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Category: Spinning

Designing our Wool Picker

Designing our Wool Picker

One of the products that we have wanted to offer is a personal wool picker.  Something strong and functional for the fiber artist that is also easy to store and use.  We envision the spinner or weaver that processes a few fleeces a year.  And best of all, we want it to be extremely reasonable in price!  We feel that many fiber tools are just too expensive for what they are.  It makes the craft difficult for people to get into because of the investment of the tools that make it easy and enjoyable.

That being said, the picker is a rather complicated beast!  It involves a good deal of cabinetry skills, clamps, lots of holes drilled and nails placed at angles.  Maggie and Mom spent an afternoon with a set of basic plans and began to try and build one to specs…  not much alteration.  We wanted to see how one goes together and how it works when finished so that we could put our Windhaven spin on the thing!

One thing that we did notice right off the top is that this design is a little too short.  We would like to see the ends extend out more, to give you a longer stroke of the top piece and pull the wool over the points.  That’s easy enough to do when we get to production.

We found there is a bit too many pieces to cut and clamp…  we can make it a lot easier and more sound by using a router for the track and such.  The instructions we were following were clearly for a very minimal workshop without a lot of nifty tools!   That’s fine, but we want to make something that will be in your family for years and years if you wish!  And we want to be able to make it in a way that doesn’t take hours and hours!

 

We love making things!  And making them better!  Maggie really has an eye for how to craft things in wood!   Not sure where she got it, but she sure understands it all.  It’s remarkable to watch her make and figure things out.  Mom Sherri is the weaver and a class A tinker designer as well, so these two get together and some neat things happen!   It’s how most of our looms and tools have been developed!

Looking good!  Everything works, the tines line up pretty good and we are happy with the router edge and how it is functioning.  Still need to finish sand and wax it up and apply a handle.  But so far, so good!

Now, it’s into the studio to start working and get tested.  We already have a few things we’d like to change and we will!   But we thought we would share with you how we do things around here.  We decide to make something and research it.  Then we make a few prototypes and test them.  Sometimes we test for weeks and months!   We want to make sure it’s ready for production and our customers!   It’s very important to us.  We will release no tool before it’s time.

We’ll be sure to let everyone know when it is finally ready!

New Fiber back from the Mill!

New Fiber back from the Mill!

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Just in!  We got back two fleeces from the fiber mill, all made in beautiful roving, ready for spinning.  Very very light VM, and in a very pretty heather gray color.

One is from our yearling ewe, Galadriel.   Shetland through and though.  Super soft and just really pretty.  I think it will take to dye so nicely.  It will be available in the shop within a day or two.

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The second fleece was a mix of Shetland and Angora goat…  It’s softer, yet a light gray heather color that will spin and dye like a dream!   I can’t wait to play with some of it!  That’s the best part about raising fiber animals…  you get to spin and use this lucious home grown fiber!!!

This fleece’s roving will be available as well!

We only have a total of 6 pounds of this beautiful roving.  We will be getting some solid mohair roving back in about 6 weeks…  beautiful gray from our goat Sam and then some white from our twins, Rana and Rafeka!  That will be lovely.

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Our sheep are growing some beautiful fiber this year, just lovely to look at and touch still on the sheep!  We shear our sheep around the first of March and then it takes a while for it to come back from the mill.  We will also sell raw fleeces this year off particular sheep, if you are interested!  Please check back soon!

Should you buy that old spinning wheel?

Should you buy that old spinning wheel?

We stumbled upon this video and were just so impressed!

What a great instructional video on considering an old spinning wheel and the different types.  It might really help you find a diamond in the rough or avoid an over priced dud!

 

 

It’s About Time…

It’s About Time…

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Maggie started her company in July of this year, 2015.  She had been making a few shuttles before and offering them on our family Etsy shop, Windhaven General Store, but really, the idea to start her own shop and company came about in June and we opened the doors the first of July.


And ever since, it’s been just the most amazing thing.  She has had over 365 orders, sold over 700 items and has a ton of followers and just an unbelievable amount of wonderful reviews and feedback.  It’s amazing.


So it was about time we get her a website and blog running, dedicated to her beautiful work.


Don’t you think so?


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Join us as we try and build up a nice site with sales and news about new products, interesting tidbits in the fiber world and stories from our homestead.


Most of all, we appreciate you stopping by and saying hi to Maggie as she works away, making beautiful tools for the fiber arts world.


And oh, yes, the fiber herd says thanks as well!


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