My Exercise Wheel – Intro

So here is my exercise wheel:

Exercise Bike/Spinning Wheel
Exercise Bike/Spinning Wheel

You saw it before in my video on YouTube. I took it apart and reconfigured it using better wood for the base. In addition, I painted the base and finished the wood to resemble an antique sewing machine. The motifs are patterns I learned from Totally Tangled by Sandy Steen Bartholomew. I used Jacki and Laydee for the vines. I love Zentangles and this is one of the best books.

The main reason I took the bike apart is so I could take photos of the process for this blog. So I guess it is on with the show!

Pieces and Parts–>

Judith Says…

That’s how I preface any spinning question I get: “Judith MacKenzie says…” I have taken several workshops from Judith both spinning and weaving and she has been a treasure trove of information. Her stories are fascinating. She has traveled the world and given the spinning and weaving community so much. Her books and videos are the best instruction out there. I use her Mother MacKenzies Miracle Dyes for my shibori scarves.

I was shocked and saddened to learn that her fiber studio had burned to the ground on October 29th. She lost EVERYTHING: looms, wheels, textile samples, and all of the necessary things we use in our craft. The best description of what happened comes from here: http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2012/11/02/the_way_back.html. What is worse is that she had a house fire 2 months ago as well.

There is a site to help give back to Judith: http://www.rebuildjudithsstudio.com/index.html. I am donating what I can including a shibori shawl for her auction. My husband, a chain maille artist, will be making spinning wheel hooks for the auction as well.

Judith gave of herself freely. We, spinners, weavers, dyers, knitters and all, should give back.

Travel and fiber

Just because I am on vacation, does not mean I leave my fibery pursuits behind. I pack my Louet Victoria spinning wheel (it folds up so it doesn’t take up much space, really) and I usually have some kind of handwork, like knitting I can screw up and unwind a few times for the car.

I know what it sounds like, but I did spend time with my family last week in Galtlinburg. We did some hiking, shopping, stopped at Arrowmont (one of my dreams is to take classes there), ate amazingly well and spent time with my wonderful family. However, I could barely contain my excitement – on the map there was an honest-to-goodness spinning and yarn store.

Let me say first that I am in no way affiliated with this place. Just an ecstatic, enthusiastic customer.

Smokey Mountain Spinnery is located off the main drag in Gatlinburg. You have wind your way through a fishing store to the back where Nirvana awaits. Fibers of every type from Alpaca to Yak. Yarns on skein and cone. Tools of every description.

Each cubby hold fiber goodness in four ounce bundles
Even more fiber happiness
Clouds of mixed locks and magic batts with mohair, silk, and the kitchen sink thrown in.

Shops that actually carry coned yarns and luxury fibers for spinners are few and far between. I was weak at the knees and picked up merino silk blends, soy silk, a yak-silk blend, seine twine for tapestry weaving, small triangle frame looms and I had better not say much more in case my husband reads this.