Saturday, December 7, 2019

Bother and Tarnation

Two habits that can help us avoid mistakes 

In a time of hustle and bustle, it is easy make mistakes! With a bit of "behavior check and change" we can help ourselves avoid them.
 Sometimes when we are working on craft we get this sneaky little feeling that we're about to make a tragic blunder.  If we are distracted, worried or in a hurry, we will miss that teeny tiny inkling of intuition that tells us to slow down and pay attention, and we go ahead and blunder on to an either a disappointing, sad, costly or even tragic outcome.

Sometimes, they are “happy accidents” in the words of Bob Ross, but those more often result not from hurry and distraction, but from letting ourselves flow into areas we are unsure of.  The kind of accidents I'm talking about may just end up being wasteful and irreversible calamities.

The split second before I did this to a spindolyn base that I had grown fond of while I was working on it, I had a moments hesitation, and stupidly did not pause to reflect on my hesitation.

Hmm thought I, as I tapped gently with the mallet to force the pegs into the glue holes, why isn’t this going in? Right then and there is when I should have paused to investigate the answer to this question. At the very moment that I tapped a little harder to force the situation, I had a lightening thought, oh crap, did I change the drill bit from the one just a slight bit smaller up to the correct size? 

And then crack! The lovely piece split in two, never to be repaired. Of course, it didn’t just split, the whole thing went skittering across my cluttered work bench. As it did, it shoved the whorl into a sharp thing which marred the whorl and sent some scissors flying which gouged a deep gash across the bottom of the un-assembled ambit base.

Bother and tarnation indeed. We might develop over time good crafting habits, like keeping a organized workspace and staying focused, only to abandon them to hurry, worry and distraction.
So, my notes to self that I share in hopes you might find it useful!

1)  Focus and listen to the quiet of your mind as you work. If you give your mind the space it needs to really enjoy your craft,  you will be able to hear and heed the little warnings. You may also hear the tinkling of inspiration and the gentle guidings toward the real “happy accidents.”
2) Haste makes waste, almost always.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Penelopes Thanksgiving visit and a moth hole repair plan

Penelope arrived in a donkey cart for Thanksgiving dinner. Her Mother had prepared a very traditional pixie meal of boiled acorn pudding, wild hazelnut cake, dried persimmon snacks, and a mixed greens and mushroom gratin.

Everyone helped clean up after dinner and had a wonderful time laughing and talking.

Penelope showed off the repairs on her angora and lambs wool sweater as she packed up her "gatherings" to take back to her village. The sweater was hand spun on the spindolyn and knitted on size 2.5 needles.

Pixies always exchange things every time they go for a visit, after all, if you can't share, it just isn't as fun! Here Penelope is loading up sweet gum balls. They still contain viable seeds that can be planted back in village to grow sweet gum trees for medicines. You can see some of the tiny seeds that have fallen out onto the wooden table.

This weeks plan: repairing knitting with moth holes with needle felting

When I dug Penelope out of a suitcase where she had been resting for the last 20 odd years, I discovered that her white angora sweater with blue lambswool sleeves and trim had moth holes all in the angora portion, but the blue lambswool was just fine.

Now some people would have thought this was sad, but I thought; Great, a perfect opportunity for me to test some ideas I had for repairs on moth holes. I have a great need for this, because I wear wool sweaters all winter, and they fall into three categories; moth riddled sweaters for farm and wood shop work, soft and semi worn sweaters for in the house, and pretty nice "go in to town sweaters".
 Even though they are just work sweaters, I didn't want to try any new to me techniques on the holey ones, and possibly make them worse, because I still value them.

Working on Penelope's sweater I learned that you can just lay wool over the holes and start jabbing, but you will end up shrinking and drawing it up as you work, which could make your sweater pucker, which was great for her sweater anyway, as it was a bit oversized. So on my work sweaters, I am going to felt patches off of the sweater on the felting rice bag, make the edges all tidy, and blanket stitch them on as actual "patches" on to the sweater.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The newest spindolyn

This is the sneak preview of a new style Spindolyn ™ that I have been prototyping. It behaves a bit differently than other cross arm style spindles, making a tidy wind-on center pull ball, like that from a ball winder or nostepinne. I have a few construction elements to work out, and lots more test spinning to do, and of course an instruction sheet and video tutorial. But for now, I am in for a night of test spinning on it (oh, poor me, lol)

And I am stuck on the name. I wanted to call it the "starwinder" spindolyn but apparently that is a video game, then I thought of stella winder, moonwinder, lunawinder, satellite, orbitwinder or simply "CP spindolyn" (CP being short for center pull) Or maybe just simplify and call it the "ball winder spindolyn".

Sunday, January 27, 2019

time for a change and a new base

Over the years, the spindolyns have been honed, tested and refined to make sure they are a pleasure to use. Recently, it was pointed out to me that there are some spindle sellers making cheap imitations of the spindolyn. Since I can't control the quality of the counterfeits, I can, as always continue to  improve, test and expand the possibilities of my original well as stand behind my product and offer assistance to new spinners.

So,  I have been working on a new base to replace both the castle base and the traveler base, for several reasons.  I have always wanted to do this, but it has moved to the top of list (over the other improvements and inventions that are currently in the works) partly because it will help my spindolyns stand out as the originals against counterfeits.

The more important reasons that I have been wanting to change the base offerings, is I wanted combine the two, to make one superior base: interchangeable in heights with different lengths of dowels, or with a floor extension,  to be slimmer in the middle to fit between the thighs better, but also heftier at the bottom. Additionally, I wanted it to be out of oak to match the whorl for a more unified look.

 Here is a lineup of the current prototypes of the new base that will eventually replace the castle and traveler...I might call it the "basic base" unless you can help me think of something more original.

Not there yet! from left to right; too much like a snowman, too phallic, to boring, and last....sort of getting there. Any input is welcome.

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