Homestead Faire 2016

One of my favorite places, nearby, to visit is Homestead Heritage. It is just north of Waco and they demonstrate and sell so many of what many today consider old fashion crafts and a way of living that is closer to nature. Each year on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving they have a faire and demonstrate more than any one person can see in a day. Plus have lots for sale. You only pay for a parking pass to get in (cheaper bought ahead of time online) and then you can attend all the seminars, workshops, and demonstrations for free though there are quite a few things that you can pay to do and lots of food and items to buy.

Last year we went on a most miserable day. As in cold, rainy really miserable. They actually for the first time repeated the event the following weekend because the first one was quite so miserable. This year I headed north by myself to attend and stay as long as I wanted. I drove through a gully washer getting there and prayed that the weather app was right and things would be very clear by noon.

One place I always check out is the weaving and spinning booth in the craft barn to see what is for sale and drool heavily. This year I was caught by the potholders. Remember making them as a child? Well, they have come a long way with different sizes of looms. I have always loved color and weave patterns and the array of different patterns in them was a wonder to look through. There were two different places with them so lots to see. Made me want to dig out my loom and cut up some socks and try some of the patterns.

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The tags have the name of the young person who made them and their age

I also got a quick look at a sheepdog working hard. Actually, I was hurrying between seminars so didn’t stay long but it was interesting for a short moment.

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Picture taken at a distance so not real sharp.

I also watched a flax demonstration. They have gotten flax to grow and a young gal had some that she then showed the processes that are involved with making linen thread. She used the retted flax and showed simply the steps to turn it into thread and had a bag to show the end process. The funny bit at this was the people that were interested in it and knew nothing so were asking some good questions and learning. I didn’t learn anything new, though enjoyed seeing the different color of the flax between pond and dew retted.

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Flax that has been dew retted and pond retted. If I remember right the cream colored is the pond retted.

I also got to watch rope being made with sisal, again if I remember right it was an 80 foot long station here. I wanted to jump in and take over a bit of the discussion as the guy doing it knew how to make rope, but couldn’t tell why the twist stayed or what was really going on with it. I enjoy watching rope making as the principles are the same as spinning and yes, I do understand the magic of the twist and what is happening. Guess some minds just want to know more of why of what they are doing and what is happening.

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Still setting up the sisal before the twisting starts happening.

One of my favorite demonstrations was the apple press. I actually learned a bit there that was quite interesting and since my favorite snack was some hot apple cider and apple cider donut (SOOOOOO yummy) it was fun to watch it happen.

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Young boy turning handle breaking up apples. Young man pressing apples with cider running into a bucket behind the trash can.

I listened and took notes in seminars on sustainable gardening, alternative energy, chickens, and planning a homestead. Loved the day despite rain in morning and so very cold all day. Would love to go back today but need to get things done here instead. So of course, I’m sitting here typing instead of working. OK, off to work now.

 

Categories: Fiber, Spinning, Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning to Spin

Yes, I learned to spin a few years ago. Have you noticed that learning to spin and mastering all it has takes more than a few years? I feel like I could be spinning the rest of my life and still feel like a beginner.

But what does one do with all those beginning spinning yarns? Most are just small bits. Just a few ounces of fluff that you turned into a semblance of yarn. So they continued to accumulate in baskets and on shelves and soon you wonder what will happen to them. Something needs to happen.

Then one day you are looking at your Zoom Loom and realize you have the perfect tool for using up little bits of homespun. So you start weaving away and start gathering lots of little squares of all colors. What next?

Mine went into a cape. I laid them out in different patterns on the floor, many different times, and eventually came up with a pattern for the back that worked well with what I had so far. (Picture long gone but did take one for when I started putting it together when I had a pattern I liked.) Then started down the front. Alas, as this was a work in progress and depended on what was spun it ended up with a not so evenly pattern on front, but then that is kind of what kind of project this was. What was at hand is what went into it. So the best of the early learning to spin yarn became a new cape.

