fiber arts, new projects, spinning, tools


I cant’ take it anymore.  I need to be able to ply, and I don’t feel nervy enough do do that on a drop spindle, although it is possible.  But, I also cannot afford a spinning wheel for a while.  I’ve got my eye on a couple on Etsy, though, and I may just ask for part of the cost for my birthday.

In doing my research on wheels, I came across alternatives like the kickspindle/Mother Marion. Finding out about these was a big slap on the forehead moment.  They’re logical and straightforward, not as intimidating as a full wheel.

Aha!  This is simple enough to DIY.  I’d love to be able to buy and support crafters, but I also want to be able to pay the fair price for their product.  The kickspindles I’ve seen on Etsy range from 50-70 and even that is a pinch.  So, off to the internet I went.  I found these plans on and variations on the design on google.  I wanted to make it as bare bones as possible, so here we are:

This is the general idea.  I have a fence finial instead of a bun foot or wheel for a weight.  I will be threading the dowel through a hook on that wood block.  The angle may have to change to keep the finial from rubbing on the base and slowing me down, but we’ll see how it spins.  I was going to cut the dowel in half, but honestly….I kind of like the absurd size!  I hope it doesn’t effect the motion – if it does, it’ll be cut down and I’ll make a regular spindle from the excess.



As of writing this, production has ceased for my drill’s battery to recharge so I can get the dowel into the finial.  I’ll add more later as this unfolds!

art history, history, share the wealth, textile history


number-2084188_640NE OF THE things I love doing the most in my spare time is self-educating.  Lately I’ve been captivated by the history of spinning, weaving, etc. as well as the Tarim Mummies.  This has led to a mini-explosion of archaeology research in my kitchen office.  I may be getting fixated!

I was looking though facebook one day when I saw a video by the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research  (affiliated with the University of Copenhagen).  I started trawling through this page, seeing if there was anything I could glean for my own use.  Mostly, I found descriptions of courses I’d love to take.  Eventually I made my way to the publications page and found the archives of the Archaeological Textiles Review, which lists its (English language) issues from 1985-2015 as FREE PDFs.  Oh my good lord…..

This is very generous of them!  By clicking that last link, you can go right to the archive and read to you’re heart’s content.  There is also an anthology of publications from their Textiles and the Medieval Economy title, available in bound form (currently 12.95 euros down from 35…so I may get on that).

So please join me in nerding out at this great resource!!