Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Snippet

Or, perhaps, spinlet.

This is my progress on 3/4 oz of bamboo and merino roving that I got from MDSW. It spoke to me when I pulled it out of the bag this time; it said, "Make me a three-ply knitting yarn!" but it also said, "Keep my colors together!". Well, the only way I can reasonably do that is Navajo ply, but 1. this is a really fine and slippery merino/bamboo blend, so it isn't the strongest yarn, and 2. I hate Navajo ply. Instead, I'm opting to ply it with two strands of that nice soft brown-black alpaca I also got from MDSW; unless there winds up being too much brown in it, the darkness should let the colors in the merino blend shine nicely.

The wheel is my Cassandra wheel, which I've modified to accommodate sliding flyer hooks and a cotton drive band.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hack of the day: Cheap warping wheel/square

I would very much like to own a warping wheel or warping square. I have a sectional loom, so it would be pretty handy. However, I would not like spending $600 nearly as much. Think of all the yarn I could buy with that!

So, as I do in such situations, I figured I ought to make one myself. I haven't entirely succeeded, but for approximately $60 in parts, a partial solution is great.

(Bad phone pictures inbound!)

That's my 72" yarn swift from Fiber Artist Supply Co. clamped to a base made from bolts, nuts, and a chopped up 2x4. The swift comes with the wooden pegs, and is quite nicely made.

And that's the mini-raddle. The wooden base and clampy bit is improvised from wood and thin plywood, and the raddle itself is a steel pet comb cut in half. (The spine on the linked comb is aluminum so it comes apart very nicely with a hacksaw.)

I haven't used this very much yet; it has an absolute lack of tension control, so I can't wind directly on to my loom without the whole thing flopping all over and dumping all my warp on the floor. It's just fine for winding sections that I'll chain off and beam later, though! I still find it a lot faster than a warping board or reel.

I will probably build a new wheel head to replace the swift at a later date, so that I can add tension control and a place to clamp the mini-raddle.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I'm getting started on Christmas decorations early

I presently fly a purple Cobra in Elite Dangerous. This Christmas season I'll also be flying a purple Cobra on my tree.

3D printed at Shapeways with this model from JotaErre, modified slightly to add a hanger loop. If I were you I'd move the loop further to the front to balance the model a bit better, but it's not bad as is.

Bonus action shot: just unloaded some sweet, sweet painite (real painite included!).

Friday, November 13, 2015

Solar flares

Ever wanted to blame some problem on solar flares, but weren't sure whether that was plausible? Worry no more, I built something for that:

Now you can easily find out whether solar activity is happening, and how severe it is, so you can honestly say "I'm sorry, there are some really bad solar flares today. Come back tomorrow.". Enjoy.