Thursday, May 31, 2007

Shades of Blue

I'm convinced the yardage of the plying test had to be a mistake. There's no way spinning would come out to the same yardage and inch. I was so excited to see the 2 strings lining up evenly that I probably lost my head in the counting of strands. From now on if something even remotely comes so close I will carefully recount. Or have Ed verify the numbers.

Plying the chocolate bar sock yarn has been a challenge. I've always plyed from the center pull created by the Turkish spindle. This tangle of snangles stalled progress a month ago. Hours of careful negotiating and yet there's still work ahead. I'm determined to finish it soon.

It was time to try the felted ball I've been reading about from Judy's blog as well as other places online. It seems crazy to add an entire new step to an already lengthy process but it was so worth the extra effort. I didn't time how long it took to wind the yarn around the ball but less than half an hour. The center pull and the outside yarns are held and wound simultaneously around the felted ball. The ball is set under a ceramic flower pot with the two free ends going through the drainage hole, attached to the spindle and plyed as normal. It took 2.5 hours total. I'll set the twist tonight then wind it onto the warping board.

Blue? Did I mention blue?

Yea, it's permanent! :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Spinning Consistency & Randomness

Cyndy tapped me to post a random eight. If you haven't seen her great use of odd and ends of yarn and wool check out her May 24th post.

For a look at an odd looking creature scurry over and check out Esmi on Celtic Memory Jo's May 24th post.

Before posting random stuff here're some details of a recent spinning experiment:
Remember the Chocolate Bar roving I've been spinning for sock yarn. It seemed to take me forever to spin the 3 ounces I'd started with. The first 1.5 oz ball went fairly quick but about 1/3rd into the second batch I hit a lo-o-ng section of murky light brown that didn't spin as smoothly and became psychologically hard for me to keep spinning. This week I determined to finish it. My speed picked up when the dye job varied back into the richer browns.

While spinning I've often wondered how many spun yarn I average out of one yard of roving. Thursday evening as I neared the roving end I measured a yard in from the end, tied a piece of yarn at the 1 yard spot then measured the roving to the 2nd yard point and tied another piece. When I reached the piece of yarn marking two yards remaining I looked at the clock and timed how long it took to spin one yard to a fairly thin single. Thirty five minutes. Hmm, a bit faster than I'd thought. It was past my bedtime so I stopped for the night. I was also curious to see what my consistency would be on two different spinning days.

Saturday morning I grabbed the spindle and remaining yard of roving, checked the clock and started in. It was one of those mornings where it felt as though it took awhile to get into a rhythm. To my surprise it also took 35 minutes!

Using the warping board to unwind the single I counted out the wraps as I circled the spindle around and around the pegs which are set one yard apart. Hmm. 1 yard roving = 18yds,26inches of spun single. Not too shabby. What would the second yard yield? Imagin my immense astonishment as the last of the single came off the spindle at:
Yes -- 18yds 26inches!!! I am blown away by this. I figured that if my singles measured within a yard of each other I'd be spinning pretty consistantly but this is phenomenal. I believe it is a fluke. I'm real curious to find out what the two 1.5ounce balls will measure once they're each plyed.

Random Stuff:
1. I've always loved water. My first memory is an image of a picnic beneath a bridge near a lazy river. I was 2.5 years old.

2. Blue is one of my favorite colors, but I have to be careful which tones I wear. The brighter shades with warm undertones are good - Turquois, cornflower blue, sapphire...

3. We've owned two blue Rambler cars. The first was a 1969 station wagon that we owned when it was 15 years old, the second was a 1966 classic sedan like this one, except blue:
We loved that car until it started having more problems than Ed could keep up with. Hey, it was 30+years old and over 200,000 miles.

4. I once hitch-hiked with a bike. A friend & I had riden our 3-speed bikes ten miles towards our 25 mile destination when my front wheel had a severe mishap which resulted in a twisted wheel. We'd arrived at the main highway and so stuck out our thumbs and waited for a driver in a pickup truck to stop. At the destination of a gas station/small shopping complex where my brother was manager we were able to get the tire fixed and ride home.

5. I like to bake, especially bread. I don't enjoy cooking.

6. I have written a children's book. It isn't published.

7. Irises are among my favorite domesticated flowers.8. They bloom in this area throughout the month of May. There are vast acres of Iris fields, this is only a small section of one.

Lots of bloggers have already posted their eight randoms so I won't tap anyone. Please post yours if your haven't been tapped.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bamboo Spindles!

Announcing the first batch of Bamboo Spindles hot from Ed's lathe and hands! They still need to be signed and then go through the couple of finishing stages so they aren't quite ready to fly out the door but close!

