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The Dangers of Spinning

In February I developed tendonitis in my right thumb (aka De Quervain’s). It’s only a particular movement that causes pain, and it’s the movement I use while spinning. Yeah, I overdid it. So I’ve been taking a break from making yarn. Instead I’m cross-stitching, which doesn’t hurt. The results won’t be for sale, though.

So the store is still running, as I have lots of yarn available. I’m just not making more, and taking commissions is on hold for a bit. As are spinning lessons. (I can still knit and weave, thankfully.)

I hope everyone is well and has a great summer!

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Antique Wheel, and My Fiber Stash

Two announcements:

First, I was given a beautiful antique spinning wheel, which I’ve fixed up. It’s from the 1860s; I know when and where it was made, and it was an heirloom in a family that went west in the 1880s in a Conestoga wagon! I’m using the wheel now for my own projects, and I’m willing to spin commissions on it. (Your yarn has to be on the thin side, though, as the wheel won’t do thicker yarns.) For more on the wheel, check the related posts on my personal site. There are even videos of me using it.

Also, I have some really beautiful fiber in my stash these days. Let me know if you want to call dibs on any of it!

Multiple colors of wool.

(Click on pictures to embiggen.)

I hope you all are well. Happy holidays!

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The Grayson Loom

I didn’t name it after myself, I swear. The maker chose the name. It’s a warp-weighted loom (the style of loom used from ancient Sumeria through the Middle Ages) that I designed with a weaver/carpenter. It’s portable, and breaks down for storage. You can weave up to a four-shaft pattern with it once you get the hang of it. It’s great for reenactors and history nerds.

To see the story of the loom and info about it, go here. To purchase, it’s on Etsy here. I’m very excited to have helped create a reasonably priced WWL for people who don’t want to build their own!

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December? Already?!

A lot has happened since I last updated the shop. A friend from the weavers guild gave me a floor loom!

A large wooden floor loom.

It’s a Macomber Add-A-Harness, 40″ weaving width, with four shafts. I plan to upgrade it to eight when I’m able. I started a project on it, but haven’t had time to finish.

Why? Because I got a part-time job at the local yarn store, which just closed last month. My boss, the owner, had been running the shop for 34 years and was ready to retire. So I helped out until the end, and have been getting the leftover products ready to put on eBay and Etsy. I’ll share links when the time comes, as we’ll have some pretty good deals on yarn and needlepoint stuff.

Now that my life is a bit calmer, I plan to resume spinning for the shop, as well as finishing that weaving project. I have some other crafty plans, too, like learning to spin “in hand” for a medieval re-creation, and learning to spin flax. Should be fun!

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The Voyageur Home

A weaving loom sitting on a dining table. There's a purple and black scarf project on it.

I’m so excited. I just got a new (used) table loom delivered via UPS. It’s a Leclerc Voyageur, 8 shafts, 24.5″ weaving width. It is a thing of beauty, and is in fantastic shape. So I thought I’d do an unboxing post.

When I opened the front door and saw this behemoth, I was surprised at how massive the box was. (I believe my exact words were “Holy fuck,” which made the UPS driver laugh out loud.)

Holy fuck, indeed.

Yeah, it’s about four feet tall.

There was a lot of packing material.

A lot of packing material.

But there was a loom in there somewhere, I knew it.

Found it!

I unwrapped it (and I’m never going to need packing supplies ever again, I don’t think) and put it on the table. The Voyageur is designed as a “workshop” loom — a folding loom that weavers can take with them to weaving classes. I wanted it because it folds up to a narrow enough size I can tuck it in the corner of my bedroom between projects. Most people who buy this model for travel get one of the narrower versions. This sucker is pretty big and weighs thirty pounds.

A folded-up weaving loom sitting on a dining table. There's a purple and black scarf project on it.

I opened it up. I had to adjust the shafts and heddles, because they’d shifted some in transit, but nothing was broken. It’s in beautiful shape, actually.

The Voyageur unfolded.

That project you see on it was from the previous owner. It’s a Tencel scarf. The pattern is a 92 row repeat. I haven’t decided if I’m brave enough to continue it.

I won’t get to play with my new toy for a bit, because I have a large spinning commission to finish. But once that’s done, I’ll give the Voyageur a go and see how I do!

Meanwhile, I’m selling my old Louet Erica, a 19″ 4-shaft table loom. I have a prospective buyer lined up and am meeting her tomorrow. And I have a weaving space for this loom, when I have the time for it. I can’t wait.

Oh yeah — and the last owner was a giant Star Trek nerd. Which is why these decals are on the side of the loom. It’s dorky as hell, but I am probably equally dorky for recognizing the outline of the starship Voyager.

The side of a loom's castle.  Decals are on it, of the Star Trek Starfleet Command logo and the Voyager spaceship.
Voyager is home. God I’m a dork.
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The Spinning Process

A commission client asked me to show pics of how the spinning process goes. I thought I would share with everyone. Please pardon my carpet — this particular fiber got everywhere while I was spinning it.

First off: I spin a singles. Not a typo, the word is plural even when it means a singular thing.

The singles is drafted from the fiber, which I hold in my left hand.

In a two-ply yarn, there are two singles plied together.

The bobbins containing the singles are on the floor to my left, held by a lazy kate.

Once the singles have been plied together, the yarn is done. Here it is on the bobbin.

Then I wind it onto the skeinwinder…

Once it’s wound, I tie it off.

And it’s ready to be washed! Wet-finishing sets the twist and makes the yarn complete. Once it’s dry, it’s off to the client.

This particular commission was for eight pounds of worsted weight yarn. I can’t wait to see what the client makes with it! If you’d like to book a commission, contact me. I charge by the ounce, and cost depends on your desired yarn thickness.

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Low on inventory…

I just wanted to update you all on the shop status. I’m currently running low on handspun, and it may take a bit before I have more. I just started back to college, and I don’t have a lot of free time for spinning at the moment.

The best way to keep up with new product updates is through the mailing list. Please subscribe, and you’ll get notified when I do shop updates.


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In the meanwhile, I decided to extend the 30% off sale on yarns and handknits until Sept. 30th. Use the code CLOSET30 at checkout.