My husband was out of town for a couple of days this week. When he is gone I am like a wild woman rushing from one crafting thing to the next.
First I had the great fleece washing that Lou Ann helped me with, then at the same time we timed how long it took to put on our Inkle loom class project.
Then, well, really at the same time, I had every wheel I own out in the family room. I am in the process of dedicating each wheel to a specific project. I have a 5 wheels, and only the great wheel is unusable right now. Here is what I came up with.
The Ashford Traditional will take over the Romney fleece that I have been working on. I can still get 2 oz on a small Ashford bobbin, and ply onto the bigger Louet bobbin. The little treadle Spindle Wheel is going to be dedicated to spinning cotton, that I have finally figured it out. It spins cotton so well I am thinking about selling my takhili spindle, and my Spindolyn. The Electric Spinner I am going to use to spin up the silk hankies I have. I want to try my hand at making tassels, and I thought silk would make beautiful Tassels. The Louet S-10 will be spinning up all that flax I was given a couple of weeks ago. Over 4 pounds of it! I chose this wheel because it has a distaff.
Here she is all loaded up and in action. The distaff is good for holding a large amount of flax, so that I have both of my hands free to draft the fibers. I have run into a couple of problems however with the placement of this distaff in relation to the orifice. You see, they are too close together! The flax has, on occasion, tried to join the already spun linen as it is making it's way to the bobbin. That just makes a mess!
Another problem I have run into is that the spun flax has to make a u-turn in my right hand and go back to the wheel. This is will quickly give me very sore fingers! I pondered on this problem for several days. I did a search on free standing distaffs as well as the hand supported ones, I wanted to see what they looked like. I knew I wanted my hands to be free so the hand supported were not what I was looking for. They are mainly used with a Hand Spindle. I started thinking that I could possible add a stand to this distaff. I even went to a couple of the hardware stores looking for ideas. I finally decided that I didn't want to spend any money on it right now so that I would have to come up with something with what I had at home. You won't believe what I came up with!
I have several small G-clamps in the studio that have come in handy more than once. I carefully clamped the existing distaff to the rocking chair that I like to sit in when I spin.
I now have a much improved pathway to the bobbin. The flax is far enough away to not mix with the spun linen and it is a straight shot from distaff to orifice. No extra wear and tear on my hands.
I am going to spin enough to weave some cloth. I have been thinking about a couple of products I Could make with it. I could make spinning lap cloths to sell to spinners or fabric to sell to re-enactors, for their garments. We will see, it will be awhile before I have anything to show for it!
There is a ton of other stuff going on, I will post more later this week,
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina