Pop Goes The Weasel

spinning weasel

Walked into a local thrift store looking yesterday and saw this! Thinking to myself, “Is this an antique yarn winder?” I checked the item over. Looking at the constructing, including square nails, I knew it was old and had to have it! $30, I think it’s a bargain. I figured The Hubs could make new ends to the spokes.

square nails

Aren’t the square nails wonderful! Look at the aged top of this piece.

Curious about the item, I did an online search, and was so excited to finds pictures of this item. It turns out that this is a Spinning Weasel. Know the song, “Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought it all was a joke. Pop, goes the weasel!”(I know, I know, some people think it refers to cobblers tools.) See the top knob? That’s the weasel. I’m so excited! This was made in the 1800’s. In one picture, someone had engraved 1843 into the wood on the base.

According to Wiki:

Spinner’s weasel or clock reel is a mechanical yarn measuring device consisting of a spoked wheel with gears attached to a pointer on a marked face (which looks like a clock) and an internal mechanism which makes a “pop” sound after the desired length of yarn is measured (usually a skein). The pointer allows the spinner to see how close she/he is to reaching a skein. The weasel’s gear ratio is usually 40 to 1, and the circumference of the reel is usually two yards, thus producing an 80-yard skein when the weasel pops (after 40 revolutions).[1][2][3]

Some reels or skein winders are made without the gear mechanism. They perform the same function, but without the “clock” or pop to aid the spinner in keeping track of the length of thread or yarn produced. …[4][5]

 

broken

See the yellow arrow, that piece that “clicks” against the gear inside is broken. I need to find out how long and what shape that needs to be so it can be repaired!

The way it works, is that when the yarn is spun onto the spool, the end is tied to one of the spoke ends. The spinner then revolves the spokes until the mechanism “pops”. How totally cool. I wish I could just touch the item and visualize it’s entire history.

QGo have a wonderful, happy, crafty day.

Nostepinne Madness

Just the beginning

Just the beginning

Finished

Finished

My "nest" with a center pull

My “nest” with a center pull

What was I thinking? Winding 100 grams of my hand-dyed, amethyst-colored, sock yarn on a nøstepinde is not a quick undertaking.  I guess I was trying to “feel-as-one” with my Norwegian ancestors. Been thinking a lot about my grandma, Grandma’s favorite gem was the amethyst and flower the violet. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, this month’s sock is based on the amethyst and violet. Grandma was a first generation American, her parents came from Norway. With her foremost in my thoughts while working on this project, it’s not surprising that I eschewed my swift and winder.

The nostepinne, also spelled nystepinne or nøstepinde, is a traditional Scandinavian tool for spinners, weavers, and knitters to wind a center-pull ball of yarn. Nostepinne translates to “nest stick”. It looks like a big dowel, a really fancy one.  Grandma’s sisters told me that it was the traditional engagement gift in Norway. A young man would carve one for his bride-to-be.  Some of them were very elaborately carved, lucky women who received them. How wonderful it would have been to have inherited one from my Norwegian family.  The nice thing about the nostepinne is that it’s easy to travel with, sturdy, not easily broken, does not need a clamp or batteries, or even a swift, and it doesn’t change the yarn twist. Picture this: I’m sitting on the couch with legs up and my feet are acting as a swift. Wind, wind, wind, rest, wind, wind, wind, rest, etc. It took hours since I was trying to be ergonomic, but, finally, success was mine.  I now have a wonderful, center pull “nest”. I’m ready to start on this month’s socks.

images

Antique Nostepinne

NF.1913-1009-300x118

Carved antique nostepinne

QThanks for stopping by. Now go have a crafty day.

 

Nothing Super About Superwash

Mountain Mist Superwash

Mountain Mist Superwash

After much moaning and groaning, I finally finished the 4 oz. roving of Mountain Mist (60% Superwash, 30% Bamboo, 10% Nylon). What made this such a “pain” to spin? I’ve spun wool, bamboo, nylon blends which were a joy to spin, as the fiber flowed beautifully between my fingers. The difference in this roving is the superwash. The wool was not soft and lovely, it wanted to slub, and I was continually battling chunks. Not lovely at all to spin. I will have to say it was the best balanced yarn I’ve ever spun. I chalk that up to getting better and spinning it on my Sidekick Rosie. Another disappointment, was how dull the colors became after it was soaked in Soak and hung to dry. The roving colors were quite brilliant before, now it’s very dull.

There are about 485 yards, so perhaps I’ll knit a cowl. For some reason, I’m on a cowl kick and just keep looking at awesome cowl patterns. One pattern I’m totally in love with is Luna Virdis by Hillary Smith Callis. My superwash is not the right yarn for this pattern. The beautiful stitches would get lost in the variegated, barber pole colors. Isn’t this pattern stunning?

Luna Viridis by Hilary Smith Callis

Luna Viridis by Hilary Smith Callis

 

Bits and Pieces for Kitty Pi; Part Deux

Kitty Pi

Kitty Pi

Remember this? I blogged about Kitty Pi on Feb 25, 2014 . I made this cat bed out of all the bits and pieces of my handspun; the practice bits.

