Posts tagged ‘distaff’

It hit me today, as I was cleaning out the sock collection. I know what to do with those old socks! I’d been trying to come up with some practical re-use of the wool blend socks I wear year-round here in San Francisco. The feet are all worn out, but the tops still look great. But I don’t sew sweatshirts or anything in need of a cuff.

But yesterday I was at an outside spinning demo where it was cold and windy, an unusual thing for the East Bay this time of year. I was fighting the wind to keep my fiber under control, so I tucked it into the sleeve of my sweatshirt. Now I have a nice wool-blend wrist distaff for spindle spinning. And I don’t have to feel guilty about throwing away those old socks. You can read about it here.

Today was my spinning guild meeting, so I got to hang out with a bunch of spinners. The program was on handheld distaffs so I got several more pictures for the distaff page. One member was impressed with my photographic professionalism because I brought a black cloth to use as a backdrop. It’s the same one I’ve been using all along. It also happens to be one of my spinning lap cloths, too. I look at my yarn when I spin, and I can’t see it very well if I don’t have a contrast background. There were also several comments about my matched set of wrist supports. I don’t currently have major trouble with repetitive stress injury from spinning and I’d like to keep it that way. I was applauded for figuring this out beforehand and doing something about it. I’ve been meaning to write something about spinning ergonomics but I haven’t gotten there yet.

I’ve now got the borrowed charka. A very nice piece of equipment, I must say. Everything the Bosworths make is perfectly finished and finely tuned. I can’t come up with enough good words about their stuff even if it’s pricey. The fit and finish of the charkas just can’t be compared to the Indian ones, people I know who don’t care at all about spinning admire them for the engineering. I spent the meeting with the same brown cotton — I didn’t bring anything else knowing I’d have the charka. I even remembered to bring a towel to fold up and sit on, because they work best on a large flat surface and in this case that can only mean the floor. I’m not sure where I can set it up here because I can’t sit on the floor without something to lean against and floor space is already at a premium. Maybe I’ll go find a quiet corner at the library. One very nice thing about all the charkas is they fold up and fit in a small bag. The book charkas are quite literally that, less than the size of a good hardcover trashy novel.

I was also able to get a few more items from the guild library, I returned the copy of Spinning Designer Yarns and picked up some old Spin-Off issues and Fleece in your hands. I needed that book for some last details on wools for one of the tables. I could tell that the author of the wool table had it, as much of the required information comes directly from it. One thing I’ve noticed is that if you locate the correct book, filling out the tables is easy. Between Fleece in your hands and The essentials of yarn design for handspinners, I think I could almost do the whole wool table right there. But, ever the engineer, I have to look elsewhere to confirm that what I find reflects current reality. That was really important for the colored cotton data as much has changed in recent years.

One of the magazine issues had an article about one of the few sheep not covered, Tunis, and another on rare breeds (although I already have what I need about those.) The other has Rita Buchanan’s article about woolen and worsted and why she thinks the terms and the concepts both need to be allowed a graceful demise so the rest of us can move on. There was also the results of the 2000 reader survey, which I vaguely remember submitting. I recall at the time I was getting frustrated by the growing number of knitting articles. I added my own write-in reply of nålbinding for what I did with my yarns. I guess few other people did because it wasn’t mentioned. (It’s a looped needle technique somewhat related to crochet and far predates true knitting.) There are about a dozen issues in the guild library and going through them is both fun and frustrating. I started thinking about what I was working on at the time and that the reason I was rummaging through the box in the first place is because almost all my books are still in storage back east. With one exception, I own all those issues but I only have access to the ones since I moved to California. Same thing with Fleece in your hands, which is how I knew I would find the information I needed in there. I try not to get too whiny about that but it is annoying that my temporary storage is now three years and counting. Several details of my COE work, not to mention everyday life, would be much simpler if I had the things still sitting in Atlanta.

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