Wood and Fiber

Ed’s making great progress on getting all the hooks, hairpin lace looms and spindles made on time to ship and deliver in Tacoma. I will be heading north on the 17th and spend a day or two at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. He has this last week of pushing hard to finish all the spindles still waiting to be made.

Roughed out spindles waiting to come to life. No, there’s no way he can make this many spindles in one week! He not that much of a superman. Periodically he’ll take a day or two and rough out as many spindles as he can so they can hang above his wood stove and finish drying before the final shaping.

In the midst of going crazy trying to get numerous items made our d-i-l asked Ed to make a bunk bed for Faith. He put it on the back burner for a couple weeks but we heard MJ was coming to Oregon for a visit the weekend of the 12th. Ed decided he’d enjoy the change of pace  and took to heading to the shop earlier in the morning, working hard without breaks until 4pm then switched gears and worked on the bed for an hour before supper. He also devoted Saturdays to the project.

He stained it last weekend and on Wednesday, a balmy sunny day with no wind he brought all the pieces outside to apply the final coat of finish.  Before Ed tucked them in a safe corner of his shop we snapped pictures for MJ. The side rails are against the far wall, ladder to the left, footboards and headboards on the right.

Two rugs have been woven and the third will be finished this week. I’m waiting until the grandkids visit on Friday so they can weave some of the final rug which will go home with them. The camera battery ran low when taking pictures so you’ll need to wait until next posting. Meanwhile not only did I ply the colorful Schoppel-Wolle singles from two weeks ago, it is now a Cat’s Paw Scarf for Faith.  A ribbed scarf for Wesley is 1/3 finished using a lovely yarn I bought some time ago and had used some for socks but sadly lost the ball band and can’t recall what brand it is.

Spinning: Last October Michelle (do visit her lovely blog!) sent me some of the processed fiber from her Shetland ram, Blackberry. I had remarked on the gorgeous fiber at OFFF when she picked it up from the processor. Originally I tried spinning it with a spindle but it wasn’t spinning smoothly the way I knew it should be so I set it aside. Having empty bobbins freed from the colorful yarn a few weeks ago I turned to the Victoria (a Louet wheel) and tried what I call a modified long draw. (I’ve not taken spinning lessons and am guessing at the terminology/method from what I’ve seen and heard). Keeping my forward hand about a foot from the flyer and using it to control the amount of twist released into the unspun fibers, my fiber hand drew back between 10 – 20 inches as the twist ran up the fibers. It didn’t take long to get into a rhythm of moving the fiber hand back and forth while releasing fiber into the advancing twist. It was great fiber for challenging me to move away from the fine laceweight singles I’m prone to spinning while trying to spin woolen for the first time. Very enjoyable and I love the resulting yarn. Four ounces spun over the course of several evenings.

Turned into this wonderfully squooshy 200 yards of yarn. All in less than a week – a record for me. 🙂

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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 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 Great Wheels aka 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 my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

11 thoughts on “Wood and Fiber”

  1. Ed is a hard worker that’s for sure, everything is superb, particularly the darling bed he’s making for Faith, now that must be love!

    Your yarn is beautiful, I can do heavier weight yarn, I do try to do laceweight, I really do but my fingers always get sidetracked and pretend they are spinning laceweight but it always comes out at least to a sock weight and more usually a DK!!

    1. Funny how we all tend to have a default yarn that takes concentration to NOT spin for everything. It is easier for me to spin thicker with the wheel.

  2. Wanda your spinning is beautiful and I look forward to seeing some pictures of your weaving. Ed is gifted and makes beautiful things, one of which I am spinning with now. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your lives with the rest of us and for being such inspiration.

    1. Thanks for commenting!
      So far I’ve not mastered the art of taking good pictures of woven items, especially the “rag” rugs that I’m making.

  3. Squeal of delight! What a wonderful bed!
    Much applause for Ed!
    And the yarn looks wonderful! My “defaul” is a sort of dk weight. But it is a good weight to wear around here! Keep up the good work, both of you!!!!

  4. mmm that yarn looks awesome… I’m trying to spin thicker on my standard standard but I think I’m getting a dk-ish. It’s funny how once you figure out how to spin very fine, it’s hard to go back! I found that if I spin from a batt rather than combed top, I can get thicker yarn… Also some fibers just want to be spun thick 😉

  5. Wow, look at all those spindles-in-progress! Fun to see the different colors of wood before they are finished.

    I like your photo of Blackberry’s yarn. I always forget to add something like a coin for scale.

    1. Heehee, and I liked your picture better! I used a pencil thinking it might be a more standard size internationally than the hodgepodge of coins that have little relative meaning except to the people who handle that currency.

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