Osprey Distaff

This distaff, or “wristaff,” was born out of sheer necessity. I’ve been spending more time with spinning, and it’s incredibly helpful to have a tool to keep the roving out of your spun yarn. I played around with a few techniques to make it as seamless as possible.

Osprey Wristaff, detail shot

The pictures were taken at Wolf’s Neck State Park. There’s an island just off shore that’s protected as a sanctuary for roosting ospreys and watching them interact was quite the lesson in bird drama. And it didn’t hurt that blowing off every other thing I probably should have been doing Monday afternoon to take pictures with my husband at the beach made me feel just a bit like I was borrowing the freedom of those birds.

Osprey Distaff (click to download pattern)

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Update 4/14/12

A few people have kindly pointed out some errors in my pattern–those have been corrected in the document linked above. Thanks to everyone who test-knits my patterns and lets me know where I’ve made mistakes–it really helps me offer a better pattern for everyone else.

Salvage Spindling

One of my favorite features of the area John and I moved to is the fabulous flea market. Yes, it is basically a big pile of other people’s rubbish piled haphazardly into a giant warehouse that is open only twice a week, and then only as the various proprietors of booths choose to attend. Total chaos. Utter madness.

I love it.

Apart from the endless parade of elephant tchotchkes and antique tea cups which I merely eye longingly for the sake of my husband’s sanity (we all have our oddities, what can I say?), the flea market is a delightful place to comb for odds and ends that might serve well for spindle whorls or shafts.

These are my most recent treasures…

Slate Disc

I have no idea how these discs ended up in the flea market or what their story is, because the owner of the booth wasn’t there. I dealt with a lovely older lady from a neighboring booth who was standing in for the owner. I also have no idea how to plane the disc to level it or how to drill a hole in it without cracking it, but for $0.50, the cost of failure is manageable.

Swizel stick spindle

This is just a simple glass drink stirring stick, I know, but I haven’t come across any with such a nice weight or point to the end. I made a bowl from polymer clay over the weekend to act as a base (glass as a drop spindle just strikes me as an ill-conceived idea), and I have hopes that this will make an adorable supported spindle. More on how it spins next week.

And just as a teaser for my spinning/knitting hybrid companions…free pattern coming soon for this lace wristaff made from leftover sock yarn.

Lace Wristaff