Three Sentences

A couple days ago John Carlton wrote an article titled: You, the Movie, tell your story in three sentences. This is a fun exercise which I plan to incorporate periodically in my blog.

Three Sentences: A story:
The plan was to spend predawn hours writing before the non-stop day with two young children sapped any creative energy. Quietly stealing into the kitchen for that wake-up cup of coffee, my heart fell at the sound of daughter’s cheerful voice heralding the day. A light sleeper with radar ears doesn’t bode well for early morning writing solitude… I took up running.

Hood to Coast ’85


Short Video of Hairpin Lace

The video is less than two minutes. It’s not a teaching video, instead I hope it will provide a tempting little morsel of the working of hairpin lace.

The gauge of the wire is 22,  which I think is heavier than it needs to be. The steel hook is a 6, the loom is our Jenkins Walnut loom with the pins set at 1 inch. The heavy gauge meant using my fingers quite a bit to manipulate the wire as well as putting the hook to good use.

A trip to the local bead store is on the agenda for tomorrow to find a clasp to finish the bracelet by Thursday.

Copper Wire Hairpin Lace

Last week Aurora handed me a bracelet crocheted with copper wire. Immediately I wondered if I could make something similar using hairpin lace technique. In my stash was some 24 gauge copper wire and a container of small green seed beads waiting to be used to try hairpin lace with wire.

Instead of working diligently on the birthday socks for a friend’s upcoming birthday, hairpin lace was on my brain. What can I say? It usually takes at least two weeks to make a pair of sock – if everything goes smoothly. I’d started a pair using the perfect colorway of sock yarn from Ball and Skein and the Dolomite pattern from Knitspot but a few inches later realized the yarn obscured the pattern so then I had to search for a basic pattern the yarn won’t overpower. It’s great yarn, and I found a pattern that will be perfect for my friend. Will be.

Copper hairpin lace intruded.

Copper wire hairpin lace

The loom is set at one inch and I’m using a metal crochet hook size 6. Using wire is definitely not as fast as yarn. It’s not very forgiving and while pliable it has a breaking point that rough handling will quickly meet. Since this is totally a wingin’ it project as well as the first time of using wire in hairpin I learned by doing. First I slipped a bunch of beads on the wire. And all over the floor. I’m still finding them, even after crawling around with vacuum hose in hand. Faith was here Friday -spent the night 🙂 – and I was sure her sharp eyes would spy beads.

Beads on wire is slick – no pushing or coaxing, they slide happily into place.

Making a copper wire hairpin lace bracelet

Ed came in the house late yesterday afternoon as I was finishing the last rows. He obligingly stood behind the camcorder and took some footage.  I still need to edit it but hope to have it in YouTube in a couple of days.

I still need to finish the ends and attach some type of clasp. This was a fun project and I’m eager to do some more.

Jenkins Walnut Hairpin Lace Loom

I know that blogging about the weather isn’t cool. But. Today is April 20th. Right?
This morning’s view in our yard:

April Snow

If you haven’t seen the YouTube video of Ed making knitting needles, please scroll down to link in next post. It’s amazing.

To make a Knitting Needle

Have you ever wanted to watch Ed as he turns a needle? It’s really quite fascinating, but also dangerous. The stick of wood is turning at a very high revolution and it doesn’t take much to launch one into space with the slightest wrong motion. Being in line of the trajectory of a small, slender piece of wood could be deadly. I don’t hang out much in the shop though I enjoy watching him work. For the past month he’s been working on a huge order of small needles. The shop owners have been quite patient but understandably wondering when the 119 pairs will be finished. That’s 238 individual needles each needing to be cut to approximate size then turned on the lathe.

If Ed’s making maple needles the process takes a different route at this point, today we’re looking at the fine, small needles made with exotic hardwoods. After turning all the individual needles is completed Ed makes little forms, using a mold he designed, to insert in the cable end. The join helps ease the transition from cable to needle without too much wear and tear on the very delicate wood edge. After the glue dries the needles get a final buffing then come to me for inspection, smoothing down any catches and writing the sizes and our name. If the wood is light colored I’m able to use a specific type of ink that dries very quickly without feathering. With the dark colored woods I have to use white ink and a calligraphy nib. It’s not the best solution for it does wear off with use. If anyone has knowledge of a form of ink that would not be time-consuming to apply, quickly drying to a hard, non-removable surface, please share. 🙂

During a conversation with the yarn store people I realized they thought Ed used a computerized lathe. Umm, not exactly. He uses his hands, chisels, files and sandpaper. At the high turning speed the thin piece of wood whips about on the lathe. The longer it is, the more whipping action. The thinner it is, the more it whips. The whipping causes the piece to bow out and it snaps. This is one of the reasons for the high price of a pair of hand-turned knitting needles. Many simply snap just at the last minute as Ed is cutting down the final needle point taper, and the exotic wood is not cheap. Because of the force of the whipping action on these little needles Ed must use his hands to stabilize the needle. Can you imagine holding your fingers against a rapidly spinning piece of wood?

