Day 128


No new blanket piece today – with the judicious application of Super Glue to the gears and gear shafts of my e-spinner, I have been spinning!!!

Building this device was only the beginning of the process. There have been so many things that have needed rethinking since the original design. While it probably could run from a battery, mains power is more constant and garners a better experience. I have had to consider how the pieces work together and failure ¬†points (the gear situation). I have built and rebuilt the mechanisms that actually move to see which type of gears work best and discovered that a system using chains, like on a bike, works better than gears moving against each other, like in a clock. My point being, I have the technology. I can make it faster, better… and I have. Not that we’re stopping here of course. Computerisation is next. I’m also thinking about making something like my Meccano spinner but with more clockwork. No idea if I can make it work yet though.

All of the fussing with the device this weekend has put me behind my goal but I now have a device that works for more than a few minutes at a time.


Day 127


An unproductive day today though I’m blaming that on being awake at stupid o’clock this morning. I tinkered for much of the morning with the e-spinner and got it working better than ever only to have the basic design of the gears and the shafts fail. No matter how tightly a plastic gear fits onto a round shaft, tension will eventually cause freespin. I need something with a many sided geometric shape. Guess I’ll be hunting that down next…

Anyway, this all means that I have returned to my traditional inning wheel. Wish me luck for minimal back pain.

A dull coloured triangle in a seemingly random place today.


All I have to say about today’s song is : Jeremy Rennet in a cowboy hat and eyeliner.

P!nk – Trouble

(Yeah, OK. This song might also be my unofficial anthem ūüėČ )

Day 126


I really like the pinks in todays rectangle.


We are 10 days from the end of the current blanket plan. Really must remember to do the next section.

The parts for the computer driven e-spinner arrived today and hubby has been blissfully occupied building, coding and testing since he got home. He’s heading north for the weekend which means that no more will be done this weekend on it but I’ve got the existing spinner so that’s fine.

This weekend, I am aiming to finally *finally* finish spinning and plying the yarn I’ve been working on for the last month on my hand spindles.¬† They are very soothing to use but they are very slow to produce finished yarn when compared to a spinning wheel or an e-spinner. And I am not particularly patient. I can spin and ply 100g of fibre into yarn in 2 days so having to work so slowly has been a little grating. There’s about 3/5ths still to spin before I can ply the yarn but that’s a relatively easy goal as long as my equipment doesn’t fail and if it does, I think my mum on the other side of the world will hear me swearing.

The first time I heard music by Jimi Hendrix, I was 16 and sitting in music class at school. Despite my dad’s awesome music collection,  I had never heard anything like it and dad liked guitar music so it wasn’t that.  Ive no idea why it was missing from the collection but I fell in love with the guitar solo that day and he passion that it could portray.  That first song was ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and I’m still in love with it 20 years later…

Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower

Day 125


I had to redo the purple square from yesterday because I had placed it in the wrong spot. A nuisance but not really a problem.

I added a gradient blue shaded rectangle after fixing the correction.


And I did it all wearing some awesome short term false finger nails, whose pattern is called ‘Alice’. I only wish the set had included a pocket watch pattern…


And lastly, because no one thought Leonard Nimoy could get amy more aweome and because tomorrow is shaping up to be a little like this song… Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song

Day 124


Today we are listening to Gym Class Heroes featuring Maroon 5’s front man Adam Levine just because I like it…
Stereo hearts by Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine

I’m feeling better today. A yoga breathing routine is excellent for stretching the muscles that were causing problems again. Even better is that we worked out that the problem with my e-spinner was the battery. We connected a jack for a mains power cord and the spinner works better than ever despite running at only 6 volts instead of the 12 it used to have!!!!! Of course, this was all worked out *after* we ordered new parts. Which is fine though because we have plans to build a better e-spinner and the existing spinner can’t support those improvements. And I was a good girl and caught up on my blanket pieces even though I really, really, really, really, *really* wanted to be spinning yarn.

Day 123’s piece is a large green square. Day 124’s is a small purple square.