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The back

The original back idea, that was approved by me, got shortened by a row because of wanting more for the front of certain colors. I now wish I hadn’t changed that and had kept the original back pattern. Alas too late for that change. I am not taking it apart to change anything! I do still like its symmetry. I even remember many of those yarns and their spinning. Some from the very beginning and some further down in time. I do like the thick squares best for looks despite the fact they are so hard to weave the last couple of rows.

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The front

Of course after such a nice pattern on the back I was left with leftovers for the front. There is more of a pattern from the top coming down that then somewhat goes its own way and did its own thing. I don’t dislike it but looking at it on a small scale in a picture, I see where I would now switch some of the squares around and place them in different spots.

I will say though that some of those squares are really nice and some aren’t so very nice. Still blaming it on that early learning curve. The wonder is that I can see where I’ve been and where I’m at now in spinning.

That is quite a fancyish crochet border around it. Two rows done on the same level one in front of the other.  I think this border would look much nicer in a very thin crochet thread on something nice a bit delicate. But it does give it the bulk it needs for what it is.

So Learning to Spin is complete and I do still have several bits of early spinning that is cream colored in a basket. They all look really sad compared to these. Need to dye them and find something to do with them now.

I did post a bit on this project while still not finished at Then and Now Spinning.

 

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A Hat Declared Done Revisited

I have discovered the pictures that I knew I had taken when I went to record my hat that I wove at A Hat Declared Done. I knew I had them. I hunted all over this computer but to no avail. Then yesterday I realized I had several pictures still on my phone that went that far back. Alas, my computer and phone refuse to communicate right now. Two problems have developed because of this and are driving me crazy trying to figure out but… I can email the pictures to me and have done that this morning, so now I want to show how the hat was done. The pictures aren’t great but at least I have a record.

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The pattern for the warp

First you take this pattern and enlarge it to fit your head. Alas, I’ve known for some time that I have a large head. I can’t wear my husband’s hats. Hmmm… I would have never guessed but I have had a time enlarging this just right. But here went another try and from the pattern side you can see that the underpart is warped. The dotted lines show where the warp goes on the backside of this.

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Started weaving

Once it is all warped then you start weaving. It is going around and around until you have it packed to please you. Now do not look too close at this because I didn’t realize it at the time that I had caught some of the threads and guess what? Yes, one should just tear it all apart if you do that. Guess how I know? Yes, I worked with it since I was already going, but without details, it can be bad and a lot more work when done.

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Top of hat finished weaving

So here I am done with weaving, so now to turn the poster board over and start on the shorter brim area to weave it.

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Weaving the underside of the beret.

Once you have the top packed to please you, then you turn it over and do the same with the underside of the beret. You can see here that I found that the long needle from my Zoom Loom works great for weaving as you can pick up quite a few warp threads at a time.

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Sam gets to appear again. Love this picture.

So here it is done again and sitting on my ever patient with mom, Sam. I really would love to find the book I got this idea out of again. It was an off loom weaving book and I wish I had it again.

Oh and by the way, I have another hat, woven with my handspun alpaca, downstairs just washed and drying. Guess what? It is way too big for this head this time. Guess I will crochet another round on it again and try to tighten it up. Should I give up matching this head. I have had four misses now. I wonder if some of it is the fiber. As I didn’t enlarge it very much between these two.

 

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Hat Declared Done

I should have recorded this hat sooner but as it has been a bear, I have put it off. You see, I won this yarn as a door prize at a guild meeting, but it refused to be turned into anything. I tried a couple projects that died almost as soon as they started. This was a thick thin yarn of variety of color and looks like types of wool. In my book not a cohesive whole. So it laid about for a year, two, three, who knows how long but way too long. And yes, it has been in the plural of the word year.

Then I decided that it would probably work in the beret pattern that you use poster board for the loom. I had forgotten, I had taken pictures of the weaving until just now. So am stopping to find them. Yes, even getting this thing finished now has taken too long. This yarn really hates me. …. OK. I’m back and though I distinctly remember taking pictures of the process of making this hat, I can’t find them anywhere on this computer. Frustrating but just know that they weren’t great pictures.