Maybe you’d like to see for yourself:

This is a very shortened version of the entire turning process. Please watch and let us know what you think. 🙂

I will be filming more videos of Ed at work. Maybe I’ll even figure out how to add music. 🙂

This and That

ARGH! Why can’t blog servers leave well enough alone? I was just getting comfortable with the WordPress format. But now? I hardly recognize the posting pages. I’ve been resisting using Flickr or any other photo places. Why should I upload pictures to Flickr, then turn around and “reload” them onto the blog when I could simply load straight to the blog. And now this format isn’t recognizing the pictures that I earlier prepared for this post. sigh. I suppose I’ll have to give in, I need to put them in Flickr sometime if I want to really get into Revelry.

Yes, I finally signed up on Ravelry last month. The invitation came in July! Fiberjoy’s the id. I’ve done a bit of exploring but haven’t had time to get very far.

Our taxes are almost done, only the state section left to do. That’s on tomorrow’s list. As is packing and mailing a dozen+ orders, posting a few new spindle pictures on our website, then editing and uploading to youtube a video I took today of Ed turning small knitting needles.

Two weeks ago I resolved to set Wednesday’s aside for weaving, sadly it’s not happened. Stay tuned to see if there’s any new development in that area. I’ve been debating about attending a Jason Collingwood workshop at Fiber in the Forest in mid-May. I’ve watched his video on shaft-switching and spent several hours with a person who has woven many fine rugs using a shaft-switching technique that he developed. All the half-heddles are made and in place and I’ve designed a pattern for a small rug.

The timing of Aurora’s trial caused our family to miss the memorial service for a close cousin who was more like a grandfather to our kids. It was sad to miss the gathering of relatives from Canada, California, Arizona, and Minnesota. Honestly, I’m not sure if we’ll see the MN cousins again in Oregon as they mostly came to visit Don. Cousin Don was the last of the direct ties to the Minnesota people. We have been removed by years, miles, and differences in ages. There is one living brother left of my dad’s six siblings. He will be 98 this year. My sister, who attended the memorial service – as did my brother from Arizona, had a lovely time with the MN cousins who informed her that Uncle Elmer and his wife had to be moved to an assisted living place this past year. Apparently their little house on the old homeplace farm had finally gotten to much for them.

I’m having a family gathering this Sunday with our kids, Don’s wife, Z, his oldest daughter, D and hopefully a niece and her husband whom we haven’t seen in a couple of years. It’ll be good to have an afternoon of catching up on each other’s lives.

The cold weather has continued but the weatherman says it’s about to change. Saturday is to be sunny and warm! Maybe I’ll finally get the yard mowed.

March (Weather) Madness

The sun, rain and snow have been playing for air time in our area this week.

Maybe it wouldn’t feel so  novel if we hadn’t just reveled in a sunlit week when the leaves noticeably unfurled splashes of the shade of light green that dazzles the eyes, and the cherry and plum trees arrayed themselves with blossoms. The week spent in the courtroom had moments of balm while strolling along the sidewalks journeying to and from the car. Regretfully I didn’t get any pictures for no cameras are allowed in the courthouse and our car was parked five blocks away in the free parking structure. The last day we’d planned to take pictures but in our haste to get home and celebrate the good news all else was forgotten.

Driving to Abiqua Strings Ensemble practice a little after 6pm Thursday evening (the 27th) I had to stop to admire the beauty of the fresh fallen snow on the Cascade mountains. This view is looking East from Hazelnut Ridge about 2 miles from our place:


Zooming in towards the northeast, I spotted Mt Hood trying to shrug off lingering snowclouds:

We live about 300′ above sea level but by late Friday morning the rain turned slushy, big fat plopping dollops of snow which continued to vie with sunbursts and rain throughout the weekend.

Miserable business being out in this stuff.

The daffodils that only a week before had cheerfully greeted each sunny day daffodils.jpg

continue to bravely endure the freezing cold rains, snows, and deep, early morning frost.

This week I’ve been spinning baby camel lightly layered on top of corriedale. The plan is to spin singles of this blend then spin singles of the natural dark brown corriedale and ply them together. Eventually it will be a vest for Ed. Originally I planned to knit the vest but lately weaving has been on my mind. Soon it will be time to wrap the loom with another project that’s been on the back burner far too long