Our fibre community on Regina here kicked off Tour de Fleece at The Naked Sheep. It was a good day full of food, laughs and breathing in the fibre fumes. My goals this year are to spin down my stash (not much left) and work on 2 support spindle projects.
With the french spindle I am spinning a new to me fibre: Pearl. It is a biodegradable cellulose fibre with freshwater pearl dust in it. Not sure how I feel just yet but it is interesting. It is a good moisture absorber and it even has a UV protection factor greater than 30! That's kinda neat. Watch for new spindle reviews coming up a bit later.
I spun a bobbin and plied 3 skeins. The one on the left is Merino/Bamboo from last months Spunky Club and the other 2 are Sweet Georgia BFL. Are you participating this year? What are your goals?
I wanted to send out a big Thank you to those who stopped by the Etsy SK Winter Market on Dec 2nd at the U of R. This was the 3rd sale I organized at this venue and it still is my favourite. I had a good day talking to a lot of great people and meeting new vendors as well. I bought some yarn from Midknit Cravings; some to make another Aura shawl and a sock appetizer (pics below). I also got some fat quarters from So Sweet Quilts which I am planning on making some quilted mug rugs. A hand blown glass tumbler from Glassy Eyed and some beautiful notecards from Sparkling Medusa. Thanks to my chronic pain, after the sale I slept from 9 pm on Sat to 2:15 pm on Monday.
I also finished 2 pairs of socks using the Straight Up Socks pattern again. One pair was for my dad's birthday and I used good ol Kroy sock yarn. I really like knitting for him because he truly appreciates it. When I gave them to him (as he was going out the door) he cam back in, took off his boots, ripped off his socks he was wearing and put my handmade socks on. I love that.
My other pair I made in only a couple days using some new yarn from Midknit Cravings. It is one of their appetizers as I mentioned above. The colourway's I used were Bad Mood Monday and Wine Not! You get 50 g of the main colour and 20 g of a contrast colour. I was waffling between doing an afterthought heel, or maybe just tube socks but thought I would try to see how far I could get with the Straight Up Socks recipe and was left with 5g of the main colour and 6g of the contrast so I could have been ok. I just love them! Can't wait to make more.
I also sewed a brand new dress!! It is the Fen Dress from Fancy Tiger Crafts and I highly recommend it! For starters it comes in a bunch of sizes and it has POCKETS! You can also make a shirt. I love the hem line and it is SO comfortable. I will be making more of these as well. I also just bought the Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated so it will be my next sewing project for my handmade wardrobe. It also has pockets and it is reversible.
This glorious wheel was made between 1930 and 1946 in Sifton, Manitoba by a blacksmith named John Weselowski. He based the design on a wheel he had from the Ukraine. The Spin-Well wheels could be bought by mail order for the low, low price of $7.75. By 1938 John and his brother were able to make 20 wheels a day! John expanded his business to become a small milling operation called Custom Woolen Mills. Later on a descendent of his sold the milling equipment to Carstairs, Alberta which is what I know as Custom Woolen Mills now. Another cool tid-bit of information is that John partnered with Willard McPhedrain and together they started Mary Maxim. That's a lot of cool history to come out of a small town. In 1947 Spin-Well Manufacturing Co. was sold and became known as Made-Well Manufacturing Co. which continued until the 70’s.
The above info from https://archaicarcane.com/workhorse-spinning-with-a-canadian-connection/
The orifice opening is 1/4" in diameter which is larger than many vintage wheels, much larger than my Haldane and my Kromski Sonata is 3/8" so pretty close! The height of the opening is 29" and it is centered on the wheel which makes it pretty comfortable.
The chair frame sets it apart from many other vintage wheels and is easily noticeable. Although not the prettiest, there is a lot of thought put into this design which makes it very versatile, lightweight and compact.
The wheel diameter is 13.5" and it is 2" thick and made from solid wood slabs, laminated together. The footman is attached in the centre and uses a crank style motion in conjunction with the treadle to get the wheel spinning.
This wheel is a single treadle but you could easily use both feet as it is the width of the frame. Treadling on this wheel is much different from other single treadles as its motion is more like that of a table sewing machine. It is very easy to get going, and much easier to keep in motion.
I have been very busy the last while spinning up a storm. I am sending off 20 skeins to Wolseley Wool in Winnipeg today. This yarn shop is my LYS away from home and guess what? They just moved into a bigger location which is absolutely gorgeous, you must check it out if you are in or around Winnipeg. They offer lots of really awesome classes and have a great selection of yarn, fibre, notions and more. I gain a lot of inspiration just seeing all of their pattern samples throughout their store.
