Monday, April 26, 2010
Putting old equipment back to work
I had to trim the Chinese Elm tree the other day, because branches were bending down too far over the sidewalk. I love this tree--it is very fast growing, evergreen, and I don't have to water it here in the AZ desert. I could do without the seedlings it sends out everywhere, but I can deal with that for something that actually looks like a tree.
Anyway, I was looking at the branches, and noticed how nice and straight they are. And I got to thinking about the long term historical weaving project I have planned.
So I went out with my clippers, and found a good sized stick. I whittled the bark off of all but the bottom couple of inches, tapered the top, and carved a notch about an inch below the top.
Then I pulled out a treasure from my stash. A few years ago I bought a Medieval decorated lead spindle whorl from Gaukler Medieval Wares, when they had a booth at Estrella War. The whorl was found in Suffolk. I bought it because I love holding history in my hand (and because it was only $30). Given my SCA involvement, and my love of the textile arts, it had to come home with me. At the time, I was only planning on tucking it away. But...I also love putting old fiber equipment back to work. And this whorl definitely qualifies!
I stuck it on my twig, grabbed some roving, and tried it out.
The resulting drop spindle is a little wobbly (the whorl is not well balanced), but it still spins beautifully!
Here's a closer look.