The very popular Heel in the Cucumber scent has been re-stocked in my shop. This foot creme makes a great gift for those your knit socks for or even yourself. It feels wonderful on and smells good as well!
This weekend I went to a knitting cabaret with my friend Maureen. Melanie Gall was in town and she was performing at a Regina Fringe Festival venue nearby. I'm not usually a theatre person but I thought this sounds kinda cool and it's something different.
She is a soprano from St. Albert Alberta who sings knitting songs. That's right :) She has an amazing voice and sang songs from WWI and WWII that were about knitting and there was even a song about the "knitting nerve" (carpal tunnel). We were invited to bring our knitting to the show and I brought a sweater I am working on and Maureen brought some socks. She even had extra needles and yarn for those who didn't bring their knitting and asked at the beginning of the show if anyone wanted to show off what they were working on. Melanie has a great personality and I laughed quite a bit during her performance. She is a knitter herself and is a co-host to a podcast called The Savvy Girls Podcast. Her sister, mom and her record shows and even have a group on Ravelry. I'm going to add them to my list.
It has been unbelievably humid and hot the last few days and we haven;t had much rain since April. The venue was sweltering but was in a very cool old church. I think I will be on the lookout for her shows next time she is in town.
I am pleased to announce that I am adding another wonderful product to my business. I am now a proud dealer for Unicorn Products. They are the makers of Power Scour, a professional grade wool wash. This is what I use to wash all my fleeces. Superior washing at lower temperatures (even hard water), helps with reducing mats and tangles and eliminates odors. This product really makes the process of washing raw fibre SO much easier. It is biodegradable and earth friendly. Currently, I am the only supplier in Saskatchewan and will be bringing this to the Manitoba Fibre Festival as well. I will have these products in stock soon.
Thank you to everyone who played along!!!
For the past few years I have been doing an annual giveaway to celebrate the Tour de Fleece. This coincides with the Tour de France and runs from July 4th to July 26th. Spinners around the world set goal/challenges for themselves and spin during the tour. I am usually a part of Team Golden Willow but this year I have also joined Team Canada. Check out their awesome logo!
Anyways, onto the reason you are here - prizes! This year I have rounded up a couple goodies and made a few packages you could win.
Spinners Prize: Winner is Lisa!
A collection of some of the worlds finest fibres; 2 oz of Merino/Cashmere, a little batt of Angora/Silk (50/50), a Phil Powell supported spindle, a sample of Soak Wash in the Lacey scent and a nice little handmade spindle bag to hold it all.
Book Lovers Prizes:
I also have 3 books from my collection up for grabs:
To be entered to win one of these prizes, please leave a comment below about what you would do with any one of these prizes. You can gain extra entries by heading over to my Facebook page and sharing/commenting on this post about my giveaway, re-posting the giveaway picture on Instagram, Retweeting my post on Twitter and pinning my TdF post on Pinterest. Easy stuff. I will be making the draws on Monday July 27th around 7:00 Sask time. Watch my Facebook Page to see if you won.
Thanks and let's get spinning!
Maker: Wayne Capar of Natural Knot Wood Designs
Weight: 12 g / .42 oz
Length: 3.5" Shaft, 3" Arms
Style: Turkish Spindle
Material: Shaft: Walnut Arms: Olivewood
I am back, and trying to dive right into my spindle reviews once again. I have lots of skeins spun and lots of spindles in line so let's get started.
My sample is grey Merino from Inglenook Fibers in the Rose Window colourway. I got 12 yards navajo plyed.
I have said it before and I will say it again, the teeny tiny turkish spindles have always left me raising one eyebrow and giving the half-assed response of "oh that's cute....". They have never interested me in the least. That is until I saw this little beauty at the Manitoba Fibre Festival last year. Even in my mind I was saying "but Susie these things are ridiculous, you don't even like turkish spindles and really how much yarn could you fit on one of those spindles?" Luckily I ignored my inner voice and gave these a try.
As mentioned above, this spindle is quite small and I can fit it inside a little Tetley tea tin and put the lid on. Because of it's size, I was able to spin in the car during red lights on my way home from work yesterday without any difficulty. Not that I do that often, but I would not be able to sit in the car and spin with many of my other suspended spindles.
The wood pretty much sold me on getting this particular one. It glows! I also appreciated that Wayne talked to me about the wood when I was buying it, it showed his enthusiasm for his work. They come in their own padded box with all the details on weight/materials etc and this shows how he takes pride in his spindles. The arms have a nice curve to them, not chunky and not dainty. You can feel they have a nice weight distribution and with the shaft wedged in place there isn't a lot of movement. The pieces fit perfectly together, like a puzzle, but not too tight.
The shaft is simple but well thought out. It feels strong and isn't too pointy. The butt end is rounded and bulbous and the tip is tapered with a nice little groove in it to hold your half hitch in place. I had big issues with half hitch's when I first started out with spindles several years ago. This spindle takes the frustration out of the whole ordeal of your yarn slipping off. If you wanted, you could definitely use this spindle supported with a shallow bowl. I may try that next.
I am still quite slow using turkish spindles and I had to look up how to wrap the spun singles around the arms to create a centre pull ball. (I did over 2, under 1, which I beleive is the most common method). To be honest, it was kind of refreshing to slow down a bit, think about what I was doing and enjoy the process. I was able to go faster after the first little while and even plied the yarn on this spindle with no troubles. There are a lot of different winding techniques to try and get as much yarn on a turkish spindle as you can. I would like to try a few more out to see which method I prefer. If you have any tips for me, let me know in the comments :)
This spindle didn't spin as long as I was hoping but because of its weight - or lack thereof it made sense. Once I put more spun yarn on it, that helped.
The underside of the spindle has the spindle makers name (written in sharpie - a pet peeve) but it is done fairly neatly and doesn't take away from the spindle's beauty.
You can also see in this picture what the underside of the cop looks like using the over 2 under 1 wrapping technique.
My finished yarn came out to be more of a sport weight but you could produce some very fine yarns with this spindle, and I believe that you could get some decent yardage on this tiny turkish. You can spin the spindle by grasping the butt end of the shaft or spinning the tip in your fingers, which I found easier to get better momentum.
I had posted about these little spindles on my Facebook page as a Daily Inspiration the other day. While looking through others' pictures of their Turkish's, I saw a little triangle bag that someone had used to house their spindle and a bit of fibre for travel. This is on my to do list. These make great travel spindles and are very compact if you take them apart and they will only take up about 1.5" of space.
Length of spin: 19.8 seconds (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: TBD but better then you might think
Looks: You can't help but giggle at them but the grain in the arms is to die for
Overall Rating: 9.0/10
I'll admit they are still kind of ridiculous but I'm enthralled by this one. I plan on buying a medium sized Capar spindle this year at the Manitoba Fibre Festival and think this maker has changed my view of turkish spindles. They aren't sluggish and awkward. A huge bonus is having a centre pull ball at the end all ready for plying. I'm going to take this spindle, and spin some more yarn on it and practice my winding techniques. I hope that if you haven't tried one of the few tiny Turkish spindles on the market yet, that you give them some consideration and you too might surprise yourself.