Day 122


Not a lot of crafting happened today but not through lack of effort. I made new uprights for my homemade electric spinner, had hubby find the battery recharger and left the battery to charge as I reassembled parts of the spinner. Plugged everything – nothing. Found a couple of loose cables, fixed them – nothing. Took out the power switch and connected the working parts straight to the battery – still nothing. There’s another thing I can remove to test the motor but it could still be the battery. Guess I need to do some research and go shopping. It really needs a different motor – more torque, capable of running for long periods of time – so yeah, research. Sewing machine motors are apparently a good option but i don’t have a spare machine here anymore and if I’m buying a motor I’ll choose one that is built to meet my requirements. A picture of the spinner when it was working….


A simple grey rectangle today. Really need to do the next stage of the plan for the blanket. I’ve got less than 2 weeks left on this plan.


Way back at the beginning of this journey, I talked about the band Muse. I confess to not having heard too many of their songs but I’ve loved what I’ve heard. Their music is slick and perfect and sexy. This is the first piece of their music I ever heard and is something I can listen to no matter what mood I’m in and get lost in it to come out feeling more together.

Muse – Plug In Baby

Day 121


I had forgotten how long the large squares take to knit. I guess I don’t notice the time passing while I craft.

Anyway, bright orange and yellow large square today.

day 121

The boys had a great camp out and though the sparse timetabling of the Sunday buses adding 2 hours to their return, they got home safely. Last year it rained but with the forest canopy, they were mostly dry. This year it was windy. I imagine they’d have been less bothered by it if they used an actual tent instead of building a bivouac but that is how they all camp at this event. It’s cosy enough I suppose…

bivouac 2014

I’ve discussed my affection for Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’ album in the past. I love the intimacy of the music produced by singer-songwriter-musician. In today’s music industry, they are as scarce as hen’s teeth but they are out there. One of my modern favourites is Sarah Bareilles. I have all of her music but it is her ballads that I love the most. One that struck me most is the final track ‘Gravity’ from her debut album ‘Little Voice’. The clarity of the vocals and the simplicity of the accompniment are just beautiful.

I’d not seen the video clip before today and was impressed by it – it’s a simple enough idea and doesn’t detract from the music.

Day 120


New series of Doctor Who started tonight but being that my hubby and my son are out camping overnight, I did not watch it. We’ll be breaking out the popcorn and watching it on iPlayer together tomorrow night.

It’s been exceptionally quiet here tonight. They took our border collie camping with them and our other 2 dogs have been sullen since they went. They’ve also been unusually cuddly – there is 30+kg of border collie x german shepherd dog sleeping in my lap right now. He still thinks he’s a tiny baby… He really isn’t.

Anyway, the blanket got a new green rectangle today.


I tried to do some spinning at my wheel today. It has reaffirmed my desire to get/build and electric spinner. My back is so sore from using the muscles around my hips to hold myself perched on a chair at the same time as driving the treadle. Good thing it’s a long weekend. Monday is going to be construction day.

Just finished watching Die Hard 4.0 so tonight’s song is by Credence.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Fortunate Son’

Day 119


And we’re all caught up. Blanket pieces for day’s 117 (turquoise), 118 (blue) and 119 (striped) have finally been done.

day 117-118-119

Oh, and you might notice that the numbering of posts has been editted – I had two day 116’s…

I’m hoping that the old cleaning rule about things looking worse before you finish holds true. I started sorting through my ‘craft corner’ in our living room today… Despite moving a bunch of stuff back into the loft, the corner looks worse! On the upside, I had a couple of friends giving me a hand/keeping me company and they discovered a whole bunch of my¬†crocheted dolls, some unfinished bobbin lace and several unfinished knit shawls and spent the better part of an hour extolling my crafting excellence. Which was nice but a bit weird. Being complimented on my crafting is like being complimented for breathing. I know that crafts are something not everyone is good at, but then I’m not good at sports, or self-discipline so it evens out.

They took a crocheted kokeshi doll each and gave me ideas for a turtle and a lion, and I was asked for a boy tooth fairy with a bag for teeth after seeing one of my girl tooth fairy dolls. Just need to get the yarn out of the loft so I can start crocheting. I haven’t made a doll in a year or more and I’m excited to do something so different to all the other things I’ve been working on lately (shawls and sweaters and utter disinterest).

Feeling a little bittersweet and nostalgic this evening so here is the Hunters & Collectors from way back when I still lived in Australia, with ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’.

Hunters & Collectors – Throw Your Arms Around Me (studio version)