These first one weigh from 1.4oz to 1.6oz and are sweet to spin! That's a puff of cashmere. Remember way back when Ed first tried his hand at a bamboo spindle and I first attempted spinning cashmere? Yes, they make a good match. $40 seems a sweet price too for these spindles that get total individual attention as each one is made seperately by Ed. Interested? Drop me an email salesATjenkinswoodworkingDOTcom

In other news: Cyndy tapped me for the eight things meme. I've been mulling a list over. Haven't quite completed it with eight things. Next posting. In the meantime here's something I found amusing from a totally different blog group:


  1. YOUR REAL NAME: Fiberjoy
  2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle): (Fizzle)

  3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color plus favorite animal ) Red Horse

  4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name plus street you live on) Joy Second

  5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom's maiden name): Jen Wanoc

  6. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (Second favorite color with favorite drink) Purple Pepsi

  7. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (Men: father's middle name and mother's middle name; Women: mother's middle name and father's middle name): May Wickham

  8. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one your pets): Black Hank

  9. YOUR PORN STAR NAME: (the name of your childhood pet and the street you grew up on): Calico Star Route

I'd love to see what some of you come up with. :-)
That's it for today.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


We're so excited about Ed's newest work! He's finally developed a small circular that we feel are of a quality that we're willing to sell. The small bloodwood set on the left? Those are #2! Whoot! He's found a coil and perfected (well, that's still being worked on) his technique on these small babies. Woods and sizes clockwise from the top: Pink Ivory - #9/5.5mm; Kingwood - #6/4mm; Ebony - #10.5/6.5mm; Bloodwood - #2/2.25mm

So often as I move through the day I blog in my mind, and collect pictures to share. And I plan to post on a more regular basis but the opportunity slips away and when I might have time to blog my mind is tired, or blank.

I am feeling fluish/feverish. Sitting at the computer moving only my fingers suits me just fine. (I'm resisting the pull of a nap, there are things I'd rather accomplish.)

Aurora found these dark chocolate covered bits of figs at New Seasons. Ymmm! I like to believe they're very healthy. The roses are from son JJ. They are still adorning the table as the blooms have slowly opened. Finished socks! They only took me, uh... five months. Lorna's Lace on size 5 needles, plain rib pattern. You'd think they would have been a breeze to complete. Lorna's Lace yarn is so soft to knit and I know the recipient will happily wear them. Like the softness of the yarn these socks quietly, politely spoke my name, never shouting for attention, even when all but the toe was finished and they lanquished in the sock bag for a few weeks.I'm wanting to spin silk again. On the left is a
2.3oz Lilac spindle with silk from a hankie. It holds a fast, true spin 40-45 seconds.

The copper spindle is something Ed made just for the enjoyment of playing around to see what he could do with copper last winter. It weighs 1.3oz and holds its spin for only 15-20 seconds. When I used it right after he made it I wasn't impressed by the short spin and slight wobble so had put it away. Sorting through stash the other day I came upon it and gave it another go. A few months of more experience made it more enjoyable to use. The Tussah top silk is a joy to spin, but I still prefer a heavier spindle.

Walk with Me Wednesday took place behind the lawn mower. With days of sun followed by days of rain the grass needs mowing weekly. Even then there are areas that take some careful, slow mowing in order not to choke the the mower with all the lush grass.

This is the most recent project. A friend and I are each making matching summery cotton sweaters. I think it'll be a quick knit though we plan to work on these mostly when we're meeting Friday mornings at The Purl District for Spin and Yak.
Faith woke up from her nap on Thursday in time to help me pack orders.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


May Day seems faded in memory already and yet it's always been a day of special memories. Sadly more technological hexing had my nose to the computer though not enough to keep me from hearing a quiet knock at the door. When I opened it these greeted me:

Thank you dear neighbor boy. He weekly brings us fresh eggs from his chickens. One week the phone rang just as he handed me the eggs. I put the container of change on the table and told him to count out the amount due him while I took the phone order. After I hung up NB was standing uncertainly by the table.
"Did you get your money?" He shook his head shyly. What in the world was I thinking! How many five year olds know how to count money? It was a fun, instant lesson in learning how about the different values of pennies, nickles, dimes, and quarters. A kid knows coins are the real stuff.

The last day of April a customer on the phone alerted us to the fact that some emails weren't getting through. For a week I'd been wondering but there were enough coming in that I really couldn't tell for sure. It's truly mindboggling how we've managed now to have two webhosts flake out on us. Oh to have a dedicated server with tech geeks making sure all is well!

Hours were spent over the next two days freeing up our website, searching for a new host through review sites, moving the site (and losing all previous emails in the process), and waiting on hold for the longest lengths of time in order to talk with live people.

This project was perfect for the long process where I needed a mindless task. Rolled bandage for Tropical Ulcer Patients through Global Health Ministries. Double crocheted from Peaches and Cream cotton, size H hook, 13 stitches wide by 4 feet long.

I had some gifted yarns that has been quietly pleading to be used but were being very selective in what they wanted to be. Over the past couple months an idea slowly formulated in my mind.

I think of this warp as representing the green island. See the ocean foam, the woods and moss? I used some of my handspun merino/tencel in the red parts of the warp as trees and soil. The rest of the warp in mossy green, and white mohair yarns wrapped with other bits and pieces of color were gifted yarns. Thank you to the dear gifter, this is only the first of more projects in mind.

A friend was celebrating her 50th birthday last Saturday and this first one was for her. She has a fine appreciation of nature.

Cut from loom and ends tied.

The small clutch, washed and dried.