It’s that time of the year: Tour de Fleece.

Except I’m not spinning from a fleece. Not even remotely.

I’ve been honing my skills at spinning flax. Several years ago I spun quite a bit of flax though mostly with a wheel. This time around I’m using an Egret.

The flax I bought from Carolina Homespun, at Black Sheep Gathering, is the longest line flax – or strick, that I’ve spun. Such long fibers present a different type of challenge. It’s been a fun learning experience!


Ed made a small spindle wheel in May. He adapted this wheel from pictures in the excellent source book, Spinning Wheels & Accessories by David Pennington & Michael Taylor. He still want to make small spindle wheels someday, just not this style. It took me getting down on the floor, rather than at a table, for me to become enamored with this cotton spinner.

The day I introduced this wheel to the monthly spinning group was also the debut of the rose linen shirt.
Pattern: Feather and Fan Ribbed Tee by Judy Croucher.
Yarn: M&K Linen 50 g= ca 125 m
Needles: #5 (my gauge determined a smaller size was necessary)
I added 5 pattern repeats to the sleeves as well as knitting an extra inch up to the neck line. If I knit another one, which I am tempted to since it was a fun shirt to knit, I’d stop after the 7th sleeve repeat. Other changes I’d make: knit farther up the neckline and make the shoulder straps wider before binding off so they stay on my narrow shoulders better. The longer, heavier, sleeves probably contribute to the tendency to slip over my shoulders.

DSC09368With this shirt off the needles I’m temporarily between knitting projects. A very strange feeling! I’ve been looking through back issues of my Handwoven magazines for curtain ideas. The living room door, kitchen, and bathroom windows all need new curtains which I fancy weaving. The lacy valance does nothing to deter the summer sun blasting its heat through the kitchen window in the late afternoon.

We had an unusually hot June and early July with 9 consecutive days of temps in the mid to high 90’s F (35+ C) with no rain in 36 days! Clouds covered the sky all day today and we hoped for rain but so far there has been none. Our poor creek looks like it does at the end of August.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be demonstrating spinning again at the Silver Falls State Park historical days. (I don’t dress in period clothing, perhaps I’ll get around to sewing a dress & apron someday.) This will be the fourth or fifth year I’ve been asked to participate. It’s always great fun to sit on the wide covered porch of the old lodge and spin while visiting with people from far and near. I’ll take the small spindle wheel for spinning cotton, the spindle with flax and another spindle for wool so that people can see a variety of spinning styles/methods.