Loomy Thoughts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hoooly cow!

I did not realize it had been so long since I last made a blog post!

I had been mostly spinning after that last post, but hadn't bought any new wheels and probably not new spindles either (whew!), though I have bought more fiber (yikes!).  Oh I take that back - I bought a lap charkha, but barely got started on it before I fell down the new hole.

I've fallen down the music hole. :-)  I grew up making music but it had gotten put on the way far back burner for many many years, but a couple of years ago I bought my first guitar and started teaching myself using the Justin Guitar website - thanks to Justin I got a good start and kept going for a bit.  Until.... 

I fell into the ukulele craze.  I found a local-ish monthly meetup that is a blast, and ended up in a performance group as well.  I barely touch my guitars now, because I need a lot of practice for the performance group (even though uke-playing is a lot easier than guitar-playing), but I'm also just starting to add a tiny bit of banjo, really-basic harmonica and melodica-learning to my repertoire (I had a toy melodica as a child - I was so surprised to see it is a 'real' instrument!).  And the price finally dropped on the bass recorder I've been wanting forever - I already know how to play but haven't been able to find a regular time to play that too.

Hopefully I will be able to free up some time to get back to spinning soon - I need to work down my stash some so I can get some of it off the floor.  Between the all the fibery stuff and my practice space - it's really crowded in that room.  Plus I miss spinning.  I still have the Sky Scarf sitting on the loom and need to finish that off as well (wow, how time just totally disappears!).

Time to sort out that room again, and drag out a wheel!

Monday, March 17, 2014

How about that.

A second post in a month! :-)  Mainly because I want to show off my latest find:

It's a clock reel!  I haven't cleaned it yet, but just spend some time looking it over.  It has the olde square nails, so I'd say it's definitely an antique, though I have no idea of it's age.  The bottom shows tool marks and is rather rough, but with a nice beveled edge:
That's a square nail holding the upright post in place.

The gears look generally ok:

and I can feel the popper 'clicker' (the popper is the long piece of wood):

Since I just got it home I haven't had a chance to see when it pops, if it does - but it should.  Thankfully I found a blog called Full Chisel Blog, written by a restorer of old things (including spinning wheels!) and he has some pictures of old reels on there, including one that looks much like mine.  (Interestingly, the current post is about restoring a Norwegian double-table wheel. When restored it looks so much like my Polonaise - including color - that I did a double-take!)

One thing that is probably missing, is either a hand for the clock, or a clock face.  It looks to me like there was something covering this entire circular area:

I think this 'ball' is for securing the end of the yarn, though I don't know as I've not seen any pics of reels that have this:
It looks like most of the repairs will be involving gluing the box back together, and conditioning the wood (and regluing that ball!).  DH had a few of those old nails in the shop so I may be able to replace the one that is missing from the top lid.

And in going over this clock reel, I'm wondering again if my skeinwinder is really a clock reel.  It has a popper on the side (at least I can't figure out what else that would be used for), perhaps since the upright is solid wood the gears were external on the back?  That kinda looks like a pointer on the top dowel, and it looks like it is supposed to go around. I need to pay attention next time I'm twirling it around.

In spinning news, I've actually been spinning on the Babe Production.  It's been awhile!

This is the first half of a spin-along, and it's undyed New Zealand Halfbred.  Lovely to spin!  The second half is dyed, and there are also mohair locks that I've been trying to figure out what to do with.

I've also been spinning on the Babe Bulky Pinkie!  That's been even longer, I think I started this Falkland two years ago!
I keep this wheel at my Mom's house, and often don't think of spinning on her when I'm there as I usually have spindles along.  I finished the first half of the top this time, and as quickly as that went *if* I keep at it I should have it ready to ply in two more trips.

Speaking of spindles:
The fiber isn't actually that bright, but that was the best photo I could get.  It's a beautiful top from Unwind Yarn Company, one of her unrepeatable (drat!) Kaleidoscope batts.  I had started it on a different spindle, but these Hipstrings zephyr spindles suit me much better. :-)

No weaving has been done since my last post, but hopefully this week I'll get back to the Sky Scarf. :-)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

A long delayed update

It seems as though it was just last week that I made a post; time seems to be going faster and faster these days!

I've been concentrating mostly on wheel-spinning lately, trying to get some older projects finished.  I've been spinning on the Polonaise a lot lately, trying to get through that blue fluff. :-)  I finally had enough to ply this weekend, but still have a good chunk of it to spin. 

I'm plying on the Babe Production because she has huge bobbins - that's 8.1 ounces on one plying bobbin!
Still lots of fluff to spin though - apparently I bought more than I realized.

I finally got around to whipping up an oil bottle holder for the skinny oil bottles Kromski sends with their wheels:
Now maybe I won't keep misplacing my oil.

And I've been finishing off some spinning:
The upper left skein is a gradient single that's slightly overspun.  I'm debating running it back through the wheel to take a bit of the twist out.  Currently the plan is for it to become a Citron shawl.  The next one down is also a gradient, but I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet (nor the others - though the upper right art yarn may become a cowl).

It's been so gloomy here that I broke down and bought some bright fiber to spin!
Except for that dark one. :-)  Those are all from KnittyandColor on Etsy - she is a wonderful dyer!

I also got over 4 ounces of silk top to spin from a different dyer - that is a lot of silk.
It's as beautiful as the photo looks, and I did a test spin on one of my Woodland Woodworking spindles:
I might have to spin this silk on a wheel though - not sure I can get through 4 ounces of silk on spindles.  At least any faster than about 10 years!

I've finally gotten back to weaving on the Sky Scarf.  July is done, and I would have started on August but I was concentrating on spinning the blue fluff above.  Hopefully I will get around to working on it this week.

