Done – 1/4/2020

The blanket beat the baby. The weave was completed last evening, but I didn’t want to work with my sewing machine without very good light, so it rested on the loom overnight with the small towel.

After the morning Farmers Market run for some protein and veggies, which we did between the early morning rain and the arrival of the cold front with wind and more rain, the weave was carefully removed from the loom. The third panel was added to the other two, the ends hemmed. The other three pieces were also hemmed.

The crochet hook located and a single crochet edge applied.

With fingers crossed that there wouldn’t be too much shrinkage, the four pieces were put in a cool water quick wash in the washing machine and a dry on low in the dryer. The blanket shrank a bit as expected, but is still baby blanket size. I think the Lily Sugar and Cream shrank too much for the towel to still be a towel and the smaller one is a dish drying mat or hot pad size. The dish cloth is ok.

Maybe 3 more woven with the same warp amount and the three blocks, I will have a set of placemats. If packaged with the hot mat and 4 napkins sewn from a matching color cotton fabric, it will make a nice set to gift or sell.

As tomorrow is Olde Christmas at Wilderness Road Regional Museum, the rest of the evening is being spent making sure that I have clean fleece to spin, fiber on the ring distaff for spindle spinning, and a basic men’s hat cast on with hand spun Jacob on the bone DPNs. That will give me plenty to demonstrate to any visitors that tour through the museum. The militia will be outdoors and will fire off a salute to Christmas. There will be goodies to eat, craft beer to buy, some crafted gifts to purchase, and music. It is a family friendly event, so if you are a local reader, it should be a nice if cool day to come out for some fun.

History – 11/9/2019

Today I was scheduled to demonstrate spinning at a museum in a near city. The museum was one I had never visited before, but was familiar with the road on which it was located, or so I thought. In order to facilitate getting there as promptly as possible, it is nearly an hour from home, I loaded the address into Google Maps. As I approached the exit from the Interstate, I activated the Google voice to guide me. There ended up being a bit of a problem. The road that Google insisted I turn on was 3 blocks beyond and on the opposite side of the rail tracks from where our group was set up, and that road was blocked off for the Veteran’s Parade. I knew where the Transportation Museum was located on the side of the tracks where I was, so I stopped there to ask directions. A bridge over the tracks and another right turn brought me back where I thought I was supposed to be, but alas, due to the parade, parking was scarce. I finally parked in the museum employee parking, hoping not to get a ticket. My wheel, spinning basket, and tote of costume were loaded indoors, changed, and set up to spin only to discover that I had failed to bring either wool combs or wool cards with me which meant spinning from clean Jacob locks all day.

We had one friend with two tables of Colonial games and toys, another friend with her tape loom weaving tapes. A fiddler, various soldiers with kits and uniforms, and me spinning. The admission today was free, the Museum of Western Virginia has displays, talks, and snacks for the visitors and they were excited that quite a number of families with children came. Normally they have very few children visitors.

Many photos were taken, none by me. It was a good day and interesting just spinning from locks and getting a pretty even yarn, though it should be fun when it is plyed as I didn’t bother to separate colors and since it wasn’t blended in any way, it isn’t gray. About half a bobbin was filled. Since it is not spun from roving or even rolags, I will finish the bobbin from locks and ply it to display with the skein of combed Jacob that I usual put out with my spindles, lucet, Nosepinne, bone knitting needles, and niddy noddy. Usually I am sitting on a Jacob pelt, but since they were providing tables and chairs, I did not take it.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, indoor
Photo credit Kyle Griffin

Many photos were taken of me today as is always the case when dressed in Colonial garb and demonstrating.

Between Gigs – 10/29/2019

Last weekend was the start of the season. As a volunteer at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, I am usually the spinner. Sometimes events stack and I have to be elsewhere. Sometimes, my role is different. The last weekend of October, they plan a Spirits Along the Wilderness Road event. It isn’t a scary event, instead a Percheron pulled wagon travels a path through local history with stops for the “Spirits” of actual historical figures from the region to share their moment in history.

Photo credit April Martin, Wilderness Road Regional Museum

There were many spirits, Colonels, soldiers, gamblers, slaves, Seminole indians, founders, shop keepers, Politicians, a tiny Werewolf, and more. I portrayed an older Mary Draper Ingles displaying her angst at being away from the ferry and her home as dark descended.

Photo credit April Martin, Wilderness Road Regional Museum

In all there were 9 wagon loads of visitors, one every half hour and we could have filled more if there had been space and time. Last year the event was rain delayed to a week night and was less successful, but this year was especially great. The period depicted for my part was just after the Revolutionary War, so I wore that period clothing. As folks could wander the museum before or after their ride, I also was able to share some fiber history and demonstrate spinning on one of the old Walking Wheels that I helped restore to use.

The upcoming weekend, I will be with a friend demonstrating wool and spinning at the Booker T. Washington National Monument again in costume, but this time closer to the Civil War so a bit of change up to the clothing items. It will also be outdoors and a chilly weekend, so there may be some hidden woolen layers under the two piece dress, and my Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em huge shawl and fingerless mitts to help try to stay warm. At this event, my friend and I can also vend, so yarn, knits, soaps, and salves will accompany my spinning wheel and baskets. When demonstrating in costume, I have a canvas seated wooden folding chair (a period camp reproduction) and a Jacob sheep pelt that I sit on. If I get too cold, the pelt can be in my lap.

After this weekend, there are a couple of weeks off, then the craft shows for the holidays begin in earnest with Catawba Valley Farmers Market Holiday event on November 23rd. The Blacksburg Farmers Market Holiday markets the first 3 Saturday’s in December. The first two Saturday’s and Sunday’s in December, I will also be back at Wilderness Road Regional Museum in period clothing, demonstrating spinning and vending at their Christmas Bazaar in the old German Barn during the Wassailing and tours of the museum in Christmas greens and candles.

This is such a fun time of year, never knowing what the weather may bring or the crowds that may show up.