Came 'narth to visit some of the fam, and while here, visited with my pal Marseille, who introduced me to the very awesome Lori Beard of Just Lori Creations. Lori, in addition to being gracious and super talented, is a multi-faceted artist who sells not just wooly things, but also jewelry (including lovely stitch markers for knitting), soaps, and dyed yarns.
Check it out!!
|Hand dyed spinning wool, stitch holders and handmade jewelry, soap making kit, handmade soap, felted balls, just-spun yarn|
|Hand-dyed wool for spinners|
|Felted balls, dyed yarns|
However, I was chomping at the bit to see her spinner!! Lori takes her wool, dyes it, and spins it. Even better, it was she who introduced me (via my peep Marseille) to the Sheep Shed Studio, who supplies me my wool to stuff my wool felt play food. Lori sources all her wool as locally as possible, and I'm a big proponent of BUY LOCAL! whenever possible. She had some cool tales about sourcing wool from Pennsylvania and Virginia. I had...no tales of sourcing wool locally, but I did have one story about getting fleeced (literally) by someone in England!
The actual process of spinning the yarn is neat - feed the yarn through slowly through, and if a piece breaks off before it goes through the spinning bit, she twists the pieces of roving together and keeps on going. I love natural fibers!!
|Lori, looking adorable and not at all sweaty despite the OMFG heat, with her spinner|
This is an Ashford spinner, the "Joy" model. The treadles fold up, so it has a very narrow profile when stored. I swear, if I had more talent with yarn (other than being an anarchist crocheter who can't read patterns and pretends to invent stitches) I would be rolling around naked in wool roving, dyeing it, spinning it, and making my own yarn.
And from behind:
Although I'm a mite disappointed that I didn't find this:
That might have been kinda fun, and ultra-retro. That woman is probably like my age in that photo too, HAH.
We were at a local farmers market, and Lori was demonstrating her spinning while I shilled her stock and tap danced on her sheet: "My kids totally love making soap from kits!" and "I use felted balls in my dryer; they eliminate static and are compostable!" Hey, her stock was worthy of my used car salesman-like huckstering! I even bought a hank of yarn after listening to myself flap! (Now, winding it into balls is going to be another challenge as I don't own a winder, ugh. "Hold up yer damn arms, kids!!)
Marseille also brought her amazing sock machine!
Meet "Nellie" the sock machine, named after Marseille's great-grandmother. This is approximately 90, yes, NINETY years old. Marseille acquired this from a seller on eBay who refurbishes these sorts of items, and it works splendidly. Just check out some of the results!
|Unfinished sock with waste yarn on the left, finished sock on the right|
You start and finish a sock with "waste yarn" or some crappy acrylic yarn that gets cut off and thrown out. Marseille would grind a few rows (counting while talking...I can't count, let alone talk) and either swap out some colors or swap out the top of the winder to create a different stitch.
She acquired a copy of the original owners manual of this machine, as made by the Auto Knitter Hosiery Company of Montreal. Here's a neat blog about these circular sock machines.
Note the date below...1923!!
Made me laugh that she also uses the same Zoom gigantic spout sewing machine oil that I also use on my serger. Here, the machine has weighed forks holding down rows to work on the heel.
The sock has to be weighed down the entire time in order to knit properly. When the weight hits the floor, Marseille improvised a solution to retain weight on the sock using a few peanut butter lids. She's an engineer, dammit! She can make anything!!
Before going to work on the heel, Marseille removed the top and swapped out some parts. What a cool view! She's using variegated yarn on this particular sock.
Many thanks to the always charming, lovely, gracious, and ultrasupermega textile-talented Marseille (whom I've been pestering since middle school and seriously puts my crafting ability on the floor) and Lori Beard of Just Lori Creations. GO! SHOP at Lori's Etsy! Tell her Puck sent you. On second thought, don't do that, I might be bad for her business.... I got a bad temper and a filthy mouth and alla that....