Fiber Arts & Furry Critters

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I read an article in a back-issue of Spin-Off yesterday about spinning flax roving. I have four bundles of this roving, in different colors, that I purchased quite a while ago from Coppermoose. I've played with it a few times, and could never quite get it to behave as I'd like. The article detailed spinning short lengths of roving from the fold; I just had to try this.

I pulled out my antique Canadian production wheel, and found this:

Click on the image for a close-up of the damage. It looks like the leather bearing that holds the flyer is just disintegrating! Well, it is very old...

I called David Paul of The Merlin Tree and spoke with him. I'll be bringing the wheel up to him in Vermont next Friday for repairs. What a gracious and interesting man! I love his reproduction Canadian wheels, too, and look forward to seeing his shop (and sheep!) when I go.

In the meantime I took out the Reeves and pulled off the bobbin of wool/mohair I was working on yesterday (how fickle!). Here's a pic of the linen-in-progress:

The color is a little pale in this photo, but it is purple! Lavender, really. Spinning this from the fold is working wonderfully! The car sweater, 3/4 of the way through the first car, is also abandoned for now while I play with this. Oh, you can see the broken flange of this bobbin in the photo, too - Mr. Paul says he can fix that as well.

I'd also really love to spin flax from a strick sometime (I have several of those hanging around, too). It's actually not the spinning of the flax that's intimidating to me, it's learning how to properly dress a distaff (dealing with those long fibers without making a tangled mess out of the whole thing). I think I'll start with figuring out how to make a free-standing distaff (the only wheel I have that has a distaff is the Mazurka).


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