These are just a few of the skeins I'm sending. Lots of wool types from SW Merino to Wensleydale and BFL and some really amazing blends like Polwarth/Silk. I hope you find a skein that calls to you (they all call to me) haha!
Well I didn't get what I had planned spun (at least on my support spindles) but that's ok. I did get these skeins spun and plied. 22.75 ounces and 1090 yards. Colourways are (from L to R): Skating on Thin Ice, Emotional Intelligence, Sagebrush, Google Doodle and Bon Voyage.
And look what I won! 390g of Merino/Silk in this pretty mix of reds and purples. I'm thinking it would make a nice shawl.... but don't I always say that? How did you do this Tour?
Every year at the time of the Tour de France, spinners around the world spin their wheels and spindles in a challenge to accomplish a goal or goals. If you like there are teams you can join to help support you along your way and often there are prizes to go along with it. This years' tour began on July 2 and runs until July 24th. My goal this year is to spin 4 oz on some support spindles as I have really enjoyed the slow process of support spindle spinning in the last year or so.
The fibre I chose is Corriedale, dyed by Amy of Spunky Eclectic. It was the club fibre for Sept 2016. The spindles I chose for this project were merely on the fact they haven't been used too much and deserve more love. From left to right you have; Antique hybrid, Gripping Yarns Thorn, Bristlecone Glindle, and an antique Russian. I am spinning with my guild in Team RWSG.
I have also been spinning for another great shop which I will post about soon. At the end of the first week I had 5 bobbins spun. Plying will come next so I can free up some room for more spinning. Are you spinning in the Tour this year?
I have been practicing more using my turkish spindles - mainly my tiny Capar spindle and have really been enjoying it. It is quite soothing to slow down after a busy day and watch how the colour changes in the fibre work their way through when building up the cop. I've learned now how to wind the spun yarn properly on the arms to make my centre pull ball. I spun a bunch of this blue while in the Regina Weavers & Spinners Guild booth at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival last month (you can see more about our fall sale in the flyer!)
I created an Instagram challenge with Etsy SK and one day we were to post a video of our process and decided to do this quick video showing the steps involved with spinning on a turkish spindle. I normally spin for a longer period of time but wanted to show it all in a short period of time.
Wayne Capar of Natural Knot Wood was at the Blue Hills Fibre Festival this past weekend and I was looking at his spindles some more. I also have one of his large sized turkish spindles that I am spinning on as well.
I have sent off 15 skeins of yarn to Elaine at Field and Fable in Swift Current. Yay Saskatchewan! I have quite a mix of fibres from alpaca, to BFL and Merino, Falkland, Bamboo and even Cashmere. Below are some of the skeins included in the box.
Field and Fable is such a beautiful shop filled with handmade items from local artists. Just take a look at her website (which you can also buy from) and see all the beautiful creations she has in store.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I have been spinning a lot of skeins lately. I am sending all these beauties to Ram Wools next week. If you are in or around Winnipeg you can stop in and browse their wonderful yarn store and see and feel my skeins without having to worry about shipping - Yay! I am very excited to have my skeins for sale in such an awesome yarn shop.
I haven't forgotten about my shop! I listed 2 new skeins there this week. These are my favourites out of the bunch. Polwarth /Silk and Corriedale.
I have decided to start keeping track of my spinning this year. I found a little notebook and I have been recording all the info about my skeins. I know I can do this on Ravelry, but sometimes I can forget to post yarn info and I was tired of having pieces of paper around my office with yardages. This way everything is in one place. I can also tabulate how many pounds and yards I spin each month. So far (up until the end of March), I have spun:
122 oz which is 7.63 lbs of fibre & 5973 yards which is 3.39 miles!
And I've got more coming so keep watching
I've been working through my spin kit from Spin Off and wanted to share how I wind my spun yarn from the spindle. I learned about this trick in one of my classes I took with Deb. I think Susan also had a hand in this ingenious trick. This is my set up in my studio with my ball winder to one side.
So, all you need is a clamp and a couple fishing swivels. The clamp was purchased from Peavy Mart or Canadian Tire - any hardware store really (or even the dollar store) and the swivels are super cheap and can be found anywhere. I just attached a couple end to end and attached on end to the clamp. It's as simple as just clamping your rig to something and hanging the hook of your spindle into the free swivel.
