I'm descended from the Shawnee Chief Cornstalk who was killed in 1777.
I am also of Scots-Irish descent and VERY proud of my heritage and my culture. I do not apologize for my culture, nor am I "politically correct", and do not tolerate others who think that it is a necessity to be so.
Visit my Etsy site at: http://aeryckdesade.etsy.com
Thursday, August 30, 2007
It does not appear that they have a hook attached at the end, but I will, nevertheless, add one to mine, as it seems to help a bit with these heavier bottom whorl spindles that I'm so fond of.
I usually use a heavier bottome whorl, and have not problem getting either fine or bulky handspun from it.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm working on plans for the Marion, but it's really pretty straightforward. I bought what is called a "bun foot" that is available in the table legs section in the local home improvement stores (Loewe's, Home Depot). Then I took some scrap wood and attached them as seen in the photos with the largest and heaviest piece being the horizontal base. Now is the room for creativity part, because I've seen several different variations in design here...
Through the vertical stabilization piece, I drilled a hole approximately at a 45 degree angle. I also drilled a corresponding hole in the base for supporting the end of the spindle, and also added a smaller piece of scrap wood at the end of that board just for more stabilization of the spindle's end.
I then sharpened a 3/8" wood dowel for the insert into the base's hole, and slightly sharpened the other end as well (since I have a hook attached at that end, it should be flat enough for the 1/2" brass cup hook to screw into without splitting the end of the dowel). I also pre-drilled the end of the dowel for the cup hook to screw into using a SMALL hobby drill that looks similar to a pen that I bought at Radio Shack (I use this for drilling holes in PC board when making electronics as well).
I also make sure that at any point where the boards are joined, I use Gorilla Glue in addition to screws (which also has Gorilla Glue in the screw holes, but don't use TOO much as this is a very expanding glue that turns to a hard foam-like consistency).
Now all you have to do is insert the dowel through the upper hole and slide it into the bun foot (after you remove the screw that is already in the foot when you buy it, as well as drilling a 3/8" hold through that bun foot). Put a small amount of glue into the bun foot before sliding the dowel through. Also, although not in my picture, I bought some bamboo coasters from Wal-Mart and removed the stuck on cork cover, drilled a hole in the coaster, slid it over the dowel to prevent the yarn from getting in the hole. Attach the cup hook (with a tiny amount of glue on the threads) and you're done.
Sounds like a lot, but it really only takes a few minutes to put it all together, especially if all that you have to buy is the bun foot and dowel. I've also seen Marion's with rubber wheels, much like what's on a push lawn mower (visit your local county landfill for all the free wheels and parts that you can imagine). Personally, I just spin barefoot, so the wood is just fine for me so long as you've not varnished and finished it to a great slippery shine. Mine seems to spin for an adequately long time, but there are versions that have ball bearings in the hole where the dowel rests on the base in order to make it spin longer, but that's your call. Also, using some sewing machine or spinning wheel oil in this hole makes it go a little easier, as well as making sure that the hole itself (both of them, actually) are larger than the dowel. I just drilled them open a little more than the dowel without going to the next largest size drill bit (move the drill around a little when drilling).
So, in all, there you have the non-illustrated version of how to make a Mother Marion kick spindle!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
It is a young adult, but fearing that the dogs may decide it was their toy, or that it may have a broken wing, I decided to get it and help it out for a while.
We have many songbirds that nest on our property ranging from several varieties of woodpecker and cardinals, to wrens and many other animals besides birds. And seeing as how I was practically raised in a zoo (my mom has always raised exotics animals and rescues ranging from lions and cougars to monkeys and coatimundies) I have a natural affection for all things wild.
So I shall help it out until it's back to health and then let it go again and hopefully all will be well.
Enjoy, and be sure to comment!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
In the first picture is my most used drop spindle, which is also reversible so that it can be used as either a top whirl or a bottom whirl. The whorl itself is square, so that it is notchless and spins nicely either for fine or bulky weights. It is a rather heavy spindle compared to some others that I've used, but the weight seems to help stabilize the spin a lot as well as spin for longer periods so that I get long single in a single spin.
