Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hook, Shuttle, and Bobbin

The Michigan Fiber Festival is a great place for shopping. I went with a shopping list this year. I had very specific purchases in mind.

I want to start rug hooking. I’ve never done it before. And I want to hook with my handspun yarns, not fabric. I’ve been gathering books on the topic for quite awhile. Last year, when I taught at the North Country Fiber Fair in Watertown, SD, I bought a fabulous hooking frame from Tracy Kellen. You can find her stuff in her etsy store, “On thePrairie”

At MFF, I was on the lookout for some linen fabric to use as backing. I found some in the booth of Spruce Ridge Studios, a business located in Howell, MI. I bought a couple remnant pieces. Just something to get me started. And I bought a lovely hook. It’s a “primitive” hook made from yew wood. I adore it! Here is the frame, the fabric, and the hook:

The next specific thing on my shopping list was a pick up stick. After my recent purchase of a new-to-me rigid heddle loom, I was thinking I might try some pick up techniques. Last year I’d gotten a beautiful little belt shuttle from Bruce and Ann Niemi of Kessenich Looms. So, I thought that’d be the perfect place to get a pick up stick. Ann suggested I get one as long as my weaving width, about 25”. I selected one made from cherry wood. Lovely. She called it a “sword”. That’s a new weaving term to me. She also suggested that I get a boat shuttle, one with a low profile. I selected a beauty! It’s made from spalted maple. It carries a paper quill, not one of those plastic weavers bobbins. So I also bought some extra quills. I really like their boat shuttles. The shaft for the quill/bobbin is held in place by magnets. Very easy to load and unload. I like it! Here’s a picture of the sword and the shuttle:

Not on my list was the next item. It’s a storage bobbin. Now, as a spinner, I’ve never used storage bobbins. I like to ply. I like to finish my yarns. So, I typically ply as soon as I’ve got singles on bobbins.

But I know there are many spinners out there who would like to store their singles for plying later (or not). If that describes you, then you’ll want these bobbins. They’re large (can hold 5 oz), durable, and they’ve got a groove (whorl) so they can be used on a tensioned lazy kate. The designer also provides a “bit” so you can use an electric drill or screwdriver to wind the bobbin. This bobbin can also be wound using a double-ended bobbin winder (such as the Schacht bobbin winder). Best of all, the price is quite manageble ($5 per bobbin). And they’re made of recyclable plastic.

Debra Beadles Youngs, of Art-U-Wear in Schoolcraft, MI, created this clever thing which she calls “Bobbins Up”. 

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