I hold onto the shaft of the spindle so it has a bit of tension and wind off the yarn on my ball winder - or niddy noddy after plying. Simple yet effective. Here is a quick video of it in action.
If you are interested in how I wind yarn off of my support spindles, I do something similar which you can read about in this previous blog post. How do you wind off your yarn?
I received the Summer/Fall 2015 Issue of Genesis Magazine, which is a journal of Rare Breeds Canada today and I saw a picture of myself spindle spinning from when I was with Gerry at the Motherwell Homestead this past August. There is also a picture of Gerry combing some of the Wensleydale fibre and the Rare Breeds Set up at the event. This homestead used to raise Shrophire sheep and I believe Gerry and Sheldon (Parks Canada Co-ordinator) are working together to make it so that the farm will once again have Shropshire sheep. This site is also an possible venue for the Fibre Festival Jeremy and I are planning to put on next year.
It's easy to get into the spinning groove and lose track of time, we all know that! It's also easy to forget that your wheel is working very hard with you to make sure your skeins come out exactly as planned. Some issues you might run into are a result of poor wheel maintenance. I'm not here to pass judgement as I am guilty of this myself. Spinning wheels are a big investment and you really want to keep them working their best so you can count on them for years to come. I am going to go over the steps needed for good wheel care.
Before you get started, you will want to make sure you have the following items:
- Spinning wheel oil
- Microfibre cloth
- Allen wrench/screw driver
- Cotton string
- Paper towels
- Wood polish or oil
Check your wheel for areas that have a lot of grease, dirt, dust and gunk. You will find that the areas with moving parts have the highest concentration of these substances.
Remove your flyer and bobbin and clean/dust all the spots where you normally add oil.
Don't forget the footman assembly. Use paper towel to clean these metal parts.
Use a q-tip to clean out smaller spots like the orifice and the area on the front maiden.
This is also a good time to replace a worn brake band or drive band. You can use cotton string (not mercerized) as an inexpensive alternative.
If you have any leather parts like footman connectors or orifice bearings, soften them with a leather conditioner or Vaseline.
Re-shape and re-screw any hooks that need an adjustment.
Tighten all screws to keep wobbly joints in place and replace any that are stripped. Your footman connectors may also have loose screws. Use an Allen wrench if necessary. I keep this and a little multi-tool in my spinning wheel bag so they are handy when I need them.
To keep your wood looking nice, polish it up every once in a while using wax or a wood preserver, working in the direction of the grain. You can also buff your wheel with lemon essential oil which smells really good! Keep natural and stay away from using products like Pledge on your wheel because it can make the groove in the drive wheel too slippery and your drive band will slip. Don't wax whorls or bobbins for this same reason.
Once you have everything all cleaned up, re-oil all the parts that move and cause friction and also where wood meets metal. There are a lot of oils on the market but I recommend liquid oils because they won't create instant gunk. I use mineral oil because it's inexpensive, it won't harm the wood and if you have small kids that might get into it, it's non hazardous.
All of these steps are easy to do and hardly time consuming, and they really keep your wheel running smoothly. You should try to remember to oil your wheel at least every time you sit down to spin and keep your wheel out of direct sunlight and humid/moist areas. Dust it every now and then and keep an eye on it around pets (our basset hound Jenny chewed part of the base of my wheel when I wasn't paying attention!) If you treat your wheel nicely it will bring you years of great service.
I have been working on spindling the kit I got from Spin Off Magazine. The project I have in mind is the FFSSA Sheep and Spindle Fair Isle Hat by Theresa Gygi I've finished with the Falkland on my Bosworth spindle and for the first time was successful with Andean plying. Yes, my middle finger turned purple but i was proud of myself for winding all the yarn off and into a bracelet with no tangles or any issues at all. After plying I got 129 yards of fingering weight yarn. Onto the Yak which I am going to use my Malcolm FIelding Dervish for. More pics to come!
I enjoyed this slow process. It was very gratifying when I finished spinning and was able to start plying. To make my plying ball I wound the yarn from each spindle into my ball winder. I used my spindle bowl and help my spindles carefully to get all the spun singles off.
I plied this skein on my brand new I Love Spindlez spindle that my friend Kat's husband made.
