Spinning Days

I’m afraid if I don’t post tonight it’s not going to happen for awhile. There’s a huge box of needles to be shipped out tomorrow, plus a box of spindles and another box of hairpin lace looms, and several individual orders that need to go out. The small violin ensemble I play in has practice tomorrow afternoon (gulp, I haven’t practiced as much as I should) then Ed and I are going to see Fiddler Hanneka Cassel and cellist Natalie Hass. I can hardly wait to hear them together. Hanneke Cassel played at the local venue about three years ago and was amazing. She’s been a past winner of the American National Scottish Fiddle contest.

Then Saturday evening it’s practice for the annual Christmas playing/sing along that our Friends Church has hosted for years. Great fun. It’s the season of getting back into violin playing. After a long break I’m enjoying playing again.
Sunday is the Friends’ church Thanksgiving Potluck and celebration.

Oh yes, there has been spinning going on! A week or so ago I finally finished a long spinning project and was feeling pretty good about finally spinning what I thought was worsted weight yarn then 3 plying it so it’d be bulky. The roving had been full of vm and gunk that needed time consuming hypervigilance to remove. But I loved the colors and I had just the pattern in mind for it. The first ounce I spun on the Turkish spindle, it’s the spinning being done on the bike – see how far back that goes! Needing to get a move on I used the wheel for the next two ounces using two bobbins. After plying the three together, setting the twist and measuring out the yardage was perfect, 109 yards but it wasn’t bulky, instead it’s maybe a DK. 

I had one ounce left, could I possibly get enough bulky yarn? Back to the wheel churning out lofty, thick singles which were then plyed and soaked. 44 yards, the pattern calls for “approximately 51 yards”. With some adjustings and making use of the three plyed yarn in certain areas I believe I can make it work!

Three ply above and to the left of the 2ply bulky.
Most of this week has been blustery, rainy, dreary dark – not conducive to good photos.

The presentation at the Spinner’s Retreat was a lot of fun for Ed & I. I’m always amazed at how quickly the time flies when we’re giving a talk/demo together. The setting was at the beautiful Silver Falls Park at the Upper Smith Lodge tucked on the flank of a ridge admist the tall fir. I wish I could have spent the weekend with the lovely women spinners soaking up their warm friendship, and the sighing stillness and quiet of the park. Rich moist earth and tree aromas bring a deep feeling of peace and wellness. The cabins the women stayed in were tucked between the trees, ferns and moss covered vine maples were built in the 1930s by CCC crews.

There were about a dozen ladies who all made us feel very welcome and were wonderful to us. After the talk we had lunch at the beautiful dining hall then back up to collect our stuff. We still had a full afternoon of work waiting for us at home. Carol and Christine (two spindle addicts :0)gifted us with two lovely batts that they’d carded and dyed, along with stitch markers and cute soap that is nonscented and feels very nice.

Last week  warp and weft requirements were figured, cones of weaving yarns selected and warping board put together in high anticipation of getting a warp on during that bright sunny afternoon. The warping board is still waiting. Warping and sleying the reed is one of those tasks that I prefer to do during the day time with lots of natural light and large blocks of uninterrupted time. Ed came in the house just as I was setting up the yarn cone for the first warping bout. He’d brought in the first of a couple dozen knitting needles to be written on. A couple weeks ago we received an order for over 200 pairs of knitting needles and several dozen hook. Once Ed had finished most of the older orders and made a promised batch of Kuchulus he turned his attention to the needles. We’ve become a small needle factory.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

11 thoughts on “Spinning Days”

  1. Uhm…those look like big needles to me! Perhaps you are a big needle factory.

    Love the spun yarn. It’s making me think of cranberry relish. Must be the season….

    Enjoy your strings (violins) and strings (warping)!

  2. Are you now creating needle necklaces?

    The strings concert will be wonderful! I can close my eyes and imagine the music. Lucky you!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. What a beautiful setting for a spinner’s retreat! I totally understand how you felt you could have spent the whole weekend there.

    Your yarn is lovely! Once we get used to spinning fine singles, it can be hard to go back to spinning heavier yarns…

  4. I could imagine relaxing in that retreat…you need Oxford bags and a hand knitted jumper to recreate the 1930’s! How beautiful…glad you had a good time. Have a lovely weekend Wanda and try to take a break now and then! Love the yarn too, I loved the photo of you on a bike spinning.

  5. What fun…
    Hanneke is a great fiddler. I am predudice, she is from our small town of 1000 people and she also trained and taught at the same fiddle camp as my brother and niece run by Alistair Frazier in California.

  6. Oh, my! That’s a lot of needles! The space for the retreat looks absolutely amazing; what a peaceful place to be. And I’m so glad that you had such a wonderful time! I can’t wait to see what you’re warping for now 🙂

  7. Whoa, those needles are HUGE! WoW!
    Love that yarn, the colours, they’re like a sunrise or sunset, most gorgeous!
    What a beautiful place the retreat took place in, and I’m with you, wanting to stay and enjoy the peace and company.
    Sounds like good times coming up :^)
    (my head is still hanging in shame :^( so sorry.

  8. Cool “necklace”! Think of the ‘zillion projects that will fly on those!

    We used to hike those falls when we lived near there..beautiful…

    Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving…we will be going to Bend to have the holiday with Valerie and Mark, Valerie and Phil, the folks, my hubby, and youngest son!

  9. Sometimes I would be grateful for even a small block of uninterrupted time. Big blocks seem be on the endangered species list! I love your picture of the cabin amongst the huge trees, and the little sheep soap is so cute. I’m using my quiet moments right now to try my first toe-up sock, using the instructions from Lifestyle Toe-Up Socks. I think I need a bit more practice with the heel. Good thing it will be hidden in my shoe. Maybe I will perfect the heel with the second sock!

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