Warning: This post is long. But, I’ve been a bad, bad blogger, so there’s catching up to be done.
From Allison’s big move, and the preceeding going-away dinner and baking, to Knit in Public Day to after-work meetings to family time, life’s been crazy busy for the past week or so. Did I remember to take pics at any of this stuff? Of course not.
Because I’m a bad blogger.
Contributing to the craziness around this part are two new additions to La Casa de Weasel: Evelyn and Matilda. First, meet Evie.
- Say hello to the pretty lady
Impulse control? What’s that??
In my defense, Evie was a steal of the highest order. When I happened upon her, she looked like this:
- In desperate need of some TLC…
I’m a sucker for pretty woodturnings, and I love a dark finish. While she turned pretty true and didn’t throw a drive band or anything, she was bone dry and creaky, and her drive wheel wouldn’t fit all the way in. I don’t think she’d been oiled in a couple decades.
- Evelyn’s flyer assembly…on backwards…clearly, she was not owned by an actual spinner…
Jenni came with me to check her out, and I was able to talk her owner down a little bit on the price. She was mine!!
We stopped at Home Depot on the way back to my place with Evie in tow, and picked up some tung oil, some Feed-and-Wax and some wipes to apply the oil. After a quick, 10 minutes of rubbing oil on her, Evie’s true colors started to show, and we realized what a find she really was. (If the lady who sold her to me only knew! Evie’s worth way more than I paid! SCORE!)
- Why, Miss Evelyn, you’re looking quite fine today!
After just that first quick oiling, the drive wheel slipped right into place. The canister said tung oil was good for “thirsty wood,” and it wasn’t lying! Evelyn has since drunk up two good coatings of it.
I also used mineral oil on all her joins and her original (!) leather bearings. I’ll need something better as we go forward, I think, but the mineral oil got her moving real nice right off the bat.
- Evie’s only missing piece is the peg that holds the drive wheel in. For now, a screwdriver head is serving as a replacement, till I can fashion a new peg.
The only downside is that Evie only has one bobbin. Evie’s a Country Craftsman, which makes replacement parts a little problematic, since they’re not made anymore. Luckily, I know a guy with a lathe…who offered to make me some bobbins…and was a horrid dirty enabler when it came to this wheel…I guess I need to thank him, because I’m totally in love with her!
I also need a lazy kate, but I’ve heard the Kromski tensioned kate works for Country Craftsman bobbins. So, I might have to make another little investment at some point.
- Both Evie and her matching stool are signed. I absolutely love that every single part of her was made by hand by a single man.
I’ve never been good on a wheel. I’ve had very little practice, and I’d mostly been trying out double-treadles with Scotch tension. Evie’s a double-drive single treadle, and I’ve heard that double-drive, while better for spinning consistently fine (which is what I like to spin), can be trouble for beginners. I was a little nervous about how I would do with her.
After about an hour playing with an oiled-up Evie and some merino/tussah…
- Still some lumps and bumps, followed by some thin spots, but not too shabby for our first try! Not too shabby at all!!
…we started making some progress.
Turns out I just needed to find the right wheel!
- And even though I thought I’d never use it, I’m even finding her distaff really, really helpful.
So, Evie is now home sweet home! And the day after Evie came home, someone else decided to join our little nuthouse as well.
- Oh, hi! I don’t sit still long enough to take a not-blurry pic, sorry!
Now, say hello to Matilda.
Yup, after a few weeks of prowling in the yard, Tilly decided that our house should be her house. I knew when she ran down the hallway—trying to get inside—that she had chosen us.
And when her first act was to try to eat a ball of Malabrigo Twist that was on my bookshelf, followed by her attempt to eat a bag of Lorna’s Laces fiber, followed by her attempt to steal a hank of alpaca/tencel blend out of my stash…all while she ignored a hank of cheap cotton blend…well, I knew this little fiber snob was meant to be with us.
- Upside down on a catnip mouse…settling in already…
I’d been contemplating another dog for a while, but I don’t think Madori would appreciate the competition. Tilly is friendly, but she’s not a lap-kitty quite yet. Madori seems more interested in the cat food than the cat right now, so that bodes well for inter-species harmony in the house.
- Tilly kneads, Madori watches
Tilly’s taken to sleeping under the bed, in the air conditioning, on top of the stash, which has since been secured from her little claws. I’m not convinced she isn’t pregnant…but we’ll burn that bridge when and if we get there.
- You bother me, I scratch you. For reals.
Did I mention I’m not really a cat person? I really like this little kitty, though. Welcome home, Matilda!