Friday, January 6, 2012

'Tis The Season

'Tis the season"
The season of long shadows, frosty mornings, hungary farm animals and sweetgum balls. Yes, sweetgum balls. When the shadows grow long in the afternoon and the wind blows bringing the cold northerly winds to Roan Creek the sweetgums give up their seedpods that look like a mace- a midevil weapon. They have long since opened and showered down their tiny seed, but have left the spikey pods dangling from their branches just waiting for a strong cold wind to knock them to the forest floor.... where they wait for me to pick a few up and gently carry them back to the kitchen where I can study them with a hot cup of tea in my hands...their prickly texture, warm, nut brown color, and their multitude of beak like openings where the seeds once were. The slight sheen of the woody globe reminds me of the understated sheen of tussah silk.
Then there is the spinning.... 'Tis the season- of spinning too. While the wood fire is burning, giving off that "warm-you-all- the-way-to-your-bones" warmth it is time to spin! The fleeces of the last busy year wait to be made into yarn and then something wonderfully warm. While I do spin a lot on my spinning wheel, I also spin a lot on my spindles. When spinning on my favorite drop spindle, I use a wrist distaff.
The picture at the right shows the wrist distaff keeping the prepared
fibers away from the spinning spindle. I discovered this little gem
of a tool years ago and make them from bits of homespun, leftover
beads, or what have you. The beads dress up this little walnut
block and give it a little more length and flexibility. A wrist distaff acts to keep your fibers managed so you can concentrate on your
spinning. You can see some more at my etsy store: roancreekweaving.