Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cool site of the week - 2/23/09

Oops. Late again, dang! Sorry folks. Here's my pick for Cool Site Of The Week... its the new website launch of one of my favorite magazines, Spin Off. Its http://www.spinoffmagazine.com/

Their newly launched site is just chock-o-goodies! Sign up and enjoy the benefit of articles, free patterns and downloads, a great online community of spinners and lots more. I'm glad Spin Off finally launched their own site, outside of their horrible co-existence on their parent company's site (Interwewave Press). You don't have to subscribe to the magazine to belong to the site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is it wrong to love your hand carders?

I recently posted about getting a new wheel with a few added goodies thrown in, namely a pair of Clemes & Clemes cotton hand carders. My other carders are antiques and in poor condition. I've simply assumed they were working properly because I had nothing else to compare them to in terms of how a hand carder should feel, work and what the finished product should look like. Ha! boy was I ever wrong... The rolags I've been making with these new Clemes & Clemes carders are like nothing I've ever achieved on my antiques. I'm thinking these antique cards are about to take a permanent retirement.

Here are a few pics of my blended merino rolags, fresh off my new Clemes carders:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pimp my Traddy

I got a new wheel! Yes, yet another wonderful wheel! This one is a vintage Ashford Traditional, just like the one pictured here. It was a sweet deal on Craigslist and came with some very nice Clemes & Clemes hand carders, a navajo spindle (30" tall - so you can spin it off your thigh!), 4 bobbins, an upright kate, a vintage and highly collectible spiral bound copy of "The Essentials of Yarn Design for Handspinners" by Mabel Ross and 4 giant bundles of pre-drafted roving - all for a very good price. Too bad I had to trash the fiber. Not only did it stink of cigarette smoke, but there were remnants of critter contamination - that's right, moths! No way was I going to put my own fiber stash in jeopardy. I tossed all the fiber toute suite... (very fast) Even the fiber spun onto the bobbins had been compromised by those little buggers. The wheel was built between 1975 and 1981 and the fiber looked like it had been sitting on those bobbins ever since.

So, now I'm sure you want to know how I plan to "Pimp my Traddy" (the nickname affectionately given to Ashford Traditional wheels). Well, I've been lucking out left and right in finding low cost accessories. I never realized Ashford wheels could be upgraded and configured so easily.

Here's my "Pimp" plan already in effect:

  • New Jumbo flyer with 4 jumbo bobbins
  • Three speed flyer (for regular bobbins - gives the old wheel an added speed ratio
  • New stretchy drive band (I hate cotton bands - you can feel the knot hitting the flyer)
  • New leather connector for the single treadle footman
  • And the pièce de résistance, a double treadle upgrade kit!
I've already placed this new wheel in my bedroom, right in front of my bay window so I can sit and spin till my heart's content. God is good.

Cool site of the week - 2/16/09

Oops! I forgot to post a cool site of the week yesterday. Shame on me... I hope you haven't been waiting by the computer all night :)

Here it is, a little late but better than never:
The Joy of Handspinning.
Without a doubt, this site is the most informative and comprehensive site for handspinning online. Not only will you find information on everything from spinning wheels, spindles and fiber prep, but there are video tutorials! Even info on how to care for your Angora rabbits. Come on now folks, where else are you going to get all that information in one place??? The navigation is quick and easy so you'll find exactly what you're looking for. You can even do some shopping on if you're in the market for books, wheels, spindles, etc.

The Joy of Handspinning site is (IMHO) the single most important handspinning site there is, and therefore gets the cool site of the week award, hands down!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Switching to metal gears and roses

I know, I know... its been all about spinning and fiber lately. Who can blame me? Its been cold up until recently. Now that the weather's warming up a bit I've been focusing my attention back on my vintage sewing machines - and so should you.

I've taken my focus away from vintage Singer sewing machines for a moment, to take a look at Sears Kenmore machines. Yes, I said Sears. Their vintage "Kennies" deserve a second look. Don't believe me? Well just lookie here at my 1970s Kenmore 158.1040 "1040" machine. Its simply adorable! Straight stitch AND zigzag and a built in stretch stitch too! Comes with a flip up end table as well as a flip out front table/accessories box filled with goodies. C'mon, you know you love it.

**Be sure to click on the picture so you can see the cute carry case in the large photo. Its embossed with roses!**

Starbucks cute cabled

What's cute and cabled and can handle a piping hot cup 'o joe but never let you forget your UFOs (knitters speak for Un-Finished Objects)? Why a lovely Starbucks cabled knitting mug! These mugs are in high demand in the kniitting community because Starbucks hasn't made them available in all areas nationwide. I got mine here in NJ. $8.95 +tax. Try your local 'bucks...

Sent on the Now Network™ from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cool Site of The Week 2/9/09

Today's cool site of the week is a site that offers links for various crafts. It includes reviews, patterns, materials and more. Its AllCrafts.net - a vast resource for all you creative junkies!

Go now, discover a new craft and make something...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yummy goats!

I don't mean yummy as in curried goat with rice and peas. I'm talking yummy as in goat fiber yummy. Is there anything more beautiful than a freshly washed mohair (cashgora) fleece? The color and sheen of this fiber isn't to dye for. I have no intention of attempting to alter its marvelous color. I plan on blending it with a coarse or scratchy fiber for balance. I love the silver grey color! My favorite fleece so far.

Sent on the Now Network™ from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cool site of the week - 2/1/09

Is it that time again already? Well, I am pushing things a bit, posting at 11PM, sorry to keep you all waiting. Today's Cool Site of the Week is not on topic, but it is timely. My daughter, a high school Jr. is preparing for college (man, how time flies) and got on the computer tonight to update her info on CollegeBoard.com. A great site for college bound students and their parents. Lots of information on how to find schools, prepare for SATs and more. Here's a quote from the site:

"Say "yes" to this free College Board service and you'll hear from colleges, universities, and government scholarship programs looking for students like you."

Please forward this college info to other college bound students and their parents. It'll make the process a little easier on everyone involved.