Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Intros and descriptions that will lead into interviews (I know, I’ve been stuck…but taking a “fun” approach and words are flowing — just want to post all intros at once)

New interviews: Shannon Shanks of Broken Pattern (etsy); Phil Powell of Custom Wood Designs (etsy) and Ian Tait of IST Crafts (http://thewoodemporium.co.uk) have all agreed to mini-interviews — all are very busy, but I’m excited to share work by each!!!

And new items and designs in 2 shops (more info below); and my thoughts on bowls.

Insights to upcoming mini-interviews:

Shannon takes a very organic approach to wood-turning and my spindle-collaboration reminded me very much of the process used by artists and artisans I’ve known throughout my life. Broken Pattern contains a range of different fiber arts tools as well as a variety of hand-dyed and hand-spun fibers.

Shannon created a spindle with a silk-like tulipwood whorl:
20121211-043524.jpg20121211-043547.jpg (just lovely!) and uber-thin smooth birch shaft ideal for short staples (hoped for a wood spindle to use for cotton, but this works well for silks too!)


Phil Powell has a shop filled with exciting fiber arts tools, with rare woods and unique designs — nostepinnes, darning eggs like this recent beautifully figured black/white ebony beauty:

20121211-043153.jpg 20121211-043317.jpg

He makes beautiful drops and recently developed a design for metal tipped Russians — and they are FAST!!!

Cocobolo and Burmese Blackwood spindles — my first 2 metal-tips! — with 2 different preps of DebsFibers (etsy); preferring sushi batts over nests (though both are prepared with the care of a friend and eye of an artist):


I’ve since experimented plying Deb’s fiber — traditional 2-ply and my first N-ply (Navajo or 3-ply) spun/plied on the Hansen.


**NOTE: Metal points have the potential to ruin wood bowls, esp. softer woods.

I personally use stoneware (over regular ceramic) surfaces in the form of spoon-rests or small spinning bowls. The ones in the photos below were made by Julie Cavender at Willow Tree Pottery (etsy). Her spoon-rests are the perfect size to slip in your purse or project bag and these small spinning bowls contain a smooth thumb-sized divot in the center perfect for support spinning. She was able to make a mini-version to fit inside me S-shaped “lap bowl” Joshua (texasjeans) designed so that I could spin sitting in my wheelchair (my goal was to spin outside, his creation works everywhere for me; and, now with Julie’s help, I can use any spindle anywhere too!)



This last bowl, much larger than the others, was a recent gift from my mother. She brought it back from a trip she made to Argentina when my Grandmother was reunited with her sister after 40 years! They were born in Sicily and immigrated to two different countries to marry; my Grandmother never saw other members if her family. A beautiful bowl from such a significant trip! :)

I only store fauxlogs and small nests of fiber of projects I spin from bed — I'd never risk using this for spinning!


Ian Tait started out making tapestry and lace bobbins, but soon started selling drop spindles. Concerned about the environmental impact of using certain woods, he tops a sycamore base with a thin slice of exotic wood — his way to offer the best of both worlds. He also makes Russians (with or without metal tips), Turks — with the option of brass weights in the wings to elongate spin and, most recently, added a Tibetan, with a tulip-shaped whorl:


Sycamore bowls w/a trim to match the wood of the Tibetan are also available.

I started spinning an AWESOME Merino/SeaCell blend prepared in easy to spin pencil roving by Kimber at Fiber Optics — Once the stock is replenished, I recommend no-one purchase any….until I have enough time to buy more for myself! LOL

I seriously recommend giving this blend a go…I’m not often blown away by new things, but colors, prep, package…the team at Fiber Optics is very talented. Here is my attempt at a “neat” turtle with this super cool roving, spun on an IST Turk with bog oak wings, ash shaft and a reinforce tip for spinning semi-supported in the wheelchair Ian was kind enough to add for me:



So, I rarely make shop updates listed on Ravelry — even if I do, most items fly off virtual shelves too fast; if a 30 second window exists…well, most spindles are too long or heavy for me to just outright purchase.

Yet, I still look at recently sold items and try to keep up on different trends and styles.

