Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bev's new wheel...

I recently sold my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel and all its accessories to a woman named Bev whom I met on Ravelry. I was so moved by her message to me about her interest in the wheel. Even though the wheel was upgraded to a double treadle, I had decided to include the single treadle set up. As it turns out, Bev needed the single treadle for medical reasons. She's a new spinner and the wheel is just a great match for her. I'm soooooo happy that its found a new owner who will love and appreciate it as much as I did. I've decided to limit myself to my Majacraft Rose wheel and a more portable Majacraft Pioneer wheel which I'm in the process of purchasing from another lovely woman who resides down under... Having two wheels from Majacraft means I can interchange all of their wonderful accessories! More on my Majacraft madness later... :)

Congrats on your first yarn Bev!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting my weight on...

Sorry, haven't been posting like I used to. Its getting hard to keep up with all the sites, communities and forums that I post to on the regular. With Facebook and Twitter I don't really need to do much else - seems like every site worth its weight in cyber salt now works with both these social networks.

What have I been up to? Well, I'm still spinning and in fact, I've been trying to devise a way to get the "umph" back into my lace spinning. I call it the "mojo"... its the added inertia that my Alpaca spinning wheel had due to its heavier flywheel. My Rose wheel more than makes up for the loss of inertia in that it has higher ratios and spins smoother, plus its just a prettier wheel, IMHO and I love meditativeness (is that a word?) of watching the beautiful spoked wheel spin... On the downside, my feet miss the inertia - My Alpaca wheel was like driving a car that idles too high and always wants to take off on you. I don't want that "take off" feeling all the time, but sometimes I feel like a jet and sometimes I feel like a kite. Sometimes I feel like spinning on a riceburner and other times I feel like spinning on a Harley (motorcycle references). I'd love to have a choice of both. What can I say, I want it all.

Armed with all these jet/kite/motorcyle thoughts in my mind I set out to find a way to make my Rose wheel heavier. I still think the Buckyballs would work well, but I question how much weight they'd actually add. They're pricey too and I don't want to spend $55 for some magnetic beads only to find out I need to spend $100 just to come close to the weight I need. That's when it came to me... I had something at home that would be thin enough, heavy enough and that I could attach to my wheel easily. My weighted braid! Its commonly used to add weight to the bottom of curtains and draperies. I have a roll of it from my days of making dance flags (looong story). So I figured, what the hay? I might as well try it out. The result was exactly what I was hoping for - I got my mojo back! That little "umph" is back - I can feel the force of the wheel and the inertia that keeps it spinning a second or so longer than normal. It may seem like a small thing, but it makes a big difference to me when I'm spinning lace. Now to find a better way to attach it to the wheel. Glue, staples...?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Amy's Naturally, Wonderful!

All I can say is, you shoulda been here! You'd need Smellivision to partake of the heavenly scents that are wafting through my living room right now! I received a lovely package from Amy of "Naturally Amy" - maker of fine handcrafted soaps, incense, candles, lip balms, scrubs... (Fiber? Yeah, she's got that too in her other shop). She admired my fiber batts so I offered to make some for her. After she told me about her soaps we decided to get a little swapish and send each other a care pacakage.

I sent Amy a box of little lavender batts. I dyed some merino roving. The white roving was speckled with purple dye and then carded to create a softer color. Then I blended in some violet kid mohair for more depth of color and softness. No big deal right? I little dyeing and carding, which I love and would do anyway...

I expected a few nice bars of soap in return... then this came:

Motherlode! This must be the most lopsided swap ever! I got fabulous handmade soaps: Cedarwood & Lavender, Goat Milk Oats & Honey, Spearmint, Seaside, Limon Citrus, Tea Tree & Bergamot, Mexican Lime & Black Pepper, Lavender & Anise, Citrus & Blue Cornmeal, Patchouli & Midseason Orange, Goat Milk.

Incense: Lemongrass & Sage, Apple Jack & Peel

Lipsmack: Choconut, Bubblegum and, a hand poured soy candle: Cedarwood & Vanilla

Please do visit Amy's site - her products are wonderful and are made with love and a commitment healthy & happy skin. If you'd like to know more about the benefits of handmade soap over store bought, Amy's got a great post on her blog. I learned enough to never go back to store bought again. There's a vicious game being played by soap manufacturers: removing oils from soap so they are more drying to the skin just so they can sell you lotions that add the moisture back. Read more.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Quilting progress

I haven't made any quilt posts in a long time. So here's some quilting eye candy for ya... A paper pieced flower and a log cabin block (neither trimmed to size yet).


Sent on the Now Network™ from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Saturday, April 4, 2009

SIP and spin!

With the weather warming up and a new wheel at my disposal I'd like to get outside more often with my wheel. My plan is to hit the parks this summer and "SIP" - Spin In Public. What better way to SIP than to sip while I'm doing it. Ah, but sipping requires a cup, and a cup requires a stable setting while spinning. Well, guess what I just got my hands on? - A spinning wheel cup holder from FBN Plastics! They make very cool and practical cup holders for a variety of spinning wheels. I put mine on my wheel today and I'm very impressed by its quality and light weight. It installed in about 40 seconds and I've already thought of a dozen uses for it. Besides holding drinks, I can place a bobbin in it, whorls, scissors - even a ball of yarn. I think I'm in love...