Or how to keep your spindle in good spirits

I love to spindle and love it even more for its portability, but with an unsupported top whorl spindle, even a little abuse to the hook can turn your spindle from a delightful tool into an instrument of frustration.

Before heading out to visit some friends, this weekend, it hit me that I could make a great protective case for my spindle and store enough fiber for hours worth of entertainment.


For as long as I've know Leo, he's been a big fan of scotch. Over the past 7 or so years, we've acquired a few of those sleeves in which some of the bottles are sold. These sleeves are made to protect the glass bottles during shipping, as well as make them easier to stack, and they come in a variety of sizes to suit the different shaped bottles, contained within.

If you happen to know of some non-alcoholic resources for these sleeves, please leave a comment. The basic structure is a firm cardboard tube with a metal base and removable metal lid.

These tubes are generally big enough to store a single spindle as well as some fiber for spinning. Frankly, if you didn't feel like doing anything else, there's no reason you couldn't use the tube, as is, with just the fiber for added cushioning, but you can step it up a notch by adding a loop from which to suspend the spindle.

It's easy and I'll show you how.

Obligatory common sense safety note: Please be careful when working with bangy, pokey, pointy, stabby, drilly, or otherwise ouchie producing implements. Children and inebriated adults should be supervised or distracted with something shiny. Wear eye protection or at least be willing to don full pirate regalia, if things don't work out according to plan.

The weekend


We celebrated our friend, Todd's birthday.


I haven't been bowling in years.

The girls had their own victory dances.

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Todd bowls and Tracy poses.


If these scores were for golf, I would have been the winner.

During the party, I taught Tracy how to knit and showed Erica and Tracy how a spindle works. There are more pictures of both these activities, but I believe they are being held for blackmailing purposes of some sort. Little do these people know, I embarrass myself for hobby. No blackmail will work on me. HA!

Sunday, we did some grilling up a lot of yummies on our little outdoor fireplace doohicky thingy.

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The mushrooms and garlic were the best, but it was all pretty tasty.

Also, Thea is cute.


It's the final countdown


If you are humming the background music to Gob Bluth's magic act right now, you are fine and dandy in my book.

But, I'm talking about something that fills me with even more glee.

A few months back, I was asked if I'd be willing to contribute to a brandly spanking new online magazine. I feel like I can't really do justice in describing all this magazine aims to do, but for the designers, in short, it offers the best of the worlds of self and magazine publishing. As a customer, you can expect gorgeous, high quality and affordable PDF downloads, of pieces designed by some of your favorite independent designers. These patterns will be beautifully photographed, expertly laid out and meticulously tech edited.

Am I doing a good job getting you excited about this magazine? Probably not. Instead, bookmark the Twist Collective site and see a new teaser image of a projects from the premier issue.


Just roll over a number and see the center image change to another Twist Collective graphic.

I have to tell you, I've seen a couple shots of the finished pieces and I think there will be something, maybe a lot of somethings for everyone. And, even better, each pattern will be available individually, so no more buying a whole magazine for a single design, you like.

Is this designer excited? Do bears poop in the woods? That'd be a big old "yes" right here.

Most pictures may be clicked to enlarge.

This tutorial picks up where the last tutorial left off and uses the formulas found in this spreadsheet. This tutorial can stand alone but may reference Excel skills covered more fully in previous Excel tutorials. If you haven't used the program much, you may want to review these other tutorials.

NOTE: The attached spreadsheet is just a sample and contains measurements that may be useful but which may not meet the standards for some publications. You are welcome to use what I have for your own design purposes but it'll be you who has to ultimately support any patterns written from it, so do your research first.

Special notes:
I've used Ysolda's measurement chart as a reference for many of the basic sloper measurements.
I'm using Amy O'Neill Houck's tutorial on estimating yardage to create my yardage estimation formulas.

The goal

In the last tutorial, we learned about

  • Rounding
    • Round to a whole number
    • Round to the nearest Even or Odd number or Round, Round Up or Round Down
    • Round to a multiple
    • Round to a multiple plus

In this tutorial, we'll cover

In the final tutorial, we'll cover

  • Calculating finished garment measurements
  • Calculating yardage based on a sample
  • Putting your numbers into MS Word

Oh brother


My brother, Matt, came to Portland this weekend, with his adorable girlfriend, Aileen.

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Their visit was a whirlwind of thrift stores and rummage sales and we saw very little of them but what we did see, was great fun.

Whilst M&A were off in distant towns, roller skating and buying This American Life paint by number kits, Leo and I were taking Thea for her first trip into downtown Portland to visit the Saturday Market (albeit, on Sunday.)


And while we were there, I was craving a hot dog, slathered in mustard.


Don't judge me.

Sunday, all the humans decided to see what sort of nightlife was available and Portland didn't let us down, though, admittedly, the crowds were much smaller than on a normal night out.

We had live Irish music, greasy eats and good beer, over at Kells


After that, we decided to do a little dancing at Boxxes, the club across the street from M&A's hotel. For some reason, two women came into the club, walked to the bathrooms, stripped to their unmentionables, and walked back out to mingle. After a few minutes, they put their dresses back on.


One wonders what necessity there was in going into the bathroom first.
There's also the general "why?" question that was running through my head.
But Leo and Matt didn't seem to mind.

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After shaking our bonbons a bit, we all headed off to our respective accommodations.

There's a lot we didn't get to do while Matt and Aileen were here, so hopefully they'll be back soon. I'll even forgive Aileen for not liking dogs, since she is so crafty (in the good way) and fun.

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