I am slowly making my way through heat wave sock number two. The lace chart is definitely ok, I haven’t got to the text yet but will be there shortly.

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I’ve been knitting it almost exclusively in the car as we bounce to windsor and back, because at home I haven’t been knitting at all. I’ve been doing Other Stuff.

The last time Emily and Dru were here, we were talking about ‘stuff’ – fibre tools, home improvements, just basically how long it can take and how much it can cost to get or do the things a person wants or needs. Emily observed that anything you want has a certain set ‘cost’, but that the cost is divided between financial investment, time investment and labor investment. You can work harder, which takes time but saves money, you can wait longer (to save up), and spend money but save effort, or you can spend a bunch of money right up front and save yourself a lot of time and work. It’s all ratios.

Speaking of ratios:

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I don’t have a lot of cash, which is why I’m always making things from whatever is lying around. I do however have gobs of time right now, as summer is a lull season for my business, and a lot of what I need to do around the house depends on having it stop raining for ten minutes so that Raven can do what he needs to do first. So for a miracle, this summer I am actually managing to accomplish the one thing I really wanted to do for myself this summer.

I started this project on Sunday, and worked on it all day. The rest of the week I’ve only been able to grab a couple of hours here and there, so I think there’s probably about two full days of work in it so far – and it isn’t done yet by any means, it’s just to a point where I can feel confident that it will work. Which is nice – until yesterday I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t putting a lot of work and wood into a big ugly mistake!

Basically what’s left to do is to make the wheel be more round. Which is hard, since I haven’t got a “make wood be round” tool. But fortunately, the whole point of this project is to make the big round thing spin on its hub, which means that as of now it is able to act as its own lathe. A depressingly slow but provably effective method of rounding it off.

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It needs to be more round, because at this time the belt keeps falling off – not a desirable quality, in a belt! (Speaking of which, if one is using candle wicking for one’s belt, which is working great until the wheel hits the ‘belt falls off’ point, how does one tie it? I was never in brownies. Right now I’ve got it basically “tatted” together, but that is not ideal as the tension flips the knot back and loosens it. Sounded good in theory.)

It’s a two-pedal wheel, right now the flyer I’m using is an antique I picked up in the spring to find out how that worked exactly (this was before I found Emily’s wheel), which is set up for double drive but currently being used as a single drive with a scotch brake because having a double belt fall off would be even more annoying. I will probably eventually make my own flyer, but this one works fine, so there’s no rush. What I will desperately need is more bobbins, but I’ll worry about that when I’ve solved the wheel problem!

Raven has helped me some – he cut the copper sheathing for the hub, and some of the longer cuts in the wood as well, since he has more of the “Make Cut In Wood Be Straight” skill than I do.

Raven having an OCD moment with the copper

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But for the most part I have actually done this myself, and I have figured it out completely by myself, because the times when I did ask for advice/begin thinking out loud, Raven insisted that he had no idea how a spinnning wheel worked, nor did he particularly want to know, and thus couldn’t offer useful advice. Yesterday he admitted (in the kindest possible way) that he really didn’t expect the thing to work, and is totally impressed that I managed to build it.

And it does work. Even with the much-needed fixes and finishings, I managed to prove that it will make plies:

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Which gives me the incentive I very badly need to go back to the slow, slow job of sanding this sucker.

I will try to go into more detail about how it goes together when I have confirmed that it is all completely working. There aren’t any ‘plans’, because I was pretty much making it up as I went along, with revisions as necessary when things didn’t work. Which happened a lot less than I was expecting, actually, but still definitely happened. There are already things I would do differently, were I to go insane and do it again (a definite possibility at this point, because Making A Machine is so TOTALLY COOL I cannot get over it) but the important thing at this point is de-bugging this one.

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