Besides the excellent ideas mentioned above there are two things that I have learned help me. Position your swift so that it feeds as directly as possible into the orifice of the your winder, recreating as little resistance as possible. Also stop winding only if absolutely necessary. Stopping can cause a mess in the winding.
I too wonder what the point of a pumice stone inside a knit or crocheted covering would be. Certainly does defeat the purpose of the pumice stone. Plus the solidness of the stone would not be too useful.
In Indiana we pay 7% sales tax, including on the shipping and handling costs. Now I think that part really stinks. Driving a half an hour is no big deal since all of us who live out of town have to go that far to do all our shopping, so can just stop at the yarn shop, if we have one, on the same trip. And if I don't know the hours of a certain store I call ahead. If it's a store I really want to visit I plan my shopping trip on a day the store is open. Life doesn't have to be difficult if you think ahead.
Absolutely gorgeous. Blocking or not your tension is outstanding. I too love the yarn. Your husband will be proud to wear it and hopefully will point to you each time he gets a compliment and say you made it.
I just have to ask, what kind of hat is only 3.75 inches tall?
What a hoot. I've read it before but it's still funny time after time.
I loved my original two Ottlite floor lamps but after a few years and the replacement of ballasts (very expensive) I could no longer get replacements bulbs, even by calling the manufacturer directly. I had the lights about eight years. By this time I had several hundred dollars in each light but I did go ahead and invest in a new one anyway. They're really the best when you're trying to match navy blue and black socks!
I was lucky enough to have had a brother who was a woodworker. He made three lovely nostepinnes with the groove on the one end and fancy details on the handle end for me. But before that I used the handle end of a wooden spoon which would be handy for people who live in motorhomes part of the year and have wooden spoons for cooking. There are so many things to use for winding center pull balls for those who do not wish to invest in a nostepinne.
The cords are cheap. Buy the length you need and don't fool around with connectors. They are a pain.
Your finished orange tonals are very attractive. Good job. A couple suggestions for spinning yarn that will not pill as easily. 1:) Spin the singles slightly tighter. 2:) Then you can ply slightly tighter. 3:) Ply more evenly. 4:) Doing a 3 ply instead of a 2 ply will make a big difference. These are things I've learned from many years of spinning, but my heart goes out to you for dealing with all those neps. That shearer definitely did not know what he/she was doing.
All I can say is be glad you got your orders accepted and be thankful you are only waiting. After trying many, many times and not being able to get my order accepted (all I got was a message saying the discount code had been accepted but no discount ever appeared) I wrote to customer service. By the time I heard back from them the yarn I wanted was sold out. What I really really wanted was the cashmere but supposedly that wasn't included although all yarns on the website were to be included. Oh well.
Daisymom, I think others have given good advice that I surely can't improve upon, but I had to tell you I had such a good laugh at your word boobage. I've never heard that before!
Your hat is fabulous. What a marvelous use of stash. You will be the envy of all who see it.
Dowager's Hump runs in my family. I am so impressed with what you have done to solve the problem of every top shifting and causing an ill fit. Congratulations! You vest hits perfectly on you and looks so nice. I bet it feels so good.
You will be so happy when you wheel comes. You certainly are doing all the right preparations. Talking about wanting one all your life, I was so intrigued by spinning for many years before I got my first wheel in the early '90's. A few years later I came across my charm bracelet from high school, first half of the 60's, and lo and behold, there was a spinning wheel on the bracelet. I had no memory of it being there but obviously I had wanted a wheel since I was just into my teens!