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Hat sitting on the first bear Mark bought for me.

Anyway, there is a pattern that you punch holes on poster board and then weave in the warp threads through the holes according to the pattern. When done you then weave as normal around the circle on top and on bottom of poster. After it is stuffed with weft, you then tear out the poster board and have a hat with the top crown and then a turn under. Then you can finish off the bottom by crocheting around it.

Despite this being the third time I’ve made one of these, I still can’t seem to make one large enough for me to actually wear. This one is larger and before the crochet just about fit. But my head is just too big – which my husband would probably have a comment at that point.

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Sam an unwilling model.

Well, to continue the dreary drama. I can’t get a decent picture today of it. Maybe its because I’m doing this instead of what I need to be doing. Or this yarn really is jinxed. But anyway, here is an unwilling Sam, who tried his best to not be mom’s model, but the poor boy is quite picturesque and takes wonderful pictures. Which is odd as his sister is the prettier dog but doesn’t take too many pretty pictures. But I digress. Here is the hat on a living being. Not a perfect fit for a head at all but it does sit there nicely if he isn’t moving.

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A top view

I tried to get a good picture of the colors that are in this yarn and hat. Alas, if there is more daylight it looks white in the light areas and with the dull light inside it looks still washed out. It is a prettyish purplish with spots of green and lavender and very dark purplish yarn. Anything that looks very light in the picture above is actually more lavender and lilac.

So it is done and I can’t wear it. Hmmm… To a box it will go till a time that it finds a new home.

Oh, and if anyone reading this is aware of the book the pattern came from, I’d love to find it again. It was an off-loom weaving book I found at the library about ten years ago now. But this one used poster board for the loom. Rather ingenious method to get the top and then it to curve under. Wish I had the pictures of the process but will be doing another one so will do better about saving the pictures next time.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Romantic Morning in the Country

I do have projects going but nothing at the moment to add to my memories as far as they go. But the last two mornings, I took the camera out with me on morning chores and thought I would share the romantic mornings I have. Now of course I am using that word “romantic” half tongue in check. It is work and getting out early and mucking out and stuff. But all in all, I really love my mornings outside with all the animals.

My first job is to get feed out for Candy and Mani. Without a word to me my dear husband joined Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. I found out the day he told me we could be fostering horses by that evening. Well, despite an initial OH DEAR ME OH MY?! I immediately went online and bought a couple of books and got ready for them. We both have ridden many times – but actually care for them? Another ballgame. We soon had Candy dropped off to us (not the same day as I learned of this venture, thankfully) and a bit later then came Thor to join us. This past weekend was the big adoption expo. Thor was adopted by a family who does train horses which is good for him. He was beyond our means to know how to handle. Candy, though, refused to get in the trailer to go and as Mark had wanted to adopt her since the first day she came, she got to stay and is officially ours now. At the end of the expo we had another horse dropped off to foster. A sweetheart named Mani (hate the name though) who is 21 years old. Has a leg problem so can’t be ridden but makes a great companion. So Candy is not alone now. (She didn’t handle Thor leaving well at all.)

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Mani and some hens

As the early hours begin I go and get feed out for them and soon after, the door of the chicken coop opens and the hens start scattering about in the direction of the horses. They have learned that horses drop a bit of food and it is good scavangering under their feeding. Neither horse is bothered by them, and they are smart enough to move when the horses do.

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Sun just rising over the upper paddock.

Now I get out there before the sun is actually over the edge of our property. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t up for the area though. We are in a small dip and from up above the sun is well on its way with the day. I do enjoy seeing it come up in cloud, fog, clear mornings. Yesterday was foggy but today all clear.

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Candy finished eating and waiting on Mani

So at this time the horses are fed, the chickens are free ranging. I’ve counted hens. Looked over horse. Mucked out what needed mucked out where they eat. And I have turned on the hose to fill the trough that is at the barn. This trough isn’t just for horses and heifers though. I think the hens use it more than the waterer at their coop.