First, I must say Enid Ashcroft seems especially inspired in her work over the past few months. I admire her as an artist and person; and certain designs of late…well, the wood, the attention to detail, the courage (Paduak Russians with sap wood! How is that possible?!), new designs — beehives in almost every style, and, although not a new item, Enid has included drop spindles (made in the Blossom and Pagoda styles that give her other spindles a unique artsy flair and, most recent to appear, a beehive drop) in her shop almost every week.


Art. Functional art.

And, No Worries — she hasn’t stopped making the lovely spindles that first caught the eye of spindlers like myself; as seen here with 2 spindles gifted to me — a sheoak Russian with matching bowl and a mini-Turk, with a purpleheart shaft (not as purple as photo suggests) serving as a backdrop to Yew wings:


(yew is so very cool; fiber optics pencil roving — closest for my first test spin!)
And, last but not least, Joshua Lynch of TexasJeans (etsy) has added 2 new spindles to his line-up: Tibetan and Victorian Lace Spindles!!

His Tibetans are made with the same thin flick many of us enjoy using, with attention to speed, balance and longevity — and they spin impressively long! Shafts are maple, curly maple, walnut and cherry, with 2 styles of whorls in a variety of wood choices.

A few examples from his sold items:


Made ideal for me to spin in bed, car or my wheelchair, Joshua made a custom Tibetan with a curly maple shaft and maple burl whorl — completely “wowed” and grateful for the care he took in creating this spindle for me, I fear my photos do not do justice:



Stay tuned for these and other updates coming soon to a blog near you!

And, thank you to everyone for your patience — although out of my control, I hope things will start moving along quickly…

Feel free to leave a (kind) reply below.

Suggestions are always welcome as are guest writers — feel free to e-mail me at spindlers_musings@earthlink.net



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As sure as Mel Brooks failed to offer History of the World: Part II, this spindler has yet you bring you Rhinebeck: Part II; whilst not a sequel, health, family and life in general has resulted in more delays…frustrating, but out of my control.

The unfinished addendum focused on my time with Kevin and Beth Hansen and their electronic spinner. I learned a lot that day, my time with the Hansen’s a great finale to meeting so many interesting people and seeing the variety of items that make up the world of fiber arts.

Following a hands-on demonstration where I was able to practice using this well-made spinning machine, agreement from my friend and her sisters (whom all seemed impressed with The Hansen’s and their namesake device), I felt fully confident investing in the Hansen e-spinner.

Already, A++ for customer service; most recent: Kevin’s super-fast e-mail reply answering questions regarding battery recommendations. Once I knew I could easily operate the e-spinner home-alone, extra bobbins, a narrow orifice tube and quill attachment easily ordered from the Hansen website also arrived in super-fast speed.

A beautiful maple exterior, simple design, easy for me to pick up on (if you don’t recall, only mere hours earlier I saw a real life spinning wheel for the first time!) and the ability to use from bed, makes this another “tool” that allows me to spin on days I otherwise would not be able; I hope it will increase my production of finished yarn ready to knit or crochet, as it physically takes me longer and longer.

So, yes. I invested in an e-spinner.

Yes, me — self-proclaimed spindler that I am.

And, yes, I like using it.

Yet, it cannot replace my hand spindles.

I feel lost the mornings I am unable to spin in MY living room chair, which, BTW, is in the wrong spot! An issue I have struggled with for many years now. My mother, one of THE MOST caring, loving human beings I will ever know, decided “change is good” and moved MY chair over a year ago. I suggested we move HER chair, so she could reap the benefits of rearranging the living room, but no…she respectfully declined. Just like the only change in congress, the only change in our living room had no benefit to me.

In fact, the power of feng shui is dead in my world…a quick demise for a victim lost in the throes of a struggle in the name of change. Specifically, when it comes to moving MY favorite chair from it’s corner, where all MY favorite chairs spent their days from the time I was a young girl to the present, where I now live at home as an adult…change is NOT good.

I’m not bitter or upset though.


