Thursday, August 30, 2007


More Faux Isle. I’m working on eyeglasses cases. The red-themed one is a bit large unless I line it with fleece. The blue/green version seems to be the right size.

Even if they don’t work as glasses cases, it is a very worthwhile experiment in putting colors together. Colors I would never have thought to put beside one another look wonderful to me!

The green/blue version only has shades of beige and brown as the alternate color.

Somewhere I saw a knit hat decorated with curlicues that looked like spiral pasta.
I wanted knitted spirals, but didn’t know how to do them. Nicky Epstein’s book
Knitting Over The Edge has cabbage roses on the cover which gave me the idea to make some and just attach one end to the top of the hat. I did use one of those on this hat, but Pam (MN) from Knitlist had a better idea: to cast on a whole bunch of stitches on a long needle….
R1. Knit 2 tog
R2. Knit 2 tog
Bind off tightly
And that is how the other two are made!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


My Faux Isle experiment was inspired by the Fake Isle hat by Amy King
and the totally amazing Kauni cardigan

With vague notions of knitting undetermined Fair Isle projects, I bought this lot of small balls of a range of colors on ebay for a great price. Unfortunately they are pretty scratchy so a project never emerged. Plus in the back of my mind was the hassle of following some pattern and then weaving in all those ends.

When I saw the fabulous Kauni cardigan, it gave me this idea. I learned the color changes in the Kauni yarn were about 30 yards long, but I wanted to do a much smaller test project so made my runs of each color 6 yards long. I wound the first color of the first ball of yarn on my yarn winder which is 72” around and then spit joined a slightly different color for the next 6 yards and so on. I followed the same color sequence with the second ball of yarn, but started further along so the colors would show sufficient contrast to keep the pattern attractive. This is two color, two handed stranding with floats woven in about every three stitches. This pattern uses equal amounts of yarn of both colors. The pattern requires a multiple of six stitches.
I think I will felt my test project and line it for an eyeglasses case.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Double drive wheel set up with Scotch tension

Scotch tension can be rigged on a double drive antique wheel for those who prefer it.
This is one way to do it, if the flyer on your wheel will clear the string across the top

This seriously authentic-looking woman, with the emphasis on the serious part, has dropped a string from the string connecting the top of the maidens around her bobbin. I can’t see where that string goes after it goes around the bobbin, but it may return to the the top crossways string.
I just tied a string around the mother-of-all and brought it up over my bobbin, and then down through the hole for the distaff and tied a rock on it.

Friday, August 10, 2007


We are looking forward to The Endless Mountains Fiber Festival, at the Harford Fairgrounds, north of Scranton, PA, Sept 8 & 9, 2007.

Here are a couple of the restored antique spinning wheels we’ll have there. The dark-patina wheel - with most of its original distaff - - appears to be associated with the Farnham/E. S. Williams group of the Newark Valley, NY. The wheel is signed I. C. S. and could have been made by Ezbon (Izbon) Slosson. The Slosson family intermarried with the Farnhams.

This highly decorative, very fast Scandinavian wheel may be of Swedish origin. The turner who made it obviously delighted in his craft as everything on it that could be made on a lathe - - was!

Fred will also have spinning wheel threading hooks, nostepinnes and yarn gauges in a variety of woods at the show.

A Picardy Spinning Wheel Restoration

Fred had to do quite a bit of research to figure out how this variation on the Picardy wheel worked. The recreated knob on top of the left-hand post extends down through a hole in the top cross-piece so that the whorl can be removed if necessary. The flyer separates from the rest of the spindle under the center of the “u” by means of a tapered fit so that the bobbin can be removed.

There are pictures of Picardy wheels with treadles here and there is a photo of a Picardy wheel in Spinning Wheels and Accessories by Pennington and Taylor on page 12 as well as a sketch of a crank driven Picardy in the Ulster Museum booklet of wheels on page 28.There is quite a bit more information about Picardy wheels in Spinning Wheels, Spinners & Spinning by Patricia Baines.
This flyer probably didn't have hooks and just used a loop of string to slide along the arms of the flyer to space the yarn on the bobbin.