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After a long night it is time for a drink.

The hens do provide lots of entertainment around here and if you don’t have any, you should get some. Many cities allow backyard hens and if I was back in a city, I would have some, though since we free range I’d feel sorry for them being stuck in a small area. These guys travel and have fun while doing it. Always something going on. Well, unless it is still a hot Texas fall (Fall where did you go? I would really like some cool to cold weather.) and they roost in the big bushes during the afternoons.

I might add though that this trough has become a frog nursery. There are millions, evangelistically speaking, baby ones all around here. I actually think home is underneath it as it sits a bit crooked.

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One of the big ones.

Just yesterday I actually saw larger ones than the tiny ones. So here is one I got a picture of. When we clean out the trough and surroundings, I hope it discourages them a bit.

Back to farm animals, the heifers soon came over and joined us. They don’t beg for food in the mornings anymore since they only get extra in the afternoons, but this morning they came in close (Spooking the horses once.) and decided they needed to eat some of the hay that is available. Yes, we are dry and the pastures are a bit sparser than I’d like to see them. We will probably need to get hay soon.

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Why are you disturbing breakfast?

The five heifers are doing well. They mostly are still laying about in the early morning but sometimes get with the job of eating before I leave for the house.

After all is done at the barn, I put everything back and head for the chicken coop. Fun to watch the chickens around the wood pile. This must be one of their best opportunities for critter eating. They spend a lot of time here and that is fine by me. I like the idea that they’ve taken care of anything before I go up those stairs.

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King of the Mountain

Sometimes they all rush after me back towards the house as I refresh their water and check on their supplemental food. They do get some from us and aren’t totally dependent on what they find to eat. So check the coop, water, food and the animals are dealt with. Well, almost.

Many days I also wash down the coop, water plants, take care of things in the yard. But when all is said and done, I try to remember one last thing before going inside.

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The last washing up.

You never know what all is on your wellies when heading back inside. I always wear them to the barn. Then I don’t worry about what I step in or what can get in my shoes. So they must get a good washing down so that I don’t groan when I see their spot by the door full of who knows what that has fallen off.

But back to that – Well almost. When all outside critters are dealt with, I do still have to feed Sam and Mattie breakfast. I don’t think some mornings they like being last. I guess that is the problem of being the domestic animals of the place.

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Is it our turn yet?

Someday these days will be over and I will miss them. I hope that day is well in the future, but for now here is a note of what it is like in early in the morning in my peaceful corner of the world.

 

 

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Maybe There is Hope

You know when you have big ideas and then they crash before your eyes, and you become depressed and ignore it? Yes, that is what was happening with the warp on the floor loom. I wrote about starting it in There is Something on the Loom.

Now as sad as this is, I did try several things with this warp and nothing looked great. I did weave along but found it hard to want to as it just didn’t look nice, good, ok, well maybe, oh dear what is this mess. So it was time to think radical, and I decided to redo the tie-up on the loom (a countermarche) so that I could weave it in a 3-1 twill. I actually managed to do that fairly easily. It actually is rather simple how the tie-up works on a countermarche though you do have to wrap your head around it and make sure you understand.

So first step accomplished and then a complete change in weft thread was the next step. And we were weaving again.

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This is the backside of the cloth

So I started weaving with a cream thread and it went quickly. You can see a bit of the colors through it but this will be the back of the cloth when finished. I did the tie-up so that three shafts were down and one up for a better shuttle race. So I will be weaving and watching the back. But I did find it quite easy to see that I was keeping it in order. Quite easy to see the twill line and immediately notice a mistake.

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From underneath trying for a picture of the front

I think I am pleased with what is happening now. I at least like it incredibly more than what was happening. You can see in the first picture the dark blue taking over the whole piece.

Now to get this warp woven and off the loom. I have a variation on Log Cabin sitting here beside me that I can’t wait to get on the loom. Somehow I seem to be happier with my two shuttle shadow weave and overshot patterns best.