I've already been thinking about my next spindle project. I'm leaning towards a gradient :D
I am working on a new spindle challenge for myself. I have these wonderful rolags I got from Natually Knitty on Etsy and I am spinning one a night. As I mentioned on Facebook, I am using this time to unwind and relax after a long day of work. I have 5.5 oz of fibre and it will take me about a month to complete spinning all the rolags. The fibre content is Shetland, Merino, Falkland and Polwarth - what a great blend!
I started out using one of my Glindles which I reviewed in this post, and I have 9 rolags spun on this spindle so far. 22 more to go.
I have been taking pictures every night and posting my progress on my Facebook page. Its hard sometimes because night pictures are never that great, so I thought I would post an weekly update on my blog here.
At the end of spinning, I will 2 ply the singles and I'm not sure what I will do with the yarn ~ project wise. Probably a shawl :P I have been inspired by a couple people and their spinning to shawl projects.
Rolags are great to spin with, they are easy to transport and spin on the go as you can throw a couple in your spindle bag - no need to bring them all. They are easy to spin from and will create a nice woolen yarn.
I found this spindle bag at the Fibre & Finery sale I participated in last November. It was made by Kathy Woodcock, who is well know in the city here for her unique hand stamped bags with flowers from her garden. She is a fellow guild member and an amazing weaver. Her bag fits my spindle and rolags perfectly.
So far I am quite enjoying the process which is different for me as I am usually a product spinner. It feels nice to take it slow.
What spindling projects are you working on?
It's giveaway time, it's giveaway time!
Some of my favourite games are Hidden Object ones, especially from Big Fish Games like the Mystery Case Files series. I was thinking of hosting a giveaway for this season and thought this might be a fun way to earn your prize.
I have 10 questions for you. The answers are in front of your eyes, you just need to seek them out. Some questions will have multiple right answers and you must answer them all correctly to be entered to win. There are also lots of chances for bonus entries as well!
I have 2 prizes available. If not for yourself, they also make great gifts, so you can cross off a special someone from your list just in time for Christmas.
Knitters Prize: 1 skein of Hawthorne Fingering weight yarn in the colourway "Rose City", "Knockout Knits" by Laura Nelkin and a purse size bottle of Handmade Luxury Hand Creme in the Celebration scent.
Spinners Prize: Spinner Starter Kit including 4 oz of Corriedale and a maple drop spindle, "The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn" by Brenda Gibson and a 4 oz bottle of SOAK wool wash in the Aquae scent.
*Note: I will take pictures in the daylight on the weekend
You can email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will type your name to the bottom of this post to confirm your entries.
This contest is open to everyone and anyone and I will draw the winners randomly on Monday December 1, 2014 at 6:00pm (Saskatchewan time)
Good luck and thanks for playing!
1) Out of all the spindles I have reviewed, which one has received the highest rating?
2) Most of my handspun skeins are sold at sales I attend but I do have an Etsy shop and one of my favourite skeins was called "Single Malt", how many yards are in this skein?
3) I am working on sheep breed studies, what is the average fleece weight for a Romney sheep?
4) What are the 4 scents I have available in SOAK wool wash?
5) Bankhead is one of my most popular hat patterns. Roughly how many people have made this hat? Bonus entry for those who have knit either Bankhead or Cobblestones themselves.
6) I have done a few tutorials this past year, which sheep breed did I use as a sample in the most recent tutorial?
7) I am showcasing some of my work in the Sherven-Smith Art Gallery soon. When?
8) Have you "Liked" me on Facebook? Easy entry. If you haven't already, please do.
9) I post Daily Inspirations everyday and link these to my Pinterest page. Which one has inspired you the most?
10) What is Knit Natural's slogan?
Bonus entries for sharing this giveaway with your friends. For every referral you get an extra entry for both you AND your friend(s). Please make sure you tell me who notified you of this awesome giveaway.
Amy Anderson (3 Entries)
Carolynne Gould (3 Entries)
Maker:The Clay Sheep
Weight: 43 g / 1.56 oz
Length: 2 1/2" Whorl, 10 1/2" Shaft
Style: Top Whorl
Wood: Polymer Clay Whorl set atop a Red Oak Base and Shaft
Anita from The Clay Sheep has been well known for her amazing polymer clay stitch markers, diz's and orifice hooks. She puts wonderful detail into each item she makes. A few months ago I saw on her Facebook page that she had made a couple spindle prototypes and knew that once they became available I had to give them a try. My spun skein is a rolag from Naturally Knitty.
