27 November, 2009

Drying Out Wool and Flax

The streaky skein is taking a while to dry. Not that much of a problem for me, other than having to wait to see what it will look like knitted up with the red skein at the edge. (I expect it will look like a peppermint candy that ran in the rain.)

The other day I was talking to someone who said she was looking for ways to speed up the drying of skeins. She dyes yarn as part of her business.

I mentioned the Spin-X spin dryer machine. The blurbs for the Spin-X sound too good to be true, but the centrifugal force really does whip the water out of cloth. You're not really supposed to put sopping wet items in it. The manufacturer expects the stuff to be coming out of a washing machine. You're also not supposed to put the Spin-X to commercial use, but I told her there might be a commercial model that could handle frequent loads.

I also mentioned airing cupboards. I had the name wrong and said warming closet, I think, but I meant airing cupboards. I've never seen one. An airing cupboard figured in an English children's book I loved as a kid, Haffertee Finds a Place of His Own. This puts airing cupboards for me on a level with gingerbread houses in the forest and glass slippers, but really, a cupboard with a hot water tank in it acting as a radiator to keep linens dry in a damp English climate sounds plausible. Useful, even. And transferable to Vancouver Island's climate which is supposed to be the same as London's. The south end of the island, anyway. We have quite a lot of variation depending on whether you're inland, at sea level, up a mountain, and so on.

I read recently somewhere that people used to keep flax stricks in the airing cupboard, then hackle it once a year until they had very, very fine strands to spin.

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