So, I sit in front of the picture window, looking out toward the dining room (table’s in the wrong spot now too! oy.) with one of my three favorite spindles — 2 Russians and a Tibetan. Always, my morning meditation involves spinning one of Loop’s bumps — this particular one is only for mornings. I keep 2 spindles in the bag the fiber came in and grab an S-shaped “lap-bowl” Joshua Lynch designed so I could spin from the wheelchair. It easily works from anywhere — wheelchair, bed, car, LR chair in the wrong spot …

I used to do yoga. Starting off every morning centered, energized; ending my days in poses that drained away the stresses of the day. For awhile, I worked with someone on modified poses for home and sessions in her office, where ropes built into a wall supported and enabled many poses I thought no longer possible. This was pre-wheelchair and other health maladies.

I miss yoga. I miss it very much.

In it’s place, beginning my own meditation of sorts: spinning. Using one of two spindles special to me — in part, because the kindness of the talented individuals that made each; in part, because they are so beautiful; in part, because they bring me the most JOY.

We all have gems in our collections. The one made with your favorite wood. The one that seems to spin forever, effortlessly. The one that fits you hand just so, as if it were literally made for you. The one that came unexpected, that you had extra money to buy, that caught your eye, that has an OOAK property….

I enjoy spinning a great number of my spindles, but two more than all others.

(And, no, I won’t reveal which 2 they are!)

But these 2 spindles helped me accept an important change. (Not the mis-placement of MY chair.)

Maybe choice is a better word.

No longer able to do yoga left me 2 choices: lay in bed missing yoga or find a new way to start my days. I struggled with this for the longest time, until the second of the 2 spindles arrived.

I was lost in the act of spinning. Relaxed, loving the beauty of this new spindle and how soft it felt against my hand — a perfect fit! — watching it spin (it was/is so smooth and fast I sometimes can’t even tell it’s spinning until it slows down! I’ve experienced this with others since, but at that time….this spindle was, well, meant for ME, for my hands — how COOL is that?).

Like saying a mantra over and over, the act of flicking the thin shaft, drafting, another flick to allow the singles to wrap around the shaft just below my fingers. Over and over, like holding a pose to release the stress of the day in my muscles OR painting — brushes in each hand until, viscerally, I knew my work was done.

Singles butterflied onto an ever-growing cop — I knew I found a solution.

All kidding aside, every day I am able, I ask for help to sit in the (ill-positioned) chair and start my day spinning. Not a traditional meditation, but I’ve never been much for conventional ways — in my life, they seem to serve as a place of which to jump off. An understanding of the results of practices like meditation and yoga and an openness to discover I don’t need them to center myself.

Complicated? Never as much as I make it out to be.

Difficult? Yes, sometimes it is difficult when no longer able to do something I love. Something, like yoga, that I would never choose to let go.

Sad? No. Not if my life is defined by limits.

Limitations, like convention, can be a place to dive into the water, with open heart and mind to discover all that is possible.

I’m rambling; it’s late, I’m tired and still want to finish editing more content for the website and blog…but I cannot stop thinking about the importance of possibility. Of how, especially at first, the moment life changes, the moment we look down and no longer see the foundation of which we thought secure to stand upon…

What does one do without ground to stand on?

We fly in the air,
We dive into the water,
We call aweather the wind,
We recognize the earth below.

We realize our feet are never firmly planted in the ground,
They can’t be.
They never were; but —
We know we are OK.

Comfortable in the groundless-ness,
We can see possibility.

Maybe possibility isn’t yoga today; maybe not ever.
I remind myself THAT is OK.

And spin.
Starting over again, each day I am able, with a bag of fiber in the mornings and a spindle.

One of 2 that are so special to me; spin perfect, soft against my hand and bring such JOY — I become lost in the process…

(so lost, some days I forget…the chair on which I sit, is in the wrong spot)

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Got Milk?

Expecting to lose power a la Sandy, I decided today was not conducive to polishing off Rhinebeck: the Sequel.

Each time I went to do any time-consuming activity that involved electricity…power: off.

Aside from a few flickers, to my surprise the lights are still on.