Currently, these spindles come in 3 sizes; small, medium and large (1 oz, 1.5 oz, 2 oz). I decided on the medium spindle, mostly because its the middle ground and I tend to gravitate towards sport - worsted weight yarns. I also instantly fell in love with the design of the whorl - who wouldn't? The detail is evident right down to the little feet and the curls in the sheep's wool. I also like that because each of these polymer clay whorls are handmade they are also truly one of a kind. If you look at the other spindles with this design, no two are a like. There are different flower colours and different sheep combinations. I also quite like the sky and the colours she used are so vibrant.
The frame around the picture is sterling silver filled wire, and this distributes the weight to the outer rim of the spindle. She has added 2 notches; at 12:00 and 6:00 and they are of a decent depth. The hook is made of Argentium Silver hard tempered wire and it suits the personality of the spindle very well. Its not too thick, or too thin and it lined up my spun yarn exactly in-line with the shaft. The neck is long enough that I can wrap some of the singles around the hook without anything getting in the way. I also found that it is closed enough that when things got a little out of control (on my part not paying attention to the fact that my arms aren't long enough when the spindle reaches the floor) the hook held the yarn securely as I fumbled to grab the flying spindle. This also goes to show the spin time. I am able to spin quite a length of yarn before the spin even slows down. (This is the 3rd place for the longest spinning spindle I have reviewed so far) All in all, with the combination of all the thought and detail that went into the top portion of this spindle, it is VERY well balanced. While spinning, it danced smoothly and effortlessly.
And that's just the top side of the whorl! Underneath, she has engraved the spindle's weight and its number. Mine is already #30. She has also etched her initials. Yet, more detail she hasn't overlooked. I think it's really cool to have numbered spindles, they are works of art. I'm also glad she burnt this information into the wood and didn't use a sharpie.
If you are looking for a really unique, really well handcrafted spindle, then check out what Anita from The Clay Sheep has to offer. Fully functional works of art, and not a single detail overlooked. I can see this spindle becoming one of my favourite, go-to spindles. I am searching through my stash to start a new spinning project on it ASAP. I am SO happy that this spindle is in my collection, I think I may need the other 2 sizes as well :)
I have updated the shop with some more handspun as well as different Spinner Starter Kit Fibres. I will be taking everything with me to Saskatoon next weekend for the first Etsy Made in Canada Day. Its a really cool idea for people who have Etsy shops. On Saturday Sept 27th, there will be pop-up shops happenening all over Canada and I will be participating. If you are in the Saskatoon area, come see my yarns and handmade items up close. I will be at Le Relais (103 - 308 4th Ave N) from 10 - 5. Hope to see you there!
Maker: 3G Woodworks
Weight: 49 g / 1.72 oz
Length: 9 1/4" Shaft
Style: Top Whorl
Woods: Amboyna Burl Whorl, Walnut Shaft
I will admit this spindle was an impulse buy. The burl wood caught my eye and I HAD to have it, without knowing anything about them.
My sample is BFL/Silk (75/25) in the colourway "Renaissance Fair" from Littlest Lamb Boutique. The skein is 20 yards of n-plyed yarn.
Let's get right down to the obvious - the whorl is absolutely stunning. Chaos and little storms are spinning within this wood and you can't help but become mesmerized.
There is a nice deep notched at the 9:00 position and its wonderful because it holds your fibre, no matter what thickness you are spinning.
The underbelly of the whorl has been carved out to push the weight to the outside without taking much of the guts out. As you check out the spin time below, this spindle has the longest spin time so far of any spindle reviewed this year. Even longer than the Golding!! That alone may be a major reason for you to look towards these spindles for your next purchase. The weight of the spindle has been engraved into the underside of the whorl, it has been done neatly and the writing isn't too large.
One downside of the whorl is its thickness at 1/2". The wood used is very lightweight so that's not a huge deal breaker for this particular spindle but another, more dense wood might change this from a 1.72 oz spindle to a boat anchor.
The hook is very dainty and quite nice. No cup hooks here. It is well centered, balanced and glued in tightly. If you happen to drop this spindle and bend the hook, it would be a breeze to re-align. The depth of the hook is also just right, not too shallow and not too long.
I bought this spindle 4 years ago and it was under $30 including shipping. When I think of 3G Woodworks, their use of interesting woods comes to mind. They use really cool combinations and rare woods that are hard to find. These spindles may surprise you. They are on the heavier side but would make wonderful plying spindles and the slower spin makes spinning longwools that don't need a lot of twist much easier. This is also a great travel spindle because you can throw it in your bag or basket and know that it can hold its own. It's hefty but also a hardworker.
