of spun fibre.

Yours respectfully,

Janine Tinklenberg, aka JanTink.

P.S. from Bessie the Yarn Cow: Thanks Harlot! I was wasting away before you came along and now I am a lean, mean spinnin' machine!!!

Now here's what else I found in my spinning bag:

Sigh...looks like I have some more staining to do!


Stephanie said...

Dear Jan.

I'm not sorry.
I've always thought that more people coming around to my way of thinking was the answer. Not the problem.

(PS. My bobbins are not stained. Feel free to drop by.)

Spiderlady said...

I have to laugh, yesterday I just posted how Harlot is killing me, I can't keep up. Now I am addicted to Blogs? I truley have enjoyed your photos. How small our world has become. I need to retire so I can play all day and travel on my lap top, it is my magic carpet.

daven said...

hi jan,
are boys allowed in here? :^)

had to check out your blog. it's nice! good topic too, and you're a good writer. we *are* gonna get to this (recruiting writers for articles, columns and more) on scs too, I swear!

Mary said...

That man is way too suspicious. You'll need to find one housework/laundry type thing to do each day that doesn't take much time, but really shows up as done. That way he will notice it right away and hopefully be done with wondering what else you did that day. Then you should have plenty of time for knitting and blogging.