Friday, February 28, 2014

Slice of Life

I live in a very old house, and I spin on very old spinning wheels, and I weave on very old looms.  I am detecting a pattern aren't you!  I don't know what it is about the old things, Dear One teases me about being born in the wrong century.  It may be that I can feel the connection with history every time I sit down to spin or weave.  Or it could be the thrill I get when I learn a new skill, or handle a new fiber, especially the fibers that have been used for centuries like flax, and wool.

It centers me, the gentle whirring of the wheel, the creak of the treadle,  the rhythm of the loom.   I can think,  I can pray,  I can make plans for the days and weeks ahead, and trouble shoot any problems there might be.  When I arise I am a calmer, gentler,  and all around happier person.  That is why I love it!

I love living out here, just outside of the local towns, close enough to be convenient, far enough to be quiet and country like.  We love having family and folks out to our house to share a Sunday afternoon.  As the weather begins to warm up we are spending more time outside.

Last Sunday, we had 3 families with kids, a total of 16 people were at the house.  A friendly game of softball was underway when we noticed that we had an audience.  We have an unusual set of softball rules at our house, that have developed as the oldest grandson has grown up.  One of the longest standing rules is that if you get a hit, you run as fast as you can around the house.  If you can make it back to the front porch before you are hit with the wiffle ball, you have a home run.  Like I was saying, we noticed that we had an audience, that we were not expecting.

The market calves, all 10 of them, were lined up at the fence, watching the humans play the game.  I suppose this is the first time we have been outside in a "herd", since they have been in this field.  I had noticed that they have a habit of congregating  around the chicken pen, to watch the chicken channel at least once a day.  I ran into the house and grabbed the camera, I just had to get it on camera.

Next month, this batch of steers will be off to market, and then the new calves with their mom's will be in this field.  I do love watching the little ones running, and jumping around the field together.  Hmmm, It seems that I do as much cattle watching as they to  people watching!

Until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It Just Happened

I totally didn't mean to do it, but you would have done the same thing, if you were me!  It all started when I happened to check Craigslist, just for giggles you know.  (I really should stop doing that!)  There she was, one of the spinning wheels I have been keeping and eye out for, one of the early tilt tension wheels made in Canada in the mid 1850's and 60's, by Jeremie Ouellet.

 The price was right on, thought the pictures were not the greatest.  I called this morning to see if the wheel was still available, and it was.  I roped Lou Ann into going with me after weaving.  We set off for a quick trip to the mountains about 1 hour away.  We only had to call the seller once when I wasn't sure which driveway I should take.

We were warmly welcomed by Tommy and Paula, and we sat and chatted for an hour before we even got around to talking about the wheel!  They had bought it a couple of years ago at an auction, and had admired it since then, though neither of them spin!  We finally got around to discussing the wheel, and they asked me if I wanted to try it out.  Of course I did!  They already had a drive band on, and I had brought some roving to use.

I found the bobbin stiff on the mandrel and the yarn was a little sluggish on the uptake, but I think that will be fairly easy to take care of.  I know some tricks!

Tomorrow it is supposed to snow a lot in the valley, if it does, I know what I am going to be doing all afternoon.

Until next time, Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Double Flyer Wheel in Action

After I posted a couple of pictures to Ravelry "Antique Wheels Group", one of the members asked if this wheel was a "Schippertje" or Barge Wheel.  Well you know that sent me searching the internet!  Turns out this is a Dutch wheel that was used on the barges that travelled along the canals in Holland and Germany in the 19th Century!  I was thrilled to have so much information in such a short time!

I asked my weaving buddy Lou Ann if she would video me spinning on the wheel during our Tuesday Weavers show and tell.  I had hoped to post it to Ravelry, but I can not figure that out!  I then remembered that I could post it here and then do a linkydink!

After practicing all day yesterday, between laundry and bread making, I did pretty good, and at least looked like I knew what I was doing.


Until next time Happy Spinning, Tina