Evie and Tilly

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!

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15 thoughts on “Evie and Tilly

  1. kateohkatie says:

    Wow – talk about big life changes! Your new miss kitty is SO CUTE! I want to kiss her cheeks but it sounds like she wouldn’t really stand for that 😛

    I love how Evie and Matilda will be forever linked in your mind, too – even years from now when Matilda is long gone, every time you use Evie you’ll think of the little kittyface 🙂

  2. divinebird says:

    1. I can’t believe I missed the entire wheel acquisition thing. This means I am not hanging around with you nearly often enough, and this should be remedied.

    2. YOU GOT A CC. How very terribly awesome.

    3. You’re a good candidate for double drive; like you said, your yarns are fine and worsted style, which is exactly what DD is best with. It looks like you’ve gotten the hang of it nicely.

    4. YAY Kitty!! Matilda is so pretty! She definitely chose you. 😀

    Congratulations on your new additions!!

    • weaselmomma says:

      I kept it a secret. Only three people knew I was looking at a wheel—Mark, Allison and Jenni—and Jenni only found out about 45 minutes before we picked Evie up.

  3. Emilee says:

    OMG! Congrats on the wheel and the kitteh. It sounds like they both said “oh hai, I live with you now plz!”

    • weaselmomma says:

      Thanks, and yup, that’s pretty much how it happened. Plus, you know how I love superfluous turned wood 😀

  4. kazkitty says:

    LOL Looks like you won’t need the traveller to practice on.. you’ve already got Evie going strong. 😉 She is GORGEOUS all oiled up! I’m so happy for you! That woman was a suckerrrrrrrr. heeheee

    And yay for kitty! She looks so happy and cosy already. I can’t wait to come meet her!

    • weaselmomma says:

      Yeah, I think I can skip the Traveller…unless bobbin-making doesn’t go well and I can’t stand not playing on a wheel for a while. But thanks again for offering her! 🙂

      And that lady really didn’t know what she had. A half hour of work and $20 on her part and she could have more than doubled her asking price.

  5. Allison says:

    WHY do you get a kitty and a wheel the day after I move….so not cool.

    Both are awesome, just wish I was there for kitty harassing and wheel spinning.

    And you know there’s a home for any impending baby kitties in WV.

    • weaselmomma says:

      Bad timing on my part, sorry.

      And I’m like 90 percent sure that Tilly’s pregnant…and I’m freaking out a little bit about it now.

  6. mxracer23 says:

    Enabler? Why I would consider myself much much worse than that. I would like to take credit for both and that makes me the Dr. Evil of enablers!

    Guess I owe you some bobbins!

  7. the wheel is gorgeous!

    and Tilly – clearly she was meant to be your kitty. I can’t wait to meet her.

  8. I think telling people double drive is hard to learn on is like telling people purling is hard. Plus you have been spinning so well and for such a long time on the spindles you should take right too it. Congratulations on your new toy.

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