I should quantify the significance of this — we ALWAYS lose power:

Rain: blackout.
Wind: blackout.
Ever so slight northwest breeze: blackout.
Sneeze outside: blackout.
Hurricane: no blackout. what??

Well, there IS still time.


Rainy days and mondays, feeling pretty tired, joints swollen and painful….

Overall, not a productive day.

And, now that it’s time to power off, the juice is flowing fine. Not even a slight flicker — my lamp or my eyes!

This evening I spun Milk Protein for the first time. I felt it before, but not enough of a sample to bother spinning.

I plan to use a Russian turned by Mark at Pumpkin Hill Farm from a piece of Panga Panga.

I know, Panga what? At first appearance, it looks like the negative of wenge. A brief internet search…it’s a relative of wenge! Sibling? Cousin? Second-generation once removed? … Panga and wenge are family. Both from East Africa, with similar hardwood traits; Wenge is notably darker.

My Panga Russian, chosen from my collection for its light weight and fast spin — two traits I find essential when spinning silk on a support. Although my first time spinning this fiber, I am approaching similar as I do silk.

Surprisingly, fiber from milk protein (casein) is not a new conception.

In fact, the use of casein (not as a fiber or beverage component) dates back centuries! An artist, history buff and somewhat nerdy, this exemplifies the sort of tidbit of useless information I carry around in my head. I have a near-photographic memory; “near” as medication, health, possible old age results the occasional wayward tidbit of (useful) information. Sans the opportunity to buzz in questions on jeopardy, the majority of my truly intellectual conversations of late occur with Murph…my dog (shh…it offends him when I call him the D-word).

Oy. A master of segue….


Centuries before the advent of an alternative fiber, casein served as a “binder” of sorts in paints commonly referred to as tempera (not to be confused with tempura, another protein, derived from a Japanese fish dish).

Tempera paints were made by mixing a pigment, egg yolk and something like casein or vinegar or water — the latter three or similar substances meant to prevent cracking by extending the time it takes an egg yolk to dry. Adding substances like casein enabled artists to control the consistency of paint; unlike water-based acrylics, I used to know artists that used tempera as a base layer to conserve on oils or, better, conserve on money). Although not completely passé (I used as a kid!); I don’t recall seeing tempera as the primary medium in a work of art for decades — last that comes to mind: Andy Warhol….think early Warhol? My art history regarding such facts is limited and this blog is about fiber arts.

Still, it’s art and if not interested in a few facts I’m overjoyed to have a use for, kindly skip the next few paragraphs.

The casein extended the life of the tempera; many community buildings with mosaics or maybe it’s merely murals (?? see, a detail I cannot recall!) that have stood the “test of time” (ugh. I’m so tired I resorted to cliché) contain casein in the paint.

During the first world war, casein paints were used to create camouflage. My Uncle Mike, a proud Marine, talented artist and mentor of sorts — art and life — helped to create camouflage during WWII. He was a well respected and known local artist, but I’m not sure if he designed or actually helped paint it…just know he was very proud to share with me the non-violent contributions to the US war efforts.

What does this have to do with spinning fiber?


Well, a little. During the WWII, when many families were still struggling as a result of the depression and other families needed to watch pennies with so many husbands overseas milk fiber was a common textile.

Produced in Italy and the US around the WWII (possibly earlier) casein was used as a more economic alternative to wool. Not as successful, I assume, as it hasn’t been used for this purpose in any major way of which I am aware.

I read this long before I ever saw or felt a sample of milk protein fiber; so, when it arrived, I was very surprised! It doesn’t feel or spin like “wool.”

Milk protein is soft and light and the fibers….well, you know how silk fibers seem to easily part? Say, if you grabbed a length of mulberry silk and brought your hands together — you can see individual fibers…they don’t “cling” in the same way as Merino or Corrie wool.

Yet, the attractiveness of the fiber is obvious — it’s lovely, takes color, has moisture-resistant properties similar to wool (a factoid I read in a recent shop’s description). I can’t say whether it drapes similar, if it feels breathable if you wear an item or the care needed to wash it.