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What to do with Thrums?

I had seen a project using thrums a long time ago. Who knows really when, but it always stuck in my brain. It would take quite a few and not seem to take lots of time. Well, I needed one product to make it easily, and it seemed to hide when I looked for it. But as we had a rough Sunday evening, I went shopping Monday. Well, not totally the reason I went shopping, I needed to go do some shopping, but I made a day of it in the end. It kept the mind busy on other things. And in the process, I found what I needed for this project. So yesterday we gave it a shot.

I was going to make a scarf sewing thrums together. Though it had been ages since seeing it originally, I didn’t think it would take much to recreate. So I finally found some wash away stabilizer.

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Wash away it says, will it actually do it?

Thankfully I found this at Hobby Lobby and the price seemed a bit high to me for an experiment but then it was nice to whip out the phone and Hobby Lobby app and get a quick 40% off.

I decided a 2 yard scarf would be a good place to start. So cut two lengths of 2 yards and laid it out on the table. Then I got the glass jar full of thrums down (no I do not throw away weaving thrums or much of anything handmade. Getting better at tossing those tiny bits but not yet totally.) and started pulling out yarn and laying it out on the stabilizer.

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How much do you layer it?

I did have a time deciding how much to put down and what colors. Then as I rolled it up, I had to decide if I wanted to keep it looking the same all the way along and … oh dear, would I remember what all and how much of each I put down in each section? Of course not.

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I think it needs a good bit more.

So layers and layers of the different colors went on the stabilizer. Actually a trip down memory lane as I remembered what each of these yarns had been a part of creating. Some favorites and some not so favorites.

Then came the sewing. A bit tricky. Especially since I’m not great with a machine anyway. But we went to town.

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The first of the sewing before it went south

So freeform sewing was attempted. A bit wobbly and crazy but it seemed that it really didn’t matter how things went as long as there was no major shift in what was there. Then the bobbin ran out.  I refilled it. Started again. Things went south. It had a bit of a time not balling up. But after cutting it out (yes, I had to cut it away from the machine) and refreshing the machine, it seemed to work better. Not sure what the problem was in there. A bit of tension problems?

So we finally finished sewing and went to wash out the stabilizer.

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Drying and wondering

I was amazed at how easily the stabilizer washed out. Rather quite quickly it just all dissolved into nothing and I had my scarf. So after the rinse we laid it out for the night and waited for it to dry.

This morning I checked on it and it had worked.

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A finished scarf – maybe

It is one piece of “fabric” or whatever one would call it. It all holds together. You can wrap it around and it hangs nicely.

Is it perfect? No. Of course not. I had tried to lay out the threads so that no ends hung out on the edges but there are many hanger outers. I think I could have done more sewing on it to hold more in place but then also it does have quite a 3D look to it and more sewing would probably flatten that out quite a bit. One half did end up with quite a bit more on it than the other, and I like the thick end better.  The thicker end holds together better or at least looks better. You don’t notice the sewing in it like the thinner end. Just wish now I knew which end was which though I think I could guess. (After more perusing of pictures and knowing what end I was at in them. The thick end was the second half.) So need to find a way to keep it thick and even all the way through.

Funny I’m typing with it here in my hands (or lap while typing) and the more I study it the less I’m liking how it came out. I’m seeing so much that needs to be better. Well, I have enough stabilizer for another one so will try again. Need to sort yarns so that I know how much is going in each half or else do it on a longer table where it can all lay out at once. Or …. so much to think and improve but I’m happy with the start.

My other project of the last entry? It keeps growing with the pattern I’m crocheting around the outside, well, I have to spin some more yarn and get enough black to finish of one layer and then get more for the next layer …. will there ever be an end? I am going to Yarnorama tomorrow so will see what they have to offer. Would be so much quicker to just get a yarn and finish it but as it started all handspun, it will end all handspun.

