New Look for our site

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So, I updated the look of our site today, to match my new business cards, what do you think? We really like the spider, it looks like he’s saying “Hey, what’s up?”

We have been a day or two visiting Savannah Georgia…it’s a pretty cool town, especially River Street. If you ever get down this way please be sure to ride the trolleys!

I stopped in a tobacco store where I bought about 3 cigar boxes, what shall I do with them? I love love love cigar boxes, and can’t wait to get to working with them.

Today was also, to the broken hearts of many, a day where the US experienced another school shooting. Our hearts go out to the people of Newtown, CT as they deal with the repercussions of this tragic event.

Now in 2 new locations!

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Hey All! Now you can find Spinner’s End Studio’s line of Cobwebs Spindles in the Haus of Yarn shop in Nashville! I just dropped by there today and left 8 of my spindles with them, so go on over there and check it out! Haus of Yarn is a great store, with a huge variety of yarns, tools, patterns and books, and a very friendly staff. They will help you out and get you all set up!

I also dropped some other things off today at Kore+ Nashville, in Edgehill Village. Jenelle is a great friendly lady, and will help you out with all kinds of wonderful gifts, bath and body products, handmade items, and lots of locally-made artist products. Some of the things I left with her include a dog bed made from a recycled sweater, my two Steam-Tribe dolls, several of our small race cars, a train engine and log car, and a bunch of my handspun yarn! Go check it out, she has all the nicest skeins, all ready to go.

 

Santa’s Workshop in Cookeville, TN

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Santa’s Workshop, in Cookeville, TN was a great show. The facility was very nice, the organizers of the show were excellent and really thought a lot about the needs of both the visitors and the vendors. This is a well run and well advertised show, including a nice newspaper insert the week before the show, radio advertising and email blasts.

There were a large number of visitors to the show, and sales were brisk enough to convince me to go back next year. Even though the booth spaces were a bit tight we managed to fit everything in our area, and put together a nice display. We were the only vendor in attendance this year who had fine alpaca products and fine wool products, ranging from roving to yarn to finished items. Several vendors offered popular knit or crocheted items in acrylic yarns and a few had some wooden toys to offer, but we were able to offer high quality items that were not duplicated by others.

Here’s our setup for this show:

some new products and a hard day’s work

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So, it’s cool this fall, and I spent the day working in the shop, with my jacket on. Brrrr!!!

Anyway, on Saturday we made a prototype train engine and log car. So today, I made master bases for these, and made a base for a caboose too. I also cut out, sanded and marked for drilling 5 each of the engine and car bases, and 4 caboose bases. I sanded and marked 5 engine tanks, turned and sanded 4 engine smokestacks, and made a little car to go with our trains, though it’s bigger than the trains I think. I also got parts sanded and ready for two more spindles. And now I’m thoroughly chilled! Brrrr!!!!!

smokestacks and spindle parts

 

Also, the trial run of Alpacas arrived today, so now we have a fawn boy and a white girl in our pasture! Yay Alpacas! Here they are:

So, now I’m sitting in my warm house, trying to warm up my feet and hands!

Hope you have all had as good a day as I’ve had!

 

 

 

 

Getting ready for the first few shows of the fall

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So, over the last few days I’ve been running my feet off trying to get ready for these shows. I now have one coffin-size plastic bin in my living room, two normal-size blue bins, one “office” bin, a 10 x 10 tent, a couple of tarps for walls if the rain gets bad and a couple of folding 8-foot tables all ready for the show season. The first one is an outside show, we have a 40% chance of rain, with a high in the low 60′s. It’s been 80 and sunny all week….ah, welcome fall! (brrrrrr!)

So, the first show came and went, rain in the very early hours and downright cold all day in the shade…but nice and brisk in the sun. It went well for a first show with this setup. Sold a few things and learned a few things. Good over all.

Took a week off to visit family, then have spent this week getting ready for Fiber in the ‘Boro, the Murfreesboro show, that’s tomorrow evening and all day Saturday. I have 6 new spindles done as of right now, more to come tomorrow…

more pics after the show!

 

 

 

 

 

OH, thought you might like to see the first few spindles…so here they are!

BTW, all these spindles are under 1.5 ounces!

sharing a great laundry soap recipe

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So, I’ve been benefiting from this great laundry soap recipe for over a year now, and thought I’d share it on. It was freely given to me, with the intent to be shared, so here goes:

Laundry Soap

  • 1 cup Fels-Naptha soap, grated
  • 2 cups Washing soda (I use the arm and hammer brand, usually)
  • 3 cups Borax (usually use the 30-mule-team variety)

Mix all ingredients together. Begin filling washing machine with hot water, put 1/4 cup in for light/small load, and 1/2 cup in for large/heavily soiled load. swish around until dissolved, then switch your selector back to warm/cool or whatever you would normally use for that load. If you’re doing whites you can also use some bleach at this point. Then go on and load the washer. All done!

