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Monthly Archives: February 2012


I finally finished up the spinning on that gorgeous Merino I showed you in the last entry. It was delightful to work with, slipping through my fingers with silky abandon. Following whatever idea popped into my head, I divided the fibre lengthwise into four more-or-less equal parts and spun them as fine as I possibly could, each onto their own bobbin. Mixing up the bobbins, I plied two bobbins of two ply yarn. See?

Fine Two Ply

In order to make the cable work, these plies must have approximately double the regular amount of twist. I used the lace whorl on my wheel for the first time and the smallest pulley (highest ratio). Wow! Can that thing go! After an overnight rest, I twisted the two yarns together in the opposite direction to make a cabled yarn. This is how it looks (apologies for the crappy lighting and extreme close up):

A strand of cabled yarn

Isn’t that a fascinating structure? Cables are incredibly strong due to their opposing levels of twist, which explains their use in ropes and construction (think steel cables on bridges. Yup, the same thing.). The finished skein turned out to be 272 yards (248.7 metres), which is a bit disappointing. However, cabling does produce a dense yarn, so it is heavy for its yardage (4.25 oz/120 g).

The Finished Skein

I am quite enchanted with it. The yarn is soft and squishy and begs to be made into a next-to-skin item. Maybe I can get my sock knitting mojo back?

Hello, gorgeous!

Psst! You! Yes, you!










Come a bit closer…. You are the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a while.










Can I touch you? Oh wow. So silky and soft. I must spin you, today! What do you want to be when you grow up? Hmm, I don’t know either. How about I just start spinning and the answer will pop up once you’re on the bobbin. Are you okay with that? Me too.

Or else I’d just have to spread you out and roll around on you naked. Ahem.

Fibre from Into the Whirled fibre club, December 2011, “It’s Bigger on the Inside”, Merino

Vienna – The Officer’s Ball

I’ve been meaning to post about our trip to Vienna two weeks ago. Honest, I have. But life just keeps getting in the way.

We were invited to attend the Officer’s Ball, held at the Hofburg Palace, back in November. And then nothing. Not a word. All we knew was that it was sometime in January. So as the middle of the month was approaching, I started getting nervous. Having never attended a European social affair of this sort, I was at a loss as to what I should wear. So I planned to wear a lovely, but simple, chiffon cocktail dress that was already in my closet. Who knew that it would be all wrong? One week prior to the January 20 event, I was sent an email with a link to the official website. Oh my. Apparently this is a big deal. There is even a separate site dealing with dress code. I have to go shopping. I need a ballgown.

It all came together remarkably well. The first store we found that sold long gowns had a number of possible candidates in my size. Finding this store was the hard part and that took the better part of several days’ research and numerous panicky telephone calls. Not only was I able to buy a dress, but shoes and a fancy little handbag as well at the same store. One stop shopping! I think I did rather well:

All Dressed Up

I felt like a million bucks!

The ball itself was an amazing experience. It was held in the ceremonial rooms of the Hofburg Palace, which was the winter residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna. Words cannot describe the elegance of this building. There were several thousand in attendance, including military officers from all over the world. Each of the ten ballrooms had live music, ranging from a waltz orchestra to popular music and a disco. The food! The flowers! The gowns!


The Main Ballroom


We didn’t make it until closing time, which was 4 am. Even if I could have stayed awake, my feet never could have held me up. Many years have passed since I last danced until my feet hurt. It was an unforgettable evening in a spectacular setting, one which I will never forget.

Well, maybe until next year.