Length of spin: 38.3 seconds!!! (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: Very, very good
Overall Rating: 8.0/10
3G Woodworks aren't as well known as many other spindle makers but don't let that deter you. You may surprise yourself with these spinners. I've kept it in my collection and not only because of its beautiful whorl but it is a great spindle for beginners, its dependable and I can spin thicker yarns on it and maximize yardage at the same time.
Today's shop update is for a wonderful blend of Merino/Bamboo & Nylon. This is a nice, 3 ply worsted weight yarn that will work for both men and women. Click the picture above to be taken to the listing.
For the past several weeks I have been doing a "Daily Inspiration" segment on my Facebook page. These are pictures of projects, patterns, cute animals, or really neat things I come across on a daily basis that have given me inspiration. You should check them out if you haven't yet. I may have included something of yours that has inspired me. I also add them to my Daily Inspiration Pinterest board, which you can follow as well. Keep up the good work people, there are so many cool and creative things all around us!
When my friend Susie asked me to do a review of Turkish spindles, I wasn't sure what I was going to write about because there are so many good things about them. We narrowed it down to pros and cons, and why I chose the ones I did, so here we go.
I have to say that out of all my drop spindles I tend to reach for my Turkish spindles first.
Pro: The reason being is their portability when traveling in and around the city, I can easily stash one in my purse, or in my knitting bag to spin with when I get the chance.
Con: My other spindles get left at home and ignored.
I have traveled with my spindles as well, further then the city limits of course, in the car, and by plane, and my Turkish spindles were what I took with me.
Pro: When they do not have a cop on them, they come apart easily for storage in a small space.
Con: those little pieces, when the spindle is taken apart can be misplaced or lost in transit
Pro: Because of the half hitch you use to hold your yarn you have just spun to the spindle, there is less of a chance of your spindle dropping and rolling under your seat.
Con: some people find it hard to produce a half hitch.
Pro: they are their own fiber storage tool
Con: occasionally, depend on the fiber, it does get caught if you wrap it to tight.
Before I get into which spindles I have, I will say that I am not affiliated with either of the companies that I chose to by my spindles from. I am just a happy customer.
I have 3 different sizes of Turkish spindles, tiny, small and medium, as compared to other spindles not only in the market but also in the vendors I chose to purchase from. My Tiny Turkish is from Jenkins; it’s called a Kuchulu. I picked it up second hand from one of my friends who had bought it and decided it was too small for her. The reason I picked it was because of its size, and because it was cute, it is easy to spin lace or cobweb yarn with this size, and I can fit quite a lot on it when it’s wrapped properly. My other Jenkins Turkish is called a Delight, and it is 3rd in their scale of smallest to largest. I picked this size because any larger, and my hands would get fatigued easier, and I wanted to be able to spin for longer periods of time. Jenkins spindles come in 7 different sizes/weights, all of which have a name for their size.
My other 2 Turkish spindles are from Threads Thru Time. They have beautiful color combos for their spindles, and their spindles come in small, medium and large. I chose a small, and a medium, for weight and portability.
I probably use my Medium TTT Turkish the most, as it fits about 2oz of fiber on it when its spun and wrapped nicely, which is great for spinning a larger amount of fiber because you have fewer cops to deal with at the end if your going to ply them This one travels with me to my husband’s soccer games.
Overall the spindles that I have chosen make me happy. I can spin on them all, they are easy to use, and when it comes time to ply, you have wonderful center-pulled balls/cops ready for you to ply from!
Lindsay is a crafting fanatic. She is very creative and does amazing work in all aspects of her art.
You can find more about her and what shes working on at her
Blog: Entirely Crafty
She is hosting a Giveaway for one of her awesome project bags at the moment, so be sure to "Like" her facebook page
or you can check out her wonderful handmade items in her
Shops: Sewn By Lindsay
Sway Tree Soaps
Behold the Twisty Stick
Maker: Cats Paw Fibres
Weight: 0 g / 1/8 oz
Length: 9" Shaft
Woods: Ancient Kelethin Wood
Hey! Keep reading, you may surprise yourself with this one...
Not only is this a wonderful way to teach a new spinner the concept of spinning but you can practice both drafting and twisting without worrying about:
- Dropping your spindle
- Adding too much twist too quickly
- Letting your twist enter your fibre supply
and really just getting to see the processes involved with making yarn.