Categories: Fiber, Fiber Arts | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Then and Now Spinning

It has been awhile since I posted. I have been in the midst of a larger project for spinning than I normally do. As in, I came up with a plan for all of my handspun, early stuff, that was lying around. Now I have been spinning for a few years though not as continuously to be a consummate master of it. But I have been spinning and do enjoy it.

One day this past spring I hit on a plan for a project. I had a Zoom Loom and loved using it. I had made some squares with my handspun with it, and I have posted before about that at Projects Abound and When Projects Aren’t Going Well. So you can see it has been a couple of years since I decided that using my handspun that was in small lots, not perfect, needing something to happen to them was perfect on a pin loom.

Alas, what was to happen to these squares that I had been making over the past couple of years and mainly here recently? This spring I decided that a perfect project would be to make a cloak. So taking out my squares I laid them out several times on the floor to make patterns and decide what would work with all these diverse squares.

Then my three week trip this summer was coming up. I would be driving Mark’s truck so space was not an issue. They all came with me as well as a spindle and more wool and the Zoom Loom and crochet hook to continue making squares and crocheting them together.

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A sneak peak at the project

I sat for a week watching the extended Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies with my father and spun, wove, and crocheted away. Got quite a bit of the project done on that trip.

As this project is about handspun, past and present, it is very eclectic in its colors, spinning, quality of spinning and wool, well really everything about it.

As it is an evolving project on this end now (though still not completed) there are a few things I would do different but at this point I’m not taking anything apart. It is what it is.

Now I’m spinning and working on a border around the whole thing. Had a pretty merino silk mix that is all the crocheting that you see in the above picture. The colors in it were real subtle and once spun even less so. It seems to be just a black. Though there is a glow about it that doesn’t say black like the picture says. I have run out of that so now have spun some generic black wool I have. Will be interesting to see how the two look together.

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Singles yarn

Now all the spinning being done this summer is on spindles. When traveling I take my Bosworth. But at home I use my Golding. It never leaves home but oh, I love using the Golding most. This black wool has been interesting in seeing how color is really so indefinite. I know that’s not the right word, and I should some day look up proper terminology for what I observe. But it was amazing, to me, to watch this fiber as I drafted it looking toward a window and seeing a blue glow all about it. As the light came through the thin fiber strands it had a pretty blue tint. I know that all has to do with the dying and how black is created in dyes but still despite the chemistry etc. I love to see it happen.

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Piled yarn

Last night I got two spindles plied. So today it will be some more Slow TV of the Knitting Night and crocheting around the cloak. I will see how far this goes and then back to spinning some more. You’ve got it. I don’t know yet how much of a border this will get in the end. Did find a pattern I like and will see how it looks. Then if it does please me, oh dear, I’ll need to be spinning more. I’m sure I don’t have enough for any big dream though I have been amazed at how much farther the yarn has gone than I have expected with the crocheting. (No I haven’t done any numbers to see what I need to do to accomplish any of this. It is what it is.)

As we all need reminders. I went out to look at my very first spinning and the wrist distaff I made with it. Actually my very first was a red that I wove into a hat and it sold at the CHH sale. Rather surprised me that the two hats sold. But a very close second is this white. I didn’t find it. YIKES! I do need to figure out what happened to it. I wouldn’t have gotten rid of, given away, whatever it. It should be still about as a reminder. Thankfully, I did find a picture on the computer of it so here is my first and yes, despite that thin bit in the picture above, I have vastly improved.

spinning - first spun yarn as a wrist distaff

My first spinning project

 

Categories: Fiber, Spinning, Weaving | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

An Indigo Apron

I wanted to make something from my indigo dyed pieces from Art Camp. Looking them over, I decided that two pieces were the top and bottom of an apron. Then I cut other pieces for the straps and ties. I hand sewed it all, and it came out pretty descent. Probably would be better if I’d gathered the bottom waist, but the pattern shows this way, so I went the easier way. Finished it at my folks this week.

