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Pretty sure …? that I did everything at the shop today, the closing procedures, I mean.  There’s nothing missing from the mental list, nothing to do with money or lights or locks or anything else; it just feels as if someone else was there all afternoon and I was watching.

Around the time I came in a woman was browsing, talking to Perry, and stepping over the dog.  She wanted to know what the fiber was for, and Perry told her about felting and spinning, that she spins with a wheel, and I spin with a drop spindle.  So she didn’t know what a spindle was, so I came over and took one that had a little bit of fine black yarn started on it, and twirled it around.  Then, because that proves nothing, I reached for a little piece of grey fluff hanging over the rim of an open bag of wool, used the black yarn as a leader, and showed how the twist climbs into the little disordered cloud.  I spun a fine thread, finer than what was already there.  It broke but I started again, reproduced it.  She couldn’t at first see how this was related to yarn that you make sweaters from.  You can ply two, three, or more together, I said.  You can also make them much thicker than this.  I rolled a piece on my thigh — “oh, so this” — the spindle — “is just there to keep it turning.”  Pretty much.  It’s a machine, as I mentioned here a bit earlier, just one with no moving parts.  She kept thanking me and apologizing for taking up my time.  But that was what I came to do, mostly.  I had chosen some random spindle that was just okay … on purpose.  We also have several of these right now, but I have never yet seen anyone pick one up without buying it (it’s happened to me twice now), that’s how good they are.  I know not to pick one up and wave it around carelessly, because they’re magic; they teleport your money to Oregon.

And here for your enjoyment is a bubinga tree (Guibourtia demeusei) of Cameroon:

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(image source:  http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/?p=1570)

8 Reasons Why Bubinga Is Awesome (includes images of beautiful bubinga-wood things other than spindles; the ninth reason has to be that it’s just a fun word to say.)

at the Farmers’ Market!  I sold two things sold two things sold two things.  Actually they sold themselves and I received the money.

One was a string bag I made from nettle-fiber yarn, and the other was a soft little pink wool bag that closes with a lens-shaped button made of bone, and a white ribbon.  I was not interested in buttonholes at the time I made that one.

The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a friend to mankind.

We listened to the National Guard band, and I finished another string bag, a strangely-proportioned little one made of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.  In the future I won’t use that for any more string bags, although it’s strong enough.  It should be a real fabric so it can swish around and say, look at me, I’m so drapey, I’m so shiny.  That bag, I think, would make a good hammock for a toy.  I have a toy shark that would look just right in it.  Maybe if I actually make some little toys for next week they can pose with it.  Not thinking particularly of typical amigurumi, just maybe it’s time to use that Jelly Yarn and make some sea anemones.

And more nettle bags.

And more colors of cotton bags.

And more cellphone sleeves.

And let’s not forget to finish that thrice-cursed shop sample sometime this century.

MAKE STUFF NOW!

Stanley (image source: sonomatoyworks.com)

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(image source:  http://www.pbase.com/taboo5/calvin_coolidge_homestead_plymouth_notch_vt_private_album)

This morning I was sitting by that window between the two large doors, spinning (at times) Icelandic wool and (at other times) mohair on two of my favorite drop spindles.  Our spinning group was demonstrating our share of  long-ago-stuff to tourists at the Calvin Coolidge Historical Site, his homestead, where he was in fact born 140 years ago today.  There was also a parade and a chicken barbecue, but I think people were very interested in what we were doing, too.  The other women brought their wheels and serious, pointy, blood-drawing fiber prep tools.  If I had a wheel I would never use it; it would have coats piled on top of it.  But because I’m surrounded by all these little spindles, I’ve been spinning every single day since I learned in 2010.

The wool and mohair were both local (the sheep owner I actually know), and undyed.  I enjoy spinning all kinds of things, any color, any fiber, I’ll try it all.  But at these historical things people tend to ask if the wool is local, and if it is, are they your sheep? and if they are, well, but did you raise them from lambs?  And if the fiber is any unnatural color, you did dye it yourself, didn’t you? and with natural plant dyes, of course? that you planted and harvested yourself?  It’s not possible to be authentic enough for some people.

We show people how the spinning wheel is essentially a spindle on its side, driven by foot power, assisted by angular momentum.  The spindle isn’t the original string-making method, of course; I roll a bit of wool on my thigh until it turns into something like yarn:  behold, the incredible artificial vine, or sinew substitute.  A spindle is a machine too.

Good so far in a low-gravity, shimmery, detached way.  Except for five days at Dartmouth Controlled Storage I haven’t temped or taught a class.  I’m learning to spin with a drop spindle and to (just barely begin to) knit, and also took up crochet again.  The other goal is to get through the pile of books on and near my bed.  I don’t even know everything that’s there yet.  It’s like Christmas morning all the time.

Alternative flag designs for New Zealand.

..and dates/times for 2010.

“January Moon” by Tim Paul (source)

Paul Ahyi :

  • was a Togolese artist
  • designed the flag of Togo
  • passed away recently
  • created wonderful sculptures, pastels, ceramics, and etchings you can see at his site 

VERY cool.  So cool it’s Fairy Cool!  Terrific creations by/stories about southern Ohio folk with DD.  (Found while looking for floor plans of New York’s skinniest house.  Seems one of the artists is a cool dude who likes to draw floor plans of his own.)

Wee Beasties: Miniature Paintings of Nature’s Tiniest Denizens” by Nathan Mazur

Found these cheerful little invertebrate portraits while looking for pics of planarians.   His other work at this site includes beautiful images of such water dwellers as sperm whale, giant squid, and platypus.

Her home page.  For over forty years she has been making artistic experiments with imaging technology.  She demonstrates that just as technology has influenced her art, art has returned the favor.

“Usually I ask each system, ‘What can you tell me about yourself?’ Other times I have participated in developing a system by showing the developer/ scientist/engineer/technologist the possibilities of a system.”

The Art of Sonia Landy Sheridan, 2009 exhibition at the Hood Museum

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