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Each day brings new delights

I'm glad that my last rainy day terror didn't dissuade me from my efforts. Thanks everyone for the upbeat words and encouragement… it actually made a big difference when I got out there again.

This weekend I went to Rockler and saw this great deal on Bocote turning blanks. Picked up three 1×1x12 for $1/pc. BTW… has anyone else noticed that Bocote smells like pickles when worked?! WEIRD! After turning two spindles, I decided that I was absolutely in love with the look and feel of Bocote… so I sent a minion back to Rockler yesterday and he picked me out 40 more pieces.

I also took my Russian spindles to my knitting circle and had a handful of really nice women hold and inspect my latest goodies… they liked them very much. I noticed that some of them mentioned that they were intimidated by spinning yarn. I want to make it my personal mission to rectify this in our local knitting community.

Spinning yarn is a joy and should not be scary… and it doesn't have to cost $500 (for a wheel) to get started. Spindle spinning is efficient, effective, and can be (in some cases) just as fast as production on a wheel. Best of all spindles are CHEAP and PORTABLE. Also… you can make them yourself with a little imagination and a few household items. OR you could be awesome and buy them from artisans like ME! Heh.

I think the major barrier to spinning for knitters is IT'S ONE MORE HOBBY and also… it's difficult to find affordable classes. Don't get me wrong… I love my local yarn shops, but some of them charge ridiculous prices for an introduction to spinning course. That's fine for people with gobs of disposable income, but in this economy… not so great for folks who only have $40 to spend on an afternoon. I want to fill that niche with my product and my experience.

I'm also thinking about donating classes to a charity that helps find activities for those with chronic illness that limits movement. I think that supported spindle spinning might be inspiring for people who can't walk or stand but have use of their hands. Must think on this some.


I went and picked up some awesome sanding pads from 3M called Sandblaster… they better be awesome for the price of $3.50 a pad. I should go turn a spindle and try them out.

Your idea of teaching folks is tremendous! I would imagine that this would be such a joy to anyone with limited mobility.

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Honing Oil Right in the FACE!

I really like my local hardware store… Stoneway Hardware. First, the people who work there are VERY nice. One happened to go to school with my husband about 12 years ago. Another girl is super sweet. And the owner took a few minutes to personally visit with me when I mentioned at the checkout that they were going to be seeing a lot of my business in the future.

I picked up a wide selection of regular ol' sandpaper, honing oil, Howard Feed-N-Wax (Beeswax and Orange Oil), steel wool in 3 varieties, two gauges of 50ft of wire for burning lines into wood… and a dust pan. I got it all for under $40.

In this economy, that seems like a fair deal to me.

Anyhoo… I came back home and procrastinated all afternoon… then decided I should clean up the Spider Farm (garage). I douched all the dust and left overs from the new door being put it, organized some junk, tossed some things… it became much more livable.

I wasn't going to work on the lathe tonight, but with everything all nice and tidy… I just HAD to make a new mess. HAH.

Earlier in the day, I watched a bunch of videos about the correct use of the skew and how to make clean finishing cuts. Also, I watched even MORE videos about using a honing stone to make a razor sharp skew edge. (Which is where the fun starts.)

I open up the honing oil packaging and pop the top open on the honing oil. Turn it over… nothing happens. There was some kind of stopper in there… so I unscrewed the top of the bottle and started to do battle with a red plastic seal that did NOT want to come off. I tried a screw driver and the plastic was so soft it just tore…

Fine… I'll gently use my teeth. I get the the rim of the plastic between my upper and bottom teeth and give a little tug.

Sadly for me, I was also squeezing the middle of the bottle… so when the seal broke it squirted 1/4th of the oil in the bottle straight into my face. Luckily my mouth was closed. However…. I did have to figure out how I was going to get into the house to wash my face off without wiping the oil into my skin or dripping in the entry.

Man… what a day.

Everything after that went awesome. I did achieve razor sharp skew edge… and I turned out another beautiful spindle and had much less time with sand paper…. because my cuts were more exact and I am learning to trust the lathe and my tools.
Wow. Lisa!

Mastering the skew with so little effort, I envy you. All the videos make it looks so easy but all I manage to do is practice my Navy language skills every time I pick up the darned thing.

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It's been a while, but I haven't been unproductive!

I've been doing nothing but perfecting my turning for Russian-style lace spindles. I even experimented with French spindles too.

People have noticed and I have been sending off a freshly turned spindle to a far flung corner of the United States at the rate of about one a week. Between that and teaching classes, I had to go out and get a proper business license and start paying taxes.

I would like to branch out to some other areas as well, but right now my heart is in practicing my turning and experimenting with supported spindles.

From a desire to give something back to others, I met with a woman who manages programs at a local senior citizen's center and asked her if she might like to open a class for Spindling (making yarn with a wooden spindle). After a demonstration and gift of one of my spindles, she decided she wanted to try and get me into the class catalog. Sometime this spring I'll be hanging out with a room of women who will all be learning to make yarn on my hand crafted spindles. That excites me and brings together the best of both of my interests… fber arts instruction AND woodworking.

Well, I am neglecting my turning to be here at the computer… so I should get back to it!

Great work, Lisa!!

Senior citizens are so cool to work with! They have an unending thirst for knowledge and the desire to learn new things! I know your class will be a resounding success.

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