The second pic is a few of the others that I use that are lighter (the reversible spindle is in this pic as well). Also are a few balls of wool that I spun with these, both single, plied, dyed, and natural wool. As of now the wood on them are unfinished, but that may change.
Again, sorry for the poor picture quality. Any questions, feel free to send me a message or to share your thoughts.
There are several different types of charkhas, a lot of them being sold as "book charkhas" in which they fit inside of a box and have a double wheel arrangement for the drive of the spindle. And then there is the upright, which is a little larger, and usually only uses a single pulley to drive wheel arrangement in order to turn the spindle. For convenience sake, I chose to construct the latter type.
My goal was (as it usually is) to make the wheel as inexpensively as possible, with as many salvaged parts that I could that were readily on hand. The spindle consists of a US #2 knitting needle, attached to a pulley that came from and old cassette player. That pulley is driven by the main wheel, which is made from two 7" diameter wood clock faces that were bought in a craft store. The two pieces were fitted face to face so that there was a groove for the drive belt to sit in. The spindle is held in place by tension from the pulley arrangement, so that I can simply remove the drive belt in order to remove the spindle and collect the spun yarn on a niddy noddy or another bobbin, etc., or I can leave it on the spindle and ply from it by using the old "knitting needle in a shoebox" method. Either way, it's very portable and spins some very fine yarn easily.
I will most likely change some of the features, such as the handle that is attached to a freely spinning one. And since I've just made it, I'm sure that some kinks will have to be worked out as for the tensioning and drive arrangements, etc.
Below are some pictures, and I apologize for the low quality of them.
I've also made a Mother Marion spinning wheel, which is a supported "kick wheel" that I will get some picks of up at a later time, perhaps. It spins quick as well, but is a bit of a workout to spin the wheel with the foot for long periods of time.
So let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions of would like to share any of your experiences, feel free.
Monday, August 13, 2007
In the pictures below you will see the parabolic dish that focuses the sound to a condenser microphone. The microphone plugs into the odd little box that consists of an audio amplifier unit and and input/output jack (for the mic and headphones) as well as a volume control knob. I have the LM386 OP amplifier on the circuit board for producing the necessary amplification from the microphone, and it is also looped with the high-gain pins so as to produce a VERY amplified sound.
The parabolic dish is actually a recycled item from the dumpster and it originally was a feeder guard that fits over a hanging bird feeder in order to keep squirrels out of the seed box/feeder. I found the point at which the sound was amplified the most for the placement of the microphone, which is held in place by a hard wire that also serves the purpose of a handle along the side (as you can see in the last photo).
I made this for recording bird and animal sounds from the woods (and the local barred owls that make their home on our property). I had a Bionic Ear © super amplified system years ago that I used for similar purposes, as well as for recording EVP during paranormal research outings. I just couldn't see spending over $100 again for something that I could easily make.
Lately, I've been doing a lot of knitting and such, and have recently made a couple of hats using the Ultimate Sweater Machine (or the Bond, to those who know). I made a 3 foot long black and white striped stocking hat, as well as an adaptation from a hat that appears in the new Charmed Knits book about Harry Potter clothes. When I get around to it, I will post some photos of some of my projects. But for now, here is a (rather low quality) pic of the stocking cap.
It is modeled (loosely) from the French Voyageur's, or fur trader's, caps of days gone by. It was a lot of fun to make, and did not take much time on the Bond knitting machine. I've been considering doing some simple socks, but they seem to take me forever to do and then I always have to make two of them. Isn't there an easier way? I haven't got it down on the Bond to really do socks very well, so the hand knitting just drags away with that one. Currently I'm doing a pair using Wool-Ease in a gray color (because Jo-Ann's didn't have any black skeins when I went to buy the yarn).