First grab a bit of fibre and hook your twisty stick onto it. Start turning the stick in your hands which will in turn add twist to your fibre. Pull your hands apart slowly and draft out a small amount while still turning your twisty sick in your other hand. As you watch, you can see the twist entering your fibre supply and your yarn getting stronger. The more twist you add the stronger your yarn (but don't add too much)
The wood on the shaft of this spindle is a little rough but that is perfect for this particular tool because you want the wood to have some grip when you are turning it in your hands. If the wood was too smooth, your yarn will slide around (to start) and you may not get as many rotations in as a less smooth shaft would provide.
My favourite of this spindle is the bottom of the shaft. It is a beautiful shade of royal blue. It was obviously put there by the detailed hand of a painter. I believe it is an oil paint made with Lazurite used during the Renaissance. Ok, maybe not.
This is a very light spindle, so I can spin very fine yarns with it. If I wanted to make thicker yarns, no problem, I just don't draft as much. If your arm gets tired, you can switch to rolling the spindle on your leg. These is evidence of these types of spindles used in Scandinavia and in "The Big Book of Handspinning" by Alden Amos, he gives instructions on how to make a couple different versions of the Twisty Stick. These are great tools which can be made very inexpensively and you might even find a twisty stick in your neighborhood.
Length of spin: Indeterminate
Fibre storage ability: Unbelievably good!
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
This would make a very nice gift to anyone who wants to learn how to spin or those who like to sit down while spinning. I am very proud to have this wonderful tool in my collection.
Wow, Fibre Week once again was a dream. I attended the whole week and it went without any problems at all. Lots of fun and I met lots of new, cool people and got to see smiling familiar faces too. Where do I start?
I traveled with two amazing women; Deb Behm and Coleen Nimetz. Lucky me, because I got to converse with experts in the fibre field, learn and laugh all the way to Olds. Deb, taught Master Spinners Level 1 this year and had a very full class. She taught me how to spin and has been my mentor ever since. If you are looking to read up on her, you can check her blog and she also has an article on twist published in the most recent Ply magazine. Coleen, who usually teaches Level 6 and is one, if not the one, of the leading experts on silk in North America. She also has lots of recent articles published in several magazines including Ply, Spin-Off and more (check them out).
The first few days were spent getting settled and pouring over my books (and maybe checking the market). The Wool Show was on monday and I was getting very excited anticipating the whole thing. I judged 44 fleeces in several different classes. Since this is the 3rd year I have helped out or have been involved in the Wool Show, I had an idea of the types of breeds I would find there but cross breeds always force me to think just a little bit harder and there was one fleece in particular that made me laugh to myself because it was such a mix; it was a Romanov, Suffolk, Cotswold, Jacob cross. So, that means its a primitive breed, that is double coated, which also has characteristics of down breeds AND long wools. Yeah. It made the cogs in my head turn a little more then they are used to. It was a lovely fleece and it won a first place ribbon in its class. There were beautiful Shetland fleeces, Dorset, Corriedale, Jacob and BFL. Cotswold, Arcott, Suffolf, Tunis, Cheviot and crosses of each and every one in between. My friend Val Fiddler from Wooly Wool of the West and co-coordinator of the sheep show at The Grasslands Sheep Exhibition in Drake won Grand Champion for her BFL fleece! So if you are looking for some really good fleeces you know where to turn. She also has Black Welsh, Corriedale, Cotswold and more in her flock.
There was a Cotswold fleece from Manitoba producer Gerry Oliver, that was absolutely stunning. It scored only a one mark less than the BFL pictured above. When I flipped the fleece over to look at its lustre, the people in the audience gasped at its shine! Below is a gallery of pictures from the show and the auction. Sorry about the poor quality of some of them, the fluorescent lighting in the building wasn't ideal for photos.
The auction is always a very stressful time. My hands were shaking by the end of it and I wasn't even bidding on anything! You can see the love for fibre right here and I did enjoy seeing some very excited faces once the time was called.
Once the show was over I got to relax a bit. As some of you know, Kim from The Wacky Windmill and her lovely minion Donna were there. Two of my favourite people <3 I got to spend lots of time with them, especially Donna and I hovered around their booth for the majority of the time the market was open. I came home with a couple items; Alpaca/Merino/Silk in the "Kiss This" colourway, Merino/Cashmere/Silk "Remember That Time..." (luxury!) and a skein of superwash Merino in "The Hollow" colourway which I won in one of Kim's KAL's recently. I also coudn't go home without some Painted Desert yarn from Pam's Wooly Shoppe, a travel niddy noddy and some fabric from"The Quilting Bee" (in the town of Olds) which I have no clue what I will do with it. Every year students receive a fibre week tote, that is different every year. Donna also made me this lovely project bag which had a lavendar sachet and handmade lavendar soap inside! Have I ever mentioned how wonderful Donna is?
