A few splurges and a visit to Spunky Eclectic

First off I have been wanting a copy of any Mary Brooks Pickens sewing book and I scored this 1953 edition off eBay for less than $10. The outside looks its age but the inside is totally clean! It’s full of all sorts of great knitpicky sewing details that you can’t find in modern books. Now if I can just find a 40’s/50’s vintage pattern drafting book I’ll be all set!

inside of Singer Sewing Book 1953 by Mary Brooks Pickens

I think there was also some household shopping in there which involved a new watchband for me—exactly like my old watchband—just not falling off the pins, a very stylish linen shirt for DH, a bargain pair of pink-trimmed sneakers for the girl and a few pairs of much needed jeans for the boy. Yes, I broke down and bought them. I promise to still finish the scary pair.

But the highlight of my weekend was a visit to Spunky Eclectic. I’ve been searching for a local yarn shop that also carried fiber and spinning wheels/spindles. I had found a few but was kind of intimidated out of actually going for one reason or another. Then I found Spunky Eclectic’s site which just seemed so much more inviting, and not any farther away so I decided I had to go! The shop was full of all sorts of beautiful hand dyed fibers and yarns and so many textures to feel that I’d only had names and word descriptions of previously. And the proprietress, Amy, was so nice, showing me around and answering all my questions, I’m afraid I talked her ear off! I went to buy sock yarn and look at wheels and spindles and fiber. There was just too much to take in, I’ll have to go again of course. But I came home with a Cascade spindle and a sampler of different wools to try spinning. It was really interesting to feel the subtle differences. I didn’t know which to start with. I thought about dyeing them but I don’t have any acid dyes besides Kool-aid and I’m not really thrilled with the idea of citrus colored socks that need to be handwashed . . . so . . . I started spinning anyway. And I forgot to buy sock yarn. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to knit what I spin!

wool fiber sampler from Spunky Eclectic and a Cascade spindle

And yikes. Amy gave me a little demo. I have been spinning all wrong. Of course what I was doing worked on the silk but it did not work on the wool. Well, sort of. I’ve been working hard to do the park-and-draft that she showed me but it’s very difficult. My left hand does not like it at all. I’m not left-handed but I’m pretty ambidextrous. And apparently my left hand likes to be in control! I’ll keep working at it.

Gettng back to books! Annie mentioned that Amy had a new book coming out so I asked about it and I got to thumb through her advance copy of Spin Control which is due out in June I think she said. It looks wonderful! I’m not very good at following directions especially of other people’s ideas, I generally like to just figure things out on my own, so I can be very particular about what few books I will buy. This looks like a book that would be really useful to me. There are a lot of very specific pictures that are just the sort of details that I find helpful to really understanding and mastering a new skill, as well as the pretty pictures that can be inspirational.

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  1. annie’s avatar

    i’m so happy that you went to see spunky… i wonder if you can pick me up an autographed copy of her book when it’s released? i have that exact same spindle that you bought, plus i have another cascade (a tiger) that is my all time favorite. i have a lot lot lot of spindles, including some of the best.. so when i say you made a good decision, i mean it. yayyy! i cannot park and draft, i give it a whirl, and then ply as i go. when it slows down, i start again. also, let your left hand do what your left hand wants to.. if not, you’ll be tearing out your hair. i spin left handed myself. don’t know why.. just do.

    i’m so happy for you!

    1. Cindy’s avatar

      Yes, yes! She’s having a party at the shop when the book comes in, I’ll get one for you then. :)

      Yeah, I’m coming around to that. Because I like the result better too, it’s smoother. But trying both ways has helped me figure out what I was doing and make it work better. And at least now I can do both ways.

    2. Cindy’s avatar

      Alibris.com is a great source for hard-to-find books too.

    3. Snippety Gibbet’s avatar

      I am an eBay nut and love old books….but it hasn’t really occurred to me to actively look for old books on eBay. Clever!

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