Baskets – Old and New

Yarn on chair

Sheltland yarn, freshly plied this morning.

Learning to spin has cluttered my (already cluttered) house with odd bits of yarn, fiber, more yarn and spinning gizmos – all fragile and all requiring storage.

Currently, I’m struggling to find places to put all this stuff where it won’t get dirty — or (heaven forbid) LOST.

Care to guess how it’s going?


Yeah, just like that.

So I’ve been diving into the dregs of Hobbies Past to figure out a solution.

Eh, well – that’s another pain in the tush.

I purchased two beautiful ‘valet cases’ which are really paper boxes with hinged lids pretending to be suitcases. One holds cut up plastic bags for the ‘bag of bags’ project.

The other – bits of yarn and fiber in baggies. Odds and ends and the braided Marino and Alpaca that I’m holding onto for fear of ruining.

There’s a little wicker basket for the bobbins. A BIG wicker basket for carrying stuff to class.

A round basket for ‘WIP’ (works in progress) sits on my work table. (So I can’t work there anymore. Is any of this starting to sound familiar? LOL)

THEN I bought a sewing chest – which isn’t full yet, but I’m sure I’ll get enough stuff stuffed in it soon. It’s black with age – so I spray it with Scotts Liquid Gold when I dust it.

Scotts has this really cool effect – it returns black wood to it’s original color – if you use enough of it. I’ve got a lovely sewing box that was also black when I bought it. Now it’s a lovely cherry color, with every grain visible.

I’ve also got a small metal waste basket that I put my fiber in while I’m spinning. Or my yarn when I’m knitting. It’s high enough the balls of yarn don’t fly out.

I’ve got a yarn bowl on layaway.

The upside to all of this is cleaning out my office closet. I have to make space in there and this is a GREAT excuse to excerise my ‘urge to purge.’

Since that only happens once a year, I’ve got to take advantage.

So now I’m off to clear out a drawer for my jumbo bobbin and flyer. I’ve got a plastic drawer to label so I can find it.

There’s always the danger of losing anything I put away. Out of sight and out of mind.

Stay tuned!

New Cover for ‘Swallow the Moon’


Don’t know how long this will take, but I’ve requested a new cover from Athanasios, the artist who did the snake bike cover.

I’m not going to say what it will look like – for one because I haven’t seen anything yet.

Alas, it will NOT be ready for the trip to Ashtabula.

But, I’m moving forward, which is important.

Shetland Wool Shawl

Digital Camera

I added the ‘wool’ because I didn’t want anyone to think it was Shetland Pony.

As much as I fondly recall my Shetland Pony Shadow, the breed has been majickally transformed in to “Miniture Horses” because it was “common knowledge” (in the 1970’s) that Shetland’s were the most miserable ponies in the entire world.

We used to call them “Assassin Ponies” because the little buggers would kill you if they got the chance.

But I degress.

Back to the Shawl that isn’t quite finished. It needs another 8 oz of dark yarn to finish it off. I love it – the design is simple, I only cut a little off one skein to make the ‘Autumn Fire’ trim start at the edge.

Shawl Trim & Mitten Yarn

Dark Lincoln

I’ve spun and plied the last of the Lincoln wool for the mittens I want to make. This is a photo of that yarn and the lovely ‘Autumn Sunset’ trim for my shawl project.

The trim yarn is ‘chain plied’ or ‘Navaho plied’ where one bobin of yarn is 3-plied on the fly.

It didn’t go so good – I got my fingers tangled in the yarn. How dumb is that?

Next time, I’m using my own wheel. I’ve oiled it until it moves smoothly and in total silence. I think I might get a small can of oil for the wheels we use in class. They all seem to stick.

Used Up All My Fiber

I was doing something else – surfing for information – when eBay popped up. So I started looking for a spinning wheel
I found one – with lots of fleece – but it turned out to be ‘local pickup only.’ I couldn’t justify a road trip to Colorado. Though my trusty side-kick would have come with me…our last trip was too much of an adventure, tell the truth. Anyways, I’d already posted about the wheel, when a friend offered me her Kromski. She’s got a wheel of a modern design that  she likes a lot better. She had me try it. The first thing I noticed is that I can treadle VERY SLOWLY with this machine. Which means I can draw slowly and really feel what I’m doing.I can't believe it's really mine.

The result is that I about spun everything in the house. I’ve got a little Lincoln, but I’ve got a half a plied bobin. I carded a bag of alpaca into rolags and spun that up this morning.


So I’m going to have to use up some of the lovely stuff I spun and washed, to make pretty shawls and so forth. I’ve got a pound of spun Shetland, about 425 yards, that I want to turn into a shawl.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a nearly full bobin of alpaca and just that much Lincoln left to spin.

I’m stunned at how fast this thing spins, even when I treadle VERY slowly.


A nearly full bobin of alpacaDigital Camera

Writer’s Holiday – Gone Fishing?

Yes, that’s right. I’ve stopped trying to write. For the next few weeks, I’m going to concentrate on my mother’s estate and all the silly stuff that needs to be done around here.

I’ve burned out on writing. I threw myself into it back in ’07 and did nothing else thereafter. So now when I sit down to write, I end up on the internet, goofing off.

Spinning is more fun.

‘Swallow the Moon’ went free in Canada this morning. Until I hear back from Athanasios about a new cover, Amazon can give away copies to the whole world, I don’t mind.

The topics I will be posting are knitting, crocheting and spinning related. Maybe some interesting re-posts. I might even post my weaving experiments. But I’m not so sure about that. For what it’s worth, I’m building an ancent type of loom called a ‘warp weighted’ loom.  This design dates back tens of thousands of years.

I’ve got some pictures, already. But if I really want to post the process, I’m going to have to clean up my porch. (Another project that I’ve put off because I was either writing or marketing the next book.) There are hundreds of small tasks that are calling my name.

So is fishing.

I want to go fishing again. I’ve got everything I need, I just have to make time.