Finally sent it to my daughter Darcey for her precious Roxy who adores my hand knits and will climb up in their closet to get one. Results? This review came in this morning from Roxy’s sister Pepper who has never been interested in my hand knits. Photographed by my highly creative s-i-l Todd. Stay tuned!

And, Pepper is an attack cat! My husband has the bragging scars to prove it.

How Warped Can I Be?

Relaxing with a cuppa

Relaxing with a cuppa

Cold, spotty rain, grey day, perfect for a cuppa and reading. I found a new “Cheese Shop” mystery series by Avery Aames and I’m reading the first book: The Long Quiche Good-bye. Although I was quite prepared to snuggle up and read all day, this kept “talking” to me:

Glimakra Emilia loom

Glimakra Emilia loom

This is too much! I swore I wasn’t going to take up weaving because I really do not need one more creative endeavor. Then, one of the women in spinning class brought in her Emilia and let me try her out. Instant crush! It was meant to be when I checked my emails and there was an offer from Paradise Fibers – spend $300 get a $100 credit. Now Emilia sits in my living room calling to me: warp me, weft me, let me make something beautiful for you.

Plying fingerling yarn

Plying fingerling yarn

So, instead of curling up reading I’ve been alternating: 1.  plying together two 1200-yard skeins of fingerling yarn (that’s .681 miles), which I’ll never use for knitting but I’ll use for the warp and 2. winding the weft yarn onto the shuttle.

Loading the shuttle

Loading the shuttle

Joined Weavolution and watched YouTube videos on how to load the shuttle with yarn and how to warp a rigid heddle. Don’t you just love the information on YouTube? Ah, what a day. A jillion new weaving terms: sett, sleying, beaming, shed, bubbling, draw-in, etc. Yikes!

We are actually expecting a huge rain storm the next couple of days. So Emilia and I might become better acquainted.

Can anybody recommend some great weaving sites?

Spinning Around

Cormo-Bamboo blend with my tag

Cormo-Bamboo blend with my tag

The Olympics has started and my spinning bug is in high gear. I shared the Cormo-Bamboo blend I finished on Valentine’s Day a few days ago. This is the year I am determined to label every skein spun! To reach that goal I have designed spinning labels. You know I  need my Photoshop “fix” every so often

Spinning Tags by Q

Spinning Tags by Q

I made them in pink, purple, and turquoise to share will all of you: one sheet per color. Click on the links for the color you’d like:  Spinning Tags pink2, Purple Tag, and spinning tags turquoise . Print on card stock, fill in the information, add a string and tie onto your precious, hand-spun skein of yarn. No muss, no fuss. I would enjoy seeing any pictures of handspun yarn using my labels.

If anyone knows a better way to upload pdf in WordPress let me know. I’m used to regular websites where the docs are uploaded and then linked to. Also, if there is a favorite color you’d like to see let me know and I’ll make them.

Nothing Bitter About This Bitterroot Shawl

Homespun and Bitterroot

Homespun and Bitterroot

If anyone had told me when The Hubs and I married, in 1972, that both of our moms and sisters would end up living in Western Montana I would have had them committed. Well, life is stranger than fiction. We were raised here in San Diego, in this gloriously perfect weather. (Read: no snow storms here in town). Hub’s mom and step-dad moved to Seeley Lake around 1976, with his sister moving up not too long afterwards. A lot of summers since 1976 have been spent vacationing there. My sister moved to Frenchtown about 10 years ago. Due to health problems, our parents ended up living with my sister.  After all of the visits and explorations while there, we’ve come to know Western Montana fairly well. I’ve been to and through the Bitterroot Valley many times. Heck, Mountain Colors is in Corvallis which is in the valley. We often drive up I-15 and drive home Montana 93 (Pray for me I drive 93) which goes right through the valley. This valley is a narrow valley rich in Lewis and Clark history.

This is a rambling intro to today’s topic. I’ve been spinning up a storm. I finally finished spinning 7 0z, about 400 yds, of a super yummy Cormo-silk blend which is processed and produced in Morro Bay, California. My wonderful Sidekick was used to spin this squishy yarn pictured above. Love it! Quite a while ago, I saw the Bitterroot shawl pattern by Romi Hill on Knitty.com. It’s a free pattern. This yarn will be perfect. The yarn is a tad thicker than the 18 WPI that is suggested. Mine is 16 WPI. I plan on knitting the shawlette not the large shawl. Our weather is more conducive to shawlettes.

In January, while at Joseph’s Coat, I asked my Montana sister to pick out a pattern and yarn she’d like to have me knit as a present for her. She picked out the Lolo shawlette, which was featured in our Jan 28 post. Guess where Lolo is? That’s right in the Bitterroot Valley. What are the odds that two projects would both be named for the small valley in Western Montana? Places that this San Diego lady is quite familiar with. Between sewing, spinning and knitting, I’ve finished 1/2 of Lolo. The lighter colored yarn was processed and produced in Montana.

Lolo shawlette

Lolo shawlette

Are there other patterns named for locations in Western Montana which I need to know about?