Categories: dyeing, Sewing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Victor P. Buchcik Spinning Wheel

So I love spinning and weaving, and I love history, so of course I started volunteering in our small town at the Heritage Center and Log Cabins. There, in a corner, was a spinning wheel so one of the first things I set about doing, as a member, was sorting out this wheel which they said the lady who gave it to them had come and spun on it, but it hasn’t been for a little time.

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Looking straight on as one would when spinning

The wheel had a plastic drive band that had been wired together and was of no use whatsoever. So I got rid of it and tied on a new drive band (will take better cordage next time) So now the drive wheel turned with the treadle. The treadle rod is in the middle of the treadle which I haven’t seen before but it had a very smooth motion and was quite easy to treadle.

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Looking at the back of the wheel

Then to tackle the scotch tension. It had a piece of plastic cord tied to springs on each side. Now for all I know of scotch tension, that wasn’t going to work, and it didn’t. So I cut that all out and tied another string to the spring on the one side and then tied it around the knob, on the other side, that is there for that purpose (ignored in what was) and then played with the tension.

Did you notice the crochet hook sticking out at an angle in back? Befuddled me for a bit. Thought at first it was used for the orifice hook and that is just where they kept it, but alas it totally doesn’t work for that. Did learn though how to get the bobbin and flyer off. The maiden on the tension end moves back and turns down to take them off. Alas whatever once ran through those holes that keep it in place when all together has long been lost and along the road someone figured out that a small crochet hook fit in just right.

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Side view of wheel before scotch tension work. See the stretched spring?

This tension is the problem I think. The flyer and bobbin did not spin if there was the least bit of tension on it. Then after some fiddling, the flyer would spin but the bobbin did not. It was at that point that I learned the importance of both being able to spin. Have you ever wondered why the bobbin needed to spin, albeit slower than the flyer, when spinning on a treadle/flyer wheel? I have. And, as of yesterday, I learned why. With just the flyer turning the draw in is way to fast for these hands to keep up. With the bobbin turning as well, there is time for you to draft and get it right before it winds on.

Also an interesting bit for this wheel is that the flyer and bobbin sit so far back. They are actually, basically, for all practical purposes behind the drive wheel when you are sitting at it. Makes it a bit of a stretch when working back there.

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Spinning at last.

So, yes, I did manage to spin some. That was after realizing there was no orifice hook and a long way for something to reach through. I searched several drawers and finally found one paperclip. After bending it in different contortions, I managed to make it do the job and got some wool through. That also entailed cleaning the hole out with the wool. Icky! But we were spinning. It didn’t go super easy though. I so wanted to add some oil to the bobbin and tension thinking it would help it move smoother. But I also know “they” say to never oil the drive band or tension. So maybe the groove just needs cleaned up more? Or a wider band for the tension. I already know I am going to do that for the drive band, but the tension as well?

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Label on bottom of table.

After all this, I wanted to know what this wheel was that was driving me crazy. On the bottom I did find a label. Designed & handcrafted by: Victor P. Buchcik, 8 Norman Street, Wagga Wagga 2650″ . Now this label was between all the legs and footman, so not easily photographed or for these old eyes to read. I went looking for a Victor P. Buchcik online. Got that much down. Thought maybe a local builder? There are lots of Czech and Wends around here so names that only the Good Lord knows how to pronounce are in abundance. Alas, nary a hit on the name at all. Next I thought the “8” was an “&” so looked up Norman Street as well as a compatriot in the work. Alas nothing. So looked up Wagga Wagga. A HIT! A town in New South Wales. What? Australia? How did it get here if it was made by some home guy in NSW? I did, at first, think that the four digit number was maybe a number for the piece, but it turns out to be a post code. That took seeing the picture and realizing that Norman Street wasn’t a man but an address. So of course, I looked up the address and it is a nice house though lots of trees in the way of seeing it very well.

If anyone knows anything about this wheel or the maker, I would appreciate knowing something of them. If you have advice on getting it to spin smoother or dealing with that scotch tension, advice appreciated.

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