Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Our Halloween Jack-O-lanterns right now.

Here's mine, freshly carved.
Here's Emily's and my pumpkins, earlier in the evening.
Emily also carved a mini pumpkin and a gourd.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Lucets for the Sale

The Handweavers Guild of Boulder annual sale is allowing tools to be sold this year, provided they are made by the member selling them. So, I made some new lucets  for the sale.

I've blogged about lucets before, when I was making cord for my husband's poet shirt. The lucet is a very old tool that is used for making cord. It is related to the knitting nancies that we made as kids out of an old wooden spool and 4 or more nails. The lucet has just two prongs which the string or yarn is wound around and looped over to create a cord. Depending on how the cord is looped, a square cord or a flat cord can be made.

I usually use it to make square cord out of cotton yarn, which is perfect for shoe strings, cord to lace up poet shirts or for drawstrings on pouches. It also makes a great cord for corsets that is much less likely to slip than  ribbon or satin cord.

Years ago I made some lucets for largess and for my own use. I researched them a bit and then drew up my own pattern that fit comfortably in my own hand and was able to be be turned easily. I left off the handle that is often on lucets because I just couldn't see a use for it and it looked like it would only get in the way. 

I ended up making six lucets total, including the one pictured at top. Three out of cherry and three out of walnut. In the future I'll be making some out of birds eye maple too, once the beautiful piece of maple I acquired gets resawn and planed into the correct thickness. I use only hard woods that can be polished very smooth.

 I've included cotton velvet pouches with the lucets I'm selling. I bought two large bolts of gorgeous cotton velvet years ago to make period dresses that will now never get made so it seemed like a good way to use up the velvet. The drawstrings are all made using a lucet. I always keep my lucet in its pouch when not in use, along with the yarn for the current project. 

I also drew up some instructions to be included with the lucets being sold. These are very basic instructions for making a square cord, which is the easiest cord to make on a lucet. I'll be elaborating on these instructions soon when I post a tutorial and will follow with more tutorials on how to make flat cord as well.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Fleece from Mr. Black

Mr. Black
This past weekend was National Alpaca Farm Days so we went to the event at Ancient Treasures Alpaca Ranch just down the road from us. There were lots of fleeces, hand spun yarn and other things made from alpaca fiber, plus lots of alpacas from various alpaca ranches as well as those belonging to Ancient Treasures.

Chris and Mr. Black's fleece
One particular fleece caught our eye - a lovely black fleece from an alpaca named Mr. Black. Mr. Black belongs to Agave Alpacas. We purchased the fleece and Chris is skirting it (cleaning it). Chris loves spinning alpaca into a nice lace weight or finger weight yarn. I might felt some of it too.

Here is a closeup of the fleece. Look at the nice crimp and staple length.

Chris,  Cheryl and Lacey
Here, both Chris and Cheryl, of Ancient Treasures Alpacas, are skirting the fleece. Lacey has her head under the table, being curious.

Here's a closeup of Lacey.