Florida State Fair 2018

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Entered the Florida State Fair for the first time. The blue knit shawl won first place for hand spun yarn, the pastel plaid with fringe won second place and a skein of natural 2 ply won an honorable mention. Pleased with the outcome.


Noro Rainbow Roll 100% wool pencil roving for sale

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I am introducing NORO 100% wool pencil roving for sale on my Etsy site. (Go directly by clicking on the button to the right with the Rainbow Roll.)

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These three shawls were made from yarn spun from NORO pencil roving.

The knitted shawl in the photo in Navy, Sky Blue & Purple was knit from 2 ply worsted weight yarn (color-way 1009).

The Orange, Yellow & Purple continuous strand woven shawl created on a 7′ tri-loom with crocheted edge was woven from colorway 1022.

The pale naturals plaid (Brown, Moss & Naturals) continuous strand woven fringed shawl was created on a 7′ tri-loom was created from worsted weight 2 ply yarn (color-way 1016).


Florida Sheep, Wool & Herding Dog Festival

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Festival is coming February 2nd & 3rd (Friday & Saturday) 2018

I’ll be leading 2 workshops:           REGISTER HERE

10 AM – 12 PM “Wheel Selection, Mechanics, Repair” ($50) Friday OR Saturday
How to identify a good 2nd hand/vintage/antique wheel (and what to avoid), basic wheel mechanics, difference between direct drive, double drive or Irish tension, and demonstrations as to how to make minor repairs, e.g. replace leather bearings, shim the uprights, and how to make extra bobbins from hardware store washers and copper tubing as featured in Spin-Off Magazine.

Learn to Use a Lucet (2:15 PM – 3:00 PM) ($25) Friday OR Saturday
Learn to use this ancient Viking cording tool to make strong and very sturdy cords that you can use in so many ways. Use them to make drawstrings, lacings, buttons and embellishments for your knit and crochet projects. Also make jewelry, designer shoelaces, home improvement hacks and more with these strong cords. The cost of your own lucet is included in the workshop fee. Class is limited to 10.

Registration for the Lucet class isn’t up on the website yet, but I will be leading the class.

Plus, I will be bringing as many wheels from my unique collection as I can fit in the 4-runner.

Lots of food, fun and demonstrations.

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Happy New Year 2018

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We’re back …

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St-François-du-Lac CPW Elie Laporte builder

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This past weekend I rescued a CPW, Canadian Production Wheel, which showed up on local Craig’s List and which has a distinctive cast iron treadle with cut-outs:  EL. St. Frs.  While there had been much speculation in spinning wheel circles some time ago when the treadle first appeared on a wheel, but no one had been able to ID the wheel.  Sadly, that wheel was missing flyer and bobbin.  My find is intact with the exception of the footman.  While I’ve been in the process of cleaning and feeding the wheel, others have been researching.  We think we’ve found the builder.  24 year old Elie Laporte in the 1871 Census of St-François-du-Lac, Yamaska, Quebec was reported to be a “manufacturier de rouets”.  He reappears in the 1881 Census as “menuisier” (carpenter) and again in the 1891 Census as “fabricant de rouets”.  It all fits.  EL St. Frs

Obviously, by identifying the builder and discovering the span he was working and building wheels we can approximate the date of the wheel.  Elie Laporte was born 27 Nov 1845 and died 2 Aug 1919.  He had married first at age 17 and he and his wife had three daughters.  His wife died after only five years of marriage, leaving him a widower with three young daughters.  He remarried a year later and is listed in the 1871 Census with his second wife, the three young girls, his mother and mother-in-law and his sister all living in the same household.  Since he is already identified as a builder of spinning wheels at that time, it can be assumed that this wheel was built before the turn of the century and somewhere within the range of 1863 (the year of his first marriage) and 1901 (when he is listed in the census as a border which suggests he’d given up his home and shop).  He had relocated to St Bonaventure d’Upton by the time of his death in 1919 at the age of 64.

