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I’m working on brown paper package projects! It takes me a while to decide what I want to do in these sort of circumstances. But I have three of my five projects underway. I am taking pictures but I’ll post them after they get mailed out.

I’ve also been savoring my birthday present, a dozen DVDs of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries, starring the admirable David Suchet. Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I first read one of her mysteries in the third grade. I don’t often care for filmed versions of books but these are really well done—lovely sets, gorgeous costumes, good casting.

I’m enjoying spinning with my new spindle now that I’ve come to terms with the fact that my left hand is just going to do what it wants to do. The boy has been quite interested and “helped” a bit. He can actually give it a good steady flick. Now if I could just get him to wind the spun wool . . .

I’ve been playing around with reorganizing the sewing room. We moved some furniture out so I’m hoping to get a cutting/work table in. I’ve actually set up a temporary one to test the height and such. Lots of plans, not so much skill or time to accomplish them. Although I did get a great book with lots of ideas for building storage/furniture that doesn’t require a lot of fancy tools, Quick and Easy Handmade Storage by Philip and Kate Haxell. I laughed when I got home as I realized I already have another book by the same authors. I do think that I could actually do most of the projects in this book given the materials and some child free time with power tools. BZZZZ! BZZZZ!

Another reason there are no pictures is that my computer was having some issues so I’m temporarily geared down until dear hubby can patch it up again. And it’s been raining frogs here. I like a nice rainy day inside but the kids are getting a little crazy.


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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