The best thing about this formula is that everything stays very clean, even if you have farmers, landscapers, and babies using cloth diapers in your family, and it works very well even in the worst of well-water situations. Our well is heavily sulfur-laden, and has lots of other minerals that would tend to darken clothes, but we have not had any problem with this soap!

I mix mine up, generally in double batches and keep it in a gallon pitcher with an easily removable lid, with a 1/4 cup measure right in the pitcher with the soap. Makes it all easy-peasey!

Some other recipes that came to me along with this one include:

Laundry Softener:

  • Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 10 drops of lavender oil and add on rinse cycle.

Floor Cleaner:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 20 drops tea tree oil

Mix in a spray bottle and spray over your floor, or just put this in your mop water I guess. Would probably work very well to put on your swiffer cloths too.

Dish Soap:

  • 1 bar of grated soap (like Fels-Naptha)
  • 1 cup of glycerin
  • 1 cup water

Melt grated soap in double boiler, adding glycerin slowly. add mixture to one cup of warm water in a squirt bottle.

Dishwasher Detergent

  • 4 cups washing soda
  • 2 cups borax
  • 1/2 cup grated soap

Mix together well. Add 3 Tablespoons per load.

Window Cleaner

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

all purpose cleaner

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 T Dr. Bronner’s castile soap

Super Scrubber

  • 1/4 cup borax
  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1 T baking soda
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

(do not use on marble surfaces, lemon juice may remove finish!)

Bathroom cleaner

  • 1/4 cup washing soda
  • 1/4 cup borax
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

let sit for 10 minutes in the toilet bowl, then add 1/2 cup baking soda, scrub and flush.

With any of the liquid cleaners you can add any essential oil you wish to help cover the scent of vinegar. For cleaners that mix liquid with water, they should be used quickly. If your mixture separates use warm water to re-dissolve the powder at the bottom. Good Luck!

Hopefully these will be as helpful to you as they have been to me!

some sketches for products

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Thought I’d share some ideas that I’m looking at for wooden textile tools. there’s nothing new here, but quite a few of the old standards. I’m most interested in getting the spinning chair built out and into production. Which back style do you like most? the fingers or the more traditional backrest?

photo of my sketchbook for furniture ideas

some things I will probably make

 

Now, just for fun, here are some of the drawings I’ve been doing lately:


There are some other, better ones onĀ  the deviantart site, so please go there to take a look!

If you like them, they are available at knitnick.deviantart.com printed on all sorts of things, from mouse pads and coffee mugs on up. The originals are available by special arrangement, if you so desire!

The shop building arrived today!

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Hey, check it out, our new shop building arrived today!

a photo of me in front of my new shop building

Yay! It’s here!

 

So, it’s here, and level, and all ready for us to put the steps in, put a couple of windows in, stick in an air conditioner, and get all the machines, cabinets and workbenches installed. Then I can get to work! Keep checking back here for progress reports and within two weeks I’m hoping to have a prototype spinning chair for you all to comment on.

 

slow going

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Well, it’s been slow going so far. Moving from 2200sf to 1200sf takes a real willingness to put some time in towards getting rid of a lot of things. I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of kitchen stuff, a bunch of clothes, some furniture, etc. There will be a lot of studio stuff going to new homes soon. Maybe i’ll put some stuff together for giveaways.

We’re having a little party here soon, so also have to get ready for all that…well, at least the bbq I have planned will be pretty easy.

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing of mandalas lately too, and tried to upload one, which uploaded at 0kb, instead of the 6mg it was supposed to be…so, it’s not a good technology day for me today.

We tried to go buy our studio building, but they closed about 20 minutes before we got there, so we may try again tomorrow. I think we’re going to go for broke and get the 12 x 24, so that we have enough space to do all the things we want to do. At least we can move it when we move, for not too much money, so it won’t be a loss.

it’s been a day of possibilities…

Beginning Again

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Hi All, this is my first blog post in many years, and I’m sure it will take me a while to get the hang of this again. We have just recently moved from KY to TN, and are starting to get situated in our new home. We will have chickens again for sure, and I’d like to get a few goats, maybe some alpacas later in the fall.

Anyway, here’s a picture of our rented home, while we look for a place to buy.

(photo will come soon!)

So, we’re currently sitting at the library using their internet, while waiting on ours to be turned on. Soon I’ll be able to post at will, yay!

It’s a strange adjustment to go from full-time employment to looking for part-time employment and building my business. I’ve found a lot of good tips for frugal living over at Stacy makes Cents and Frugally Sustainable, so check them out!