Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Christmas in August (Or perhaps I should say Chanukkah....)

Today my friend IV, who just happens to be Jewish (hence the Chanukkah reference), gave me a huge gift:

That's right, folks. What you see is a floor loom

and a spinning wheel.

Can you believe it?

And when I say "gave," I mean exactly that. The loom, she explained, had been a gift to her several years ago. She had never learned how to work it and had finally decided that she wanted the space in her home more than she wanted the loom, so she was ready to pass it along to someone else who would love and use it. The loom is marked "H.M. Stuart," but when I googled the name I came up with nothing. I've never used a floor loom and have only worked 2 or 3 projects on my RH loom thus far, but I'm excited to learn and can't wait to get started.

The spinning wheel is a Country Craftsman, which is now sadly discontinued. I found the email addy of the maker and contacted him to see if I could get an instruction manual and perhaps some direction as to how to repair the wheel. Yes, the wheel needs repair, which is why IV gave it to me. Unfortunately, she purchased the wheel from someone who was less than honest with her and she eventually found that she couldn't spin on it and didn't want to invest any more money in fixing it. Since she'd done nothing but curse the person who sold her that wheel, she said, she figured she'd give it away and at least I couldn't be mad if I, too, found the wheel too much trouble to deal with.

Honestly, I would have been delighted with just one new-to-me fiber toy, but two? How lucky can a girl get?

So, I spent much of the afternoon hangin' with IV, checking out her new garden paths and talking natural dyestuffs. M-I-L was watching Baby M, so I had the whole day to myself. I even managed to get some beading done -- a real rarity these days with the baby around ready to shove any errant beads into the nearest available orifice in a split second. No photos of those finished pieces yet; I was too excited about the loom and wheel to remember to snap pics of my jewelry. But I did crank out not one but two necklaces -- one in rose quartz, silver and glass and the other in rough-cut amethyst, blue coral and silver -- and a handful of oversized beaded stitch markers, perfect for those projects on size 13s and above. Will try to remember to take photos tomorrow to post.

Oh, and I've decided to join the ninth Secret Pal swap. I love swaps and this one sounds particularly fun. Meanwhile, I think I'll be sending the MDK warshrags that I knitted specifically to match my kitchen over to my MDK swap partner instead. I checked out her blog and there was a great post showing a skein of yarn she'd bought at some fiber festival. Lo and behold -- the colos were exactly the same as in my kitchen. With me off knitting for the time being and the swap needing to go out in a couple of weeks, I figured this was definitely the way to go. My kitchen will simply have to wait to get coordinating warshrags.

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