Oh I also crocheted a Bandito cowl:
It's a little stiff as I was using Bernan Denimstyle, I kept going up in hook size but really needed an even bigger hook.  I'll probably be wearing it tomorrow though as we've got wind chill warnings again!

That's about all I can think of now.  I'll definitely try to keep this up a bit more often!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Guess what I found this weekend?

I found her in the same place I found the oak Reeves a couple of years ago. :-)  She's pretty large (22" wheel), and looks like she was built for flax or lace spinning - small orifice, small flyer hooks, plus there was still flax in the distaff. :-)  I'll probably not keep her, and the plan is to get her into a spinner's hands eventually.

Let's see, what else have I been up to....  I went to the relatively-local spin-in a couple of weeks ago and of course spent too much, but had a great time.  I picked up some fiber:

and a spinning bowl and fae house from The Dancing Goats (they had a lot of gorgeous stuff!):

I figured out plying with a spindle:

so finally got a bunch of small samples plyed. :-)

And did lots of spinning - I have projects on every wheel again (just a really small sample on the new wheel though) and need to get some of them finished.  I've made a big dent in spinning samples on spindles, and hopefully soon I'll get back to the larger spindle projects.

I haven't made any further progress on weaving the Sky Scarf, as it looks like I'm about out of warp.  A couple of my weavy friends suggested taking the first 6 months off the loom and re-warping, because otherwise this would be a *really* long scarf.  But I need to find my project sheet for this to refresh my memory as to how long it is now.

My buddy telling me what he things of the new kitchen floor:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Wow this summer has gone by fast.  Let me see if I can remember what I've been up to - I've been concentrating more on my exercise routines so I haven't accomplished much.

I did get out to the woodshop to turn an experimental spindle style in late May/early June:

I think I like the general style, but it's on the heavy side so it's a slooow spinner. :-) 

I did the May weaving on the Sky Scarf (right now I'm only halfway through June :-/):

Instead of doing the Tour de Fleece this year I did the Relaxacon in Ravelry's Spindle Candy group, which was much more my speed. :-)  So I did some spindle spinning:

I made some good progress on these spindles, but it doesn't look like much. :-)  I also bought a few spindles during and after, but I didn't too badly, especially as I didn't buy any fiber for me the whole time (pats self on back):

And I've actually been doing a tiny bit of spinning on my tiny Russian.  It's not the best spindle ever, but it came off the lathe long before I was done shaping it so I have hopes for the next one:

Also I'm shopping for a new floor for the kitchen - that's definitely using up a lot of energy.

To end on a fluffy note:


Thursday, May 23, 2013

How did it get to be May already???

I meant to post long before now.  Let's see if I can remember what I've been up to....

Oh I finished the Wisp scarf!

I'm still weaving on my Sky Scarf as well - just finished April. :-D

I've done some sewing.  I made a walker bag for my mom's walker:

I even appliqued her initials on the other side! :-)  Which is a good thing as a new resident of the nursing home has a smaller tote from the same fabric. :-/

I also made a spinning lap cloth:

It's just a bunch of fat quarters sewn together.  Of course the fabric shifted while I was sewing so it's not completely flat, but it works.  It *really* helps with the black I'm spinning right now.

Oh and I stumbled upon a Singer Featherweight in the local antique store!  It's in rough shape as it had gotten wet (so it was somewhat affordable), but a lot of oil got her running again and now I'm giving her a thorough cleaning (sorry about the mess):

I haven't started on the outside yet, but she sews pretty well now!

I haven't done much spinning, though I've been buying spindles like there is no tomorrow. :-/  I'll have to get some group photos.

I also haven't been doing much woodturning; I made another heart spindle but that was in March I think.  I'm hoping to get out to the woodshop this weekend though.

And my latest fascination is fountain and dip pens, so I bought some for my birthday present to me :

I *really* like the fountain pen on the left (Pilot Pelikan iirc *EDIT* - it's actually a Pilot Plumix).  So of course I had to buy a writing desk (because I really needed more furniture ;-) ):

It looks really good there!   And once I get the back back on the hutch I can start putting pretties up there. :-)

And I was scolded for not including a picture of a hound (or 3) in my last post, so here are the boys 'sharing' a ball:

LabGirl had surgery in April to remove a mass on her hip, and despite many many tests the university vets still don't know it was but they're not calling it 'cancer' so that's a good thing. And she seems fine. :-D

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's been a long, long time...

I kind of took a break from most crafting, even spinning.  I've been getting back to it lately though.

I'm still turning spindles, plus I made a darning mushroom on Friday.  It's a bit on the small side because that was the largest blank I had, but it's kind of cute!

Though it's poplar, so part of it was turning green before I got some Danish oil on it.

I even tried reproducing an antique Sami drop spindle:

The stone whorl comes off, and I made it so it will work as a supported spindle as well.  As a supported it works really well without the whorl. :-)  There is another antique Scandinavian spindle I want to reproduce but it will probably be awhile before I get to it.

I also created another supported spindle:

My friend calls it "Spinner's Heart", as the whorl is supposed to be shaped as a heart.  I need to work on the shaping a bit more, but it's a nice spindle - surprisingly zippy. :-)

I've been knitting a bit, this is a Wisp scarf:

I've made a lot of mistakes while knitting it, but I don't think they will be too obvious.

I also started a new weaving project - a Sky Scarf!  This is January:

I'm really behind on it though, I haven't woven on it since the last day of February so I have a lot to catch up on!  It's a really fun weave though!

Oh and DH got me a new camera for Christmas, so the pictures on the blog should be better now.  It's a bit fancy for me though! :-) 

Hopefully I will get back to blogging a bit more regularly. ::fingers crossed::