While it would be wonderful to have been able to narrow the build date even more, I’m thrilled to have identified the builder and to have restored the wheel to it’s purposes, that of being a production spinning wheel.

Laporte wheel Treadle



Spin-Off Magazine … Hot Wheels

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spin off hot wheels

The cover title, “Hot Wheels”, Spin-Off Spring 2015, refers to a round-up of One-Of-A-Kind Spinning Wheels. I wrote the article and several wheels from my “collection” were featured. The article has been well received and has garnered a request for more. The next round-up will be for “personalized” spinning wheels.

I’m looking for photos of wheels that started their lives as one of many  but have been decorated to express the personality of the owner/spinner.  (Not custom or one-of-a-kind wheels.)

Guidelines for taking photos for Spin-Off HERE.

If you have a wheel you would like to have featured, add a comment and I’ll email a visual release to you for signature and directions as to how to get photo to me.





SAORI Weaving Lesson

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Had the most amazing Birthday.  I spent much of the day with Kathleen Keenan, Certified Saori Instructor @ her Sarasota studio for a private lesson.  She is a generous instructor, coach, and cheer leader.

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Very pleased with the outcome … a sampler of playing with color & texture and somehow it all works. Plan to turn it into a mobius scarf.

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birthday 2014 014


Butterfly Box

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valtz 2Womack Butterfly Electric Spinner just arrived.  I’m loving it !!! But, it’s no lightweight and yet I want to travel with it and I want to keep myself organized.  The seller told me she has used a long handled plastic milk file crate to tote it to and from guild meetings and that she created a false bottom  with storage below in which to keep bobbins, cords and other accessories.  Local Office Depot is relocating and holding a blow-out sale so I stopped with the thought of getting one of those crates for cheap.  They were sold out but I found a lidded and locking portable file from Valtz.


frameMy DH (dear husband) built a frame from 1″ X 4″ lumber which actually is only a bit taller than the 3″ diameter bobbins.  And I sprayed it with flat black paint.



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DH cut a “lid” for the “hidden” compartment from 1/4″ plywood paneling.   It was oiled and a random pull from the shop added … voila!!


Frank Fell Spinning Wheel for Sale

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I am selling Frank Fell Spinning Wheel on eBay HERE.
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My understanding is that in 1884, Fell began working for the Mayville Furniture Company, which manufactured spinning wheels for sale both locally and to a broader market. When the factory closed in 1904, Fell purchased its lathe and opened his own wood-turning shop in his Mayville, WI home. He built German-style wheels, although he was the son of a British immigrant cabinetmaker and not of German descent.  Existing wheels are highly collectable and have a reputation for spinning extraordinarily well and this wheel is no exception.  Most rare and unusual, while most have been lost, this wheel retains a bit of the original distaff.  Spinners love these wheels and for good cause.

While this wheel has a beautiful patina and retains it’s original finish, there are signs of age and wear from use.  This wheel spins like butter (See video in previous article.)  I offer it without reservation and with more than a little reluctance.  It disassembles and reassembles easily and is light making it the perfect candidate to take out for demonstrations and re-enactments.  It is a single treadle, double drive, German Saxony style spinning wheel.  The functional difference between a double drive and a Scotch tension (for example Ashford Saxony), is while finding the “sweet spot” on a double drive may take a bit of fiddling, once found, you can spin without any further adjustments; you can even switch out bobbins and spin again without adjusting the tension.  The Scotch tension needs to be adjusted throughout the process of filling the bobbin.  While this may not be an issue for a novice spinner, it is an annoyance as one becomes more proficient and increases the rate at which they can fill a bobbin.

I have used this wheel when teaching new spinners and as an experienced spinner, I still find it a joy upon which to spin.  I am selling as I am attempting to reclaim the living areas of my home; I have more than a dozen working wheels and several in the process of restoration.  While I’m not convinced, my husband assures me that one cannot spin on more than one wheel at a time and therefore it makes no sense to have so many wheels.  That said, this wheel needs to be re-homed where it will be used and appreciated.


Frank Fell Spinning Wheel

Frank Fell Spinning Wheel


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