I must say, knowing it was used as substitute to wool, I expected it to look, feel and spin similar to wool. Yes, wool is a broad term; maybe baby alpaca or something similarly slick. However, to me, it looks and feels like silk — not as shiny as a Mulberry/Bombyx, but possibly a Tussah — the kind I recently heard described as “creamy.”

Yes. Milk protein fiber is like an unpasteurized, creamy, opaque Tussah.

Now, a day later — storm, not feeling well or blog-erly — and too lazy to try to find the source of these facts when I first heard about milk fiber for spinning a few years ago. Milk fiber is not the eco-friendly dream granola nuts like myself assumed when first hearing about “alternative” fibers.

Myth: Milk fiber does not use chemicals.

It does. Same as rayon. Same as Acrylic. Well, maybe different chemicals..
I don’t know. The chemicals listed…well, don’t eat your milk fiber.

Myth: Milk fiber is good for the environment.

Nope. Not even a little. From cow to liquid to binders that make it a solid fiber — it is not a completely eco-friendly process. Whether it’s more/less harmful than making a rayon…I don’t know.

Myth: Milk protein fibers are similar to wool.

Um, not really. Certainly there is some overlap in properties….however, if you want to wear/make a woolen item, buy wool.

Myth: Milk protein fiber should be avoid if you have lactose intolerance.

That’s just me being silly!
In all seriousness, my sense is sheep need not be concerned spinners, crochet and knitters and weavers will abandon all love for a nice fleece or the fiber and yarn made from it.

That said, I am enjoying this lovely sample of milk fiber I’m spinning. I was surprised with how well it took color. I’m not sure how to set the twist when finished though!

I received this truly generous sample Roo, from Moonwood Farms, placed in the box of a recent order. Truly generous in size, as well as the time she took to dye the sample — the sample-braid is just as lovely as every other item I ordered.

Where most would send un-dyed or a surplus of whatever fiber/colorway on hand — and that’s fine — my lovely milk is dyed in my favorite (greens), a color that matches other items in my order.

I LOVE when sellers include fiber samples in my order — fiber and spindle purchases. The latter, I have fiber in hand to spin the moment I remove the spindle from the box. Malcolm Felding (The Lace and Bobbin Shop) has given the largest sample of a single fiber to date — TAZ Corrie…which changed my mind about Corriedale!

And I can easily list five shops that gave me samples of fibers I hadn’t used prior and, because of this, I made purchases I otherwise would not have made.

Sometimes, if unsure about a shop or fiber, I will ask for a sample; many oblige and each time, I’ve purchased the fiber. Sometimes, if it’s a shop I frequent and I know they include samples, I ask to try something new.

And sometimes, on my fiber-bucket list, sits a fiber I really want to spin, but I put it off — money, availability, a large fiber stash — and a talented fiber artist (like Roo) throws a sample of the very fiber sitting atop your wish-list.

Got Milk?

Yes, Indeed I do.


(between the storm, not feeling well and other goings-on…seems my musings are posted days after writing. I still need to finish Rhinebeck, but with tired eyes, hope this doesn’t have many grammar errors!)

PS: Getting REALLY close to announcing the site — maybe next week. Depends on how I’m feeling and whether I can complete the writing I want to in that amount of time…almost there.

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Since I have SO many cool things to share, I will split this into 2 parts. Below is the part 1.
Warning: Loooong blog below

My first fiber festival!

A friend and her family offered to take me to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival last Sunday (day 2; they braved day 1) and what fun!

The festival was much larger than I expected and I only wheeled around Barn C and a nearby building — but I do not feel like I missed out on anything.

First stop, a booth selling Yakity Yak, yak, yak AND some quivot. I touched the quivot! I did more than that: I picked up a skein. Well, truth be known, I picked up the skein thinking it was yak, saw the price (super expensive yak?) … then noticed a Q … rotated the label and saw: q-u-i-v-o-t.

If you have never heard of this fiber, I suggest you erase it from your mind (unless, of course, you are an avid scrabble player; if this is the case, q-i, q-a-t and z-o-e-a-e strategically placed will help you rack up points!).

