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More Small Changes


10:00 am: The cold front isn’t here yet but the rain has arrived. Because of the expected temperature drop later this afternoon, Ron and I put out 5 bales of hay this morning. We distributed one bale in each shelter so all the animals have a spot to hunker down and stay dry out of the rain and wind with a lovely buffet of fresh hay. We started the process early so we could get all the animals fed and hayed before the deluge. Sometimes the timing works out perfectly.

I’m sitting here in the studio listening to the pounding rain. I don’t expect it to last all day. According to the weather people it should race through here like a freight train and we can expect sunny skies later this afternoon along with much cooler temperatures. The rain is welcomed and dropping us down to more seasonable temps is a good thing too. Eighty degrees any time in December is somehow disturbing but having 80 degrees on Christmas is just wrong. They are not predicting anything really cold – not dropping into the teens or anything like that.

While the studio is open today, I don’t expect much business. Heavy rain and strong winds tend to keep people at home, snug in their slippers curled up with a good book or preferably a spinning wheel and some wondrous fiber. I’m enjoying being snug in my studio with lots of fun things to do while the storm rages outside. I’m writing this in Word rather than directly into my blog program because we have satellite internet out here and it is never happy when it storms. I’ll copy and paste this in later today when it clears and I have a reasonable internet connection.

Noon: I’ve got lots of work to do in the studio today. I have to find places for all the wonderful display items I talked about yesterday and then take the next step. We have added some great items but need to part with a few also. Here is the story of one of them…

Several years back, Peggy bought a Schacht Reeves spinning wheel in beautiful cherry wood. With its 30” drive wheel, it’s an amazing wheel that spins beautifully and is happy spinning very fine but is also happy spinning thicker yarn. She also bought a Woolee Winder for it which means no hooks on the flyer and no stopping to move the yarn along the bobbin. It was and is a sweet set-up! Unfortunately, there was a problem. Because the wheel is a double treadle, there is very little wiggle room as to how you position yourself in front of the wheel. Peggy draws with her left hand which is nearly impossible to do on this wheel when the flyer is on the left. To do it you must twist your waist into a very uncomfortable position. It would have been easy if Peggy had ordered the wheel with the flyer on the right side but it never occurred to her there would be an issue. She struggled with spinning on the wheel and finally decided it was simply not for her.

While Peggy and I are both right handed, we each draw with a different hand. I draw with my right hand rather than my left so I could spin on her wheel with no problems at all. Aha! I had just bought a wonderful used wheel made by Rick Reeves. The design is different than the Schacht version of a Reeves wheel but a very sweet wheel none the less. While both wheels have the flyer on the left, mine is a single treadle so you can easily adjust how you sit at the wheel and still be able to treadle easily. The obvious thing to do was to swap wheels. And that’s what we did. Peggy could easily spin on my wheel and I could easily spin on hers.

At the risk of pointing out something we would just as soon our husbands not grasp – Peggy and I each own quite a few spinning wheels. I think five is such a nice number, don’t you? The point of that number is that sometimes wheels get overlooked for a while. I only pulled out and dusted off Peggy’s wheel in the last few months. Yes, it still spins like a dream! I can spin a finer consistent yarn on this wheel than on any of my others. Peggy hadn’t used my wheel is ages.  So we swapped back or partially swapped back.  I’ve got my wheel back and I’ve been dusting and oiling it so I can sit down and spin on it. It needed a new drive band, too, which I’ve now installed. And Peggy’s wheel is up for sale. It’s a sweet wheel and we will make a sweet deal on it but we strongly recommend that if you draft with your left hand you need to try out the wheel before you buy it. We want the new owner to love this wheel unreservedly.

2:00 pm: We have some other gently used tools that need new homes. Early on we thought it was important to take our fiber all the way from raw to finished goods ourselves. Fortunately, we’ve gotten over that. We have a Pat Green picker and an Ashford drum carder that are now up on the website. They are both in great shape and will do well for you for years to come. The 40” Norwood floor loom is ready to go as soon as you want it.

Yes, this is the time to clean house. To reevaluate what we have and what we need going forward. I enjoy this process but then again I like to do laundry and clean out closets too so there’s no accounting for personal tastes. Have a great new year!

4:00 pm:  No, there isn't any sunshine at all but the storm seems to have passed.  No rain right now and dark skies seem to have lifted a bit.  I think I can post this blog now...