At times during the worst of the pandemic here, I considered ending the shop as sales on the internet don’t really happen and there were no events. We live in a county of deniers, by statistics, it is the worst in the state as far as cases per capita, though not at the bottom of the pile for vaccinations. Masks have been a non item even during the absolute worst periods. With both of us vaccinated and hoping for boosters, I have recently done a couple of events outdoors, keeping my distance from others by the arrangement of my booth and keeping a spinning wheel between me and visitors. This weekend, I will be both vending and functioning as the Revolutionary War working woman/spinner at Wilderness Road Regional Museum where I volunteer, less now than before Covid. I will be set up on a roofed, open sided porch, which feels fairly safe and will probably be masked most of the time. Before Covid, I would often allow children, with their parent’s permission to sit on my lap and help me spin, then giving them the bit of yarn they spun. I won’t do that now and may never return to that level of comfort. When I participate at the Museum events, I always donate an item to the raffle and/or a percentage of my proceeds to the museum fund to keep them open to the public.
For the past year and a half of so, my wheels have gotten little use unless I am doing a public event. My interest returned to my spinning roots and the use of spindles. My favorites are the Turkish spindles, all but one of mine, beautifully crafted by Ed Jenkins in Oregon. They vary from the gorgeous Black and White Ebony tiny spindle to a couple larger ones that I use mostly to ply yarn spun on the others. The non Jenkins spindle is a tiny one not pictured.
Depending on the event and my mood, there are other spindles in my collection. The only one I use with any regularity is the Bosworth top whorl spindle on the left in the next photo. The center spindle is a Dealgan, a Scottish whorless spindle that I use for demonstration purposes and the Mayan spinner that I can barely make function, but kids love to see it. There are also two tiny spindles that are more decoration than functional, I have considered making ornaments from them.
In preparation for the weekend event, I have finally updated my online shop and the link at the top of the blog now reflects my current stock, though I noticed that some of the pictures are sideways. I guess I should try to figure out how to repair that.
I have been using up the bits of leftover yarn from making the breed blanket. My first project to use them was a wool hat.
And I spun another breed for the blanket, but must say, it wasn’t one I enjoyed. It was gray Norwegian wool, a quite coarse longwool with lots of guard hairs that shed while I was spinning it. It was plied as I spun and is ready to knit, but I haven’t brought myself to the point of picking up the needle to start it as it isn’t soft at all and will have to go on an edge of the blanket because of what I have already assembled.
We will see how this weekend and the Museum Holiday Markets turn out before I decide whether to get serious about restocking the shop for the future. I’m hoping the Saturday rain finds a different location to fall upon. We have gone from drought to soaked.