If you have heard of this fiber, I suggest you erase it from your mind — it’s SO expensive you will be afraid to spin/knit it; if you are brave enough to knit, you will be afraid to wear it; and if you are too afraid to wear it, a loved one will invariably ask you to gift the item.

The yarn was so soft and beautifully dyed…

Quivot? What’s quivot? : o)


I’m currently spinning a blend of merino, yak and silk in shades of green (will eventually become a winter set for my nephew/godson who was so excited when I first showed him the braids, he put them around his neck and ran off! Unable to get up, I waited. He came back and said, “aunt lis, where’s the hat? ha! No matter the number of times I relay the story, it still cracks me up!)

Yakity-yak, don’t talk back. (sorry, song is in my head & I could not resist)

I didn’t purchase the yarn or roving, not even the clever take-out pints filled with natural and bleached yak, because I didn’t want to spend all my money at the first booth. This is silly, as the yarn was reasonable and I had credit cards….just in case I ran out of cash!

I took their biz card…next time I clean my purse, I will order the yak.


Next stop, a booth filled with Lucets and other wooden tools: tapestry, naalbinding and knitting needles and crochet hooks (no sizes…ugh); he also had cool dishes that fit perfectly atop a wine bottle, so you can carry your wine and food stuffs at the same time! Curly maple — first time seeing this wood in person — finished like satin. The woodworker was very nice, gave me a lovely lucet-lesson and despite my crafty alliteration, the his name is also on a card somewhere in my purse (i.e., the abyss).

I purchased a handheld Lucet with a large hole for rug making.

No, I do not make rugs.

No, I have no interest in making rugs.

No, I do not use thick or bulky yarns.

But, I can, now, should the desire hit me.

The neat thing about the larger hole is that you can double up on the lucet — create a cord from a cord. Rather than thread, string or yarn…I imagine you could even lucet pencil roving. Well, depending on the fiber of course!

I am not sure if lucet can be used as both noun and verb; either way, the “lucet” paragraphs are filled with red underscores…apple’s dictionary and grammar check have yet to include a lexicon of fiber arts terms. \\ sigh //

Lucets vary in shape and size; all have a “horn” shape with prongs/tines averaging an inch to three inches apart and a hole in the body and/or handle. In addition to a handheld model, they can have handles, four prongs and I even saw one with a connected bobbin (on-line). Replacing a knitted I-cord, lucets can create drawstring ties, shoe laces and decorative edgings, sewn into spiral shaped trivets and, if the tool comes with a hole large enough to even out a wide lucet-cord, rugs.


Moving on to visit the first vendor on my wish-list, we rounded the corner to the loop booth. AMAZING.

Now, I don’t want to make recommendations or endorsements; I use a number of different shops and sellers willing to help increase my fiber stash. We all have preferences for where we choose to purchase fiber. Master dyers, natural wool or plant fiber selections, cool blends, custom work and even the preparation — batts, rovings, top…or clouds.


Like the indescribable masses of fiber plucked from the sky and dyed…by loop.

Steph, the woman behind loop, was warm, kind and welcoming; I hoped to meet her in-person, as she quickly responded to every question, message or loop-group Rav. post I have sent since I started purchasing her fiber. Short or long, I noticed a long while back that Steph takes the time to respond to each and every post in her Rav. loop group.

A talented and innovative fiber artist, best known for her use of textures and colors in her uber-cool art yarns and center-pull “bumps.”

A loop bump is easy spinning, with fiber carefully prepared in a bull’s eye swirl of color upon color. No prep. Easy for travel. Just pull the roving gently from the center as you would any center-pull ball of yarn. Like a handkerchief pulled from a magician’s pocket, the roving comes out of the 4-5oz. “bump” in one piece. Simple. Easy. A joy to spin.

Perfect for the wheelchair.

Each comes in a plastic bag, with a label identifying the different fibers and “button” closure.

If you use bumps, I suggest saving the bags for other purposes OR up-cycling. Credit for this idea goes to my dear Zia Nina, who up-cycles plastic bags from just about anywhere in this fashion: cut the bag in one long strip — like an apple peel; using alone or combined with yarn (heavy weight, consider…yikes! I’m going to write it: a store-bought yarn) you can knit or crochet a variety of different items including: coasters, placemats, trivets, bags, rugs for the car, welcome mats, small purses … the only limit is your imagination.

