Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yesterday everyone came here to feast and dye. Bonnie brought an awesome tomato pie.

Grapes were picked and taken home. I’d had enough of making jam and juice, but the grape-color is great so it gave me an idea to overdye some yarn I’d recently spun from fleece dyed turquoise and salmon that turned out awful. I used Jacquard lilac and was very pleased with the variegated results. My skeins are posing with the asters.

Audrey and Cyndy dyed the other skeins. Cyndy also dyed some silk hankies and showed us how she works with them.

While she was here Cyndy also made a video of me weaving on the rigid heddle. I am embarrassed to admit I still haven’t finished the piece folks will recognize from the Weavezine article http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFZnkoeCb38

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last days of the summer

The woolly bear says it will be a warm winter. The Old Farmer’s Almanac the opposite. And then there are the sunspots - - or lack of them - - to tell us it isn’t going to be warm at all for quite a while.

Soon there will be a frost. In the meantime, I am squirreling away food for the winter.

The potatoes are huge. After a bad start we still got some winter squash. And the tomatoes………….. enough already.

The freezer is full of tomato sauce, basil pesto, dill/parsley pesto and blackberries. Jars of pear honey, rose hip jam and soon grape jam will be on the shelves and the garden will be done for the year.

The sheep need shearing. I sheared two of the lambs and want to blend the white fleece with some white bunny fiber I bought at the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival. I have never used bunny fluff before.

Monday, September 08, 2008


She did it!

Cyndy managed to spin flax on our antique B. Sanford double flyer wheel with both hands at the same time!

Pam Mawhiney, curator of the Home Textile Tool Museum in Orwell, PA came by our booth at the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival over the weekend and helped Cyndy get the flax properly arrayed on the straight distaff and then it actually worked.

Cyndy found that it seemed to take a sort of milking the cow motion. One hand was letting the linen thread wind on while the other was adding twist and pulling down flax fibers from the distaff.

It was thrilling to see the wheel used the way it was made to be used! Very often these are described as gossip wheels with the notion that two people spun on them.

An advertisement in the Hartford (CT) Courant in 1801 describes double flyer wheels as
“Two handed wheels are highly recommended to young Women, as they can spin one third faster on them.”

Beardsley Sanford learned his trade from his other Sandford relatives in Newtown, CT where three generations made spinning wheels including double flyer wheels. Beardsley, however, moved away and ultimately settled in Harpersfield, NY where he is mentioned in the history of that town.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


More new items for the PA Endless Mountains Fiber Festival this weekend!

This is a double flyer wheel made - and signed by – Beardsley Sanford (1790-1868)
He learned his trade in CT, but worked in Harpersfield, NY. Many wheel makers produced double flyer wheels. One maker advertised in the Hartford ( CT ) Courant in 1801 that they would increase the productivity of young women. Today one could keep two projects going at the same time and switch back and forth.

And then there are these lovely shuttles! With all the gorgeous types of wood, how could anyone choose? They come in three sizes: 8, 10 and 12” long and are priced at $10, $12 and $14.