I may have also come home with a Suffolk X fleece..... maybe
I read an article about a spinning wheel collection donated to the Olds Museum and had to go check it out while I was there. Donna and I went and saw over 45 wheels that had belonged to a man who's goal was to open a museum with them. Among all the very unique and cool wheels were also over 20 drum carders, distaffs, mirrors, spinning wheel parts and also his anvil collection and other oddities. It is quite amazing all the different styles of wheels he had, in all shapes and sizes. Many of them still work including one that had been charred in a fire. There were a couple wheels on display during Fibre Week at the college. All of these wheels are being restored and photographed by a professional photographer and will be put up for auction in the very near future. Some of them are already being added to the museums website and if you are looking to purchase any of these wheels, you can find out all the information you need here. Click on the pictures in the gallery below to get a sneak peak on what wheels will be available.
As usual there are always social events in the evenings and I attended all of them. There was a pub night on Monday, Spin-in on Tuesday and the Fashion Show on Wednesday followed the Fleece and Silent Auctions. An item of Deb's that was in the show was her handspun/handkint cotton sweater which was featured in one of Kate Larson's articles in Spin-Off. Zach Webster, who is the new Program Co-ordinator even tried his hand at spinning during the Spin-In. Looks like he loved it.
I did get my spinning projects finished while I was there. I spun 5 skeins; Shetland, SW Merino/Nylon, Corriedale, Romney and SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. I will be listing these skeins for sale in my shop if you are interested.
And what would a blog post about Olds College be without several beautiful photos of the campus grounds? Enjoy
And while I was in the wetlands, there were other photographers there taking pictures, look at this amazing one!
On the last day of Fibre Week, there was a plant sale. How could we say no? If you've ever thought about attending, I strongly suggest you come next year. Fibre Week 2015 will be June 19 - 26, see everyone again next year!!
Believe the hype...
Maker: Bristlecone Artisian Heirlooms
Weight: 29 g / 1 oz
Length: 10.5" Shaft
Woods: Hawaiian Koa
My 21 yard sample is BFL wool in the colourway "Lucrezia" by Shadawyn Fibre Arts.
Glindle = glass/spindle, behold its beauty
These one-of-a-kind spindles are highly sought after and for good reason. They are both pretty AND spin like a dream. Each focal is unique and jaw-dropping amazing. The Bristlecone shop is only updated a few times a year and when it is the spindles are sold in seconds. If you are looking for one, you can post an ISO (In Search Of) on Ravelry, which might be your best bet and that was the way I was able to acquire this spindle. My lucky stars must have been shining that day.
This particular focal is very mysterious and was hard to capture with my camera. I find these spindles spin best in a glass or pottery bowl and there is a b s o l u t l e y no wobble with this one. Glindles feel very comfortable in your hands and the sound they produce when the glass is spinning in a bowl makes it sound like its singing
I'm very careful when storing this Glindle and always put it away when not in use and protect the end with a piece of plastic tubing. With that said, I'm not so afraid of breaking this spindle to not use it at any given moment. Its very well made and I have heard the customer support is wonderful in the case of an unfortunate accident. These spindles were made to be used and once you spin with one, you won't want to put it down.
The shaft is completely smooth and makes the grain shine like gold. It is tapered enough to spin off of yet its not so pointy that it may split. Your eyes will be drawn to the detailing near the focal which is the perfect resting place for the gem of the spindle. This focal changes colour depending on the light and I have seen, red, gold, green and orange (it's very warming) The tip is smooth and the roundish shape of the focal helps keep the spindle spinning for a long time. The detail and thought put into these spindles is astounding.
Glindles are the Cadillac of support spindles and heirloom pieces. You can't help but smile while spinning on one and they are the reason many people get into support spindling. They are a huge addition to any collection and if you don't want to take my word for it, just check out their large following on Ravelry and don't forget to add your ISO to the list and don't be offended when others laugh at your request. You are not alone, they too are in search of Glindles themselves.
Length of spin: 22.8 seconds (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: Excellent
Overall Rating: 10/10
Fully functional works of art. These are the best of the best. Worth every penny.