Steph also creates and sells art yarn — very impressive in-person. I didn’t expect them to look so cool…I decided it best to hold onto my wallet and wheel on past!

Stopping at the loop booth, meeting Steph … a highlight of Rhinebeck…for sure.


We stopped at random booths here and there. I got to see Kundert spindles — the ones with whorls made of multiple woods. Wow! Impressive woodwork and much larger than I expected!

Booths contained many spindles from unknown makers — some were gorgeous, some…eh, and many were expensive. I was disappointed that a few booths with lovely spindles were unable to provide a name (even if unknown now, I don’t like to buy “anonymous” spindles…if it’s not a match — it can be more difficult to de-stash a spindle you cannot provide information about; of course, depends on the spindle and whether this matter to someone looking to buy/trade). Many did not have the length or weight and, worse yet, men and women working a booth could not identify the wood(s).

Two booths had spindles I might have considered, if only they knew the weight and materials. In one display, most looked like mini-Victoria Lace/Queen Ann spindles — all had two woods and all were $50- I have a Victorian Lace spindle I paid half for, from a known shop that is twice as large. Granted, I find it difficult to use: too heavy and a design element that makes it beautiful also makes it a hassle for me to spin. I keep for it’s beauty. Yet, at Rhinebeck, I couldn’t justify spending so much money on a spindle without knowing something as important as woods.

Again, that’s me. If you fall in love with a spindle and weight and wood are not important to you…buy it. For the record, I will accept gifts…all pertinent info unknown! (lol)


Next stop: the Golding booth.

Wood: walnut. Every spindle…

Walnut. Ugh.

I thought I would be blown away at seeing Golding spindles in person. I know a number of spinners who love them — we all have our preferences. Even though the ones I’ve tried in the past, well, seemed wobbly to me, I thought I’d have a desire to try one at the booth. Nope. Same shaft, all whorls…in my opinion, it’s trouble. I want to pick up a spindle and spin…no patience for building up cops and weird hook things and fearing my life savings would be lost on a broken whorl (I drop my few drop spindles) … Maybe I am a low-maintenance spinner? Whatever that means…

And, walnut. Bleh.

I occasionally window shop at the Golding website — some whorls are very impressive. I expected to be swept away. But every single whorl, no matter width or length or weight or beauty sat on thin walnut shafts.

Walnut. Did I mention I’m not a fan?

Golding makes lucets. I saw them because my friend brought the basket down to my height.

Golding Lucets — not walnut!
Prices: well, if I were a rich girl…I’d still be content with my (maple) rug-maker!

And, where I felt welcome and enthused at booths like loop and my next stop…I wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm; in fact, the 2 people manning the Golding booth just sat and watched. No interaction (which I love), no excitement (did you see these items over here?), no help (if you didn’t notice our sign, we have roving for you to test our spindles ). I’m a people person. Seriously. I purchased a Lucet that can make rugs from a man who was friendly enough to give me a quick lesson.

I don’t know.

Maybe it was all the walnut. ick.


Next booth (and on my list even though I never spun their fibers): Fiber Optics.

So, the first few braids as I entered the space…well, didn’t do anything for me. Then, Color after color, braids and pencil rovings, interesting combos — like merino and seacell (dyed to sunny perfection).

And a lovely spindle display of…wait….they look familiar…

texas jeans spindles! In NY!!!

A range of drops and only two Russians left all made by Joshua Lynch (read about Joshua and his work under “spindle talk”).

We looked through the spindle collection and found 2 petite, lightweight spindles with short shafts and no sooner than I said I wonder how they spin? , I had a generous length of pencil roving in my hand to test-spin as many as I wanted!!!

Purpleheart/maple and Lemonwood/maple were the 2 petites; I happened to have the purple in hand (and I have to say, although not a big fan of purple or purpleheart, the whorl was made from an exceptionally lovely piece of wood). As I spun the roving — this tiny spindle, fast as the wind with a smooth spin…l could not resist.

And I’m mostly a support-gal. I do own 2 drops (one by Enid Ashcroft and a SpindleWood square mini, made by Steve Paulsen); both are lovely and both spin fast from the get-go — no hint of wobbling. Now, I have three drops. Carefully placed in a mailing tube, it looks like an abstract vase with flowers!

Back to the festival…

Kim, proprietor of Fiber Optic, was nearby and super friendly. She gave a sample of merino/seacell roving to give a whirl and, although I had heard seacell was a sinewy fiber difficult to spin…this blend was awesome.

Friendly, talented, super cool blends and colors…Fiber Optic was the second successful booth on my hope to see list.


Since this is getting long, a short interlude away from fiber-related topics: fried bread is NOT what it was when I grew up. And the girl working the booth, who I asked very kindly to cut the large round piece of supposedly fried bread, merely made lines with a knife. Sugar and lemon coating could not save this disgusting…er…um…food?

What happened to thin pieces of bread, fried on the spot, sugar sticking to the oil-soaked dough so you had to hold your breath while eating, lest choke because you inhaled sugar? Oy. Yet another tale I can begin: back when I was young…

If I’m going to clog my arteries with fried food, it should taste good (i.e., fried).

Still, even though this health-nut didn’t successful clog any arteries, Sunday was the best day.

Oh, And there’s more to tell!!!!

Rhinebeck: Part 2 will be coming along in a few days.

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The site is very close! Spindle Talk articles can be easily found vis a drop-down tab at the top or at the side navigation.

I signed up for a Twitter account. I don’t know what to do with it…but seemed like a good step.

I am still working on some articles I hope to finalized before I announce the site.

Banner and logo…I’ve drawn a creative blank, but hope genius will strike me (or someone else willing to share) mighty soon.

Things are coming together beautifully!

original post:

Thanks to the help of Anthony Garcia and Ariel Soulag, A Spindler’s Musings is finally taking form and looking cooler than I imagined!

I am very excited!

For those if you you have been privy to the stages of conception to web, I continue to appreciate your support and feedback.

You will find easy access to “spindle talk” pages — with a most recent interview with Joshua Lynch of TexasJeans.

Three additional pages appear in the upper navigation — “spindles,” “spinning” (which I like to think of as the “informational pages” — but too long a title) and “contact me.”

I set up an e-address specifically for this website. Although you can make comments on the very first page, commentary has been turned off for all other pages — I want to keep these as valid sources of information that can be used and expanded upon in the future. Personally, I feel too many comments can clutter pages — esp. those designed to be informational rather than opinion.

Recognizing that visitors may want to leave a comment, you can have a comment approved on the “hello friends” page or blog.

Although I’ve yet to fully decide how large of a roll the blog will play — just announcements or brief snippets into projects I’m working on or new tools I test or what spindles I’m using or…whatever.

If you’d like to hear about some of my personal projects, please contact me with feedback — I’ve never used a blog before and want this website to be most successful.

Please note that other than announcements, my blog entries should not be taken as an endorsement, recommendation or discouragement of any spindles, fibers, stores and so on. “Official” review and discussions will remain under “spindle talk.”

So, I know I still have some work to do — been a bit under the weather and unable to figure out how to make the site look/feel as I envisioned. I think it is coming along nicely, thanks to the two gentlemen helping in more ways I could list here.

We are getting close!
Please e-mail me direct for comments or suggestions.

Happy spinning!

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Another new interview!

Check out Spindle Talk with Gary and Monica Thompson of Just Ducky Handspun!

More about Gary’s spindles to come soon!
As well as spindles by Enid and Neal!

Working on setting up the website is a larger learning curve than I expected … but, things are coming along and new pages discussing spindles — what to look for; types and styles; wood choices; spindle shops — I plan to post topics such as these in the coming weeks.

Thank you!

New page:

Look under Spindle Talk pages for a short interviews with Enid Ashcroft and Neal Brand!

More about Enid’s and Neal’s spindles to come soon! Thank you.

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