Oct 30, 2015

Spindle Fall 2015

Kayak sold! Cool weather is here! Gave in and put the heat on, since it's October 30 and coooold. The beautiful leaves are almost all on the ground, there's a gold glow to the light; very uplifting.

Since mid-summer, Tour de Fleece to be exact, I've been learning how to spin on my drop spindle. I learned on the "boat anchor" Polish spindle from Peace Fleece, a bottom whorl type. Very good for learning, long spin. I promised I'd spin on it every day of TdF.

So I did, and found that a little perseverance pays off! This is sooooo much fun! In addition to the boat anchor, I started using a Bare Bonsie spindle made by Elizabeth Daly (Greensleeves Spindles http://www.greensleevesspindles.com/#  I got this at Port Fiber,   http://portfiber.com/ , my local fiber shop and best place in the world!   My yarns spun during TdF--

I'm so proud of myself for doing this, carrying a drop spindle (or two) around is so much easier than schlepping my Lendrum hither and thither. Plus, I really like the yarns I've been making. A lot. 

My spindle acquisitions have been fairly modest, three Bare Bonsies (really, at $15, who can resist?). A beautiful Bosworth midi  http://www.journeywheel.com/spindles.html that I bought at the Fiber Revival 2015 in Newbury, MA:
Bosworth top whorl, Greensleeves top whorl

The batt under the two spindles above was a dream to spin--it was from Josette at Enchanted Knoll   https://www.etsy.com/shop/enchantedknoll and the final 2 ply yarn is lovely. The Bosworth weighs 27g and the Bare Bonsie weighs 26g.

So... and few more spindles have been acquired... a few small turkish spindles made on a 3-D printer by Jen Kemery at TurtleMade , and 2 sets of spindles from Adan Aker at Akerworks. The 3-D printed process fascinates, it's so amazing to see actual solid useable objects created. Especially to use one for one of the oldest handwork methodologies out there. I have two large Trilliums and two medium Geraniums. All have carbon fiber shafts and spin forever. 
My first modular drop spindle

Why two of everything? Because it's easier to deal with the cops for plying. It's nice to fill up two spindles. I'm not made of $$ so can't have everything I want all at once, but I would like another Bosworth spindle and also a Golding. One of my friends let me spin on hers yesterday and I know that's my next spindle. Here's the thing, I had a Golding, for maybe three years. I didn't use it, I didn't know how, so it kept my straight knitting needles company for ages until one day I took it to spinning group and asked if someone would like to buy it. Bye bye Golding. 

So it goes, making things. Soon I'll pull the tapestry loom over and work on the piece I'm doing for one of Rebecca Mezoff's classes. I'll finish knitting the two pairs of mittens I'm making for a friend. But right now, I'm going outside to enjoy that golden light!





Aug 14, 2015

Kayak for Sale
I have a used Wilderness Systems Tchaika for sale—I am the original owner, I bought the boat new at Kittery Trading Post in 1996. Included in this posting are a few direct quotes from another Tchaika owner that exactly mirror my experience with this boat.

Tchaika is a composite lay-up, light and responsive, 13'11" long,  21 1/4" wide, and weighs just 39 lbs water-ready with the bow float bag.  It has adjustable foot pedals and contoured under hull knee pads, a float bag in the bow and a sealed bulkhead in the rear with a brand new 8” diameter rubber hatch cover. The seat is comfortable enough but nothing special. On my boat the back top seat cover is worn thin. I made a new seat back cover from ripstop nylon for cosmetics only. It’s quite easy for one person to load and unload. I am nearly 70 but can easily carry this boat from the car to the water’s edge over my shoulder.

It’s listed as a day-touring kayak for smaller adults (the original catalog listing said "for paddlers up to 165 lbs."). I'm a 5’7” woman with size 10 feet and it fits me perfectly, but would be a good fit for a man or woman taller or shorter than me.  It would likely be a snug fit for a woman heavier than the recommended 165-170 lbs.

On the water, it’s very fast and it rolls like a dream (if rolling is your thing).  It would be a great boat for teaching the classic “Eskimo” roll in winter pool classes. “This is a boat that sings for a paddler who knows what he or she is doing.”  To quote from another Tchaika seller (I found to be quite true to my experience as well) — “The Tchaika is so responsive to the paddle and so low-profile (nothing for the wind to grab) that a rudder is unnecessary. It weathercocks slightly in a stiff breeze or following sea (find me a boat that doesn't . . .please!) but that's easily compensated with good paddling technique. It's an easy boat to lean, and the secondary stability is outstanding. This is a great boat for someone experienced, or someone who wants to learn to paddle well”

It's not built for transporting a lot of gear; if you’re a very minimalist camper you can carry gear in the rear compartment and a tent bag in the bow section between your legs/feet. If you want to go on long adventures, this probably isn't the boat for it. It is, however, ideal for exploring ponds and lakes, protected ocean bays and tidal rivers.

My boat was made in the mid-1990s and I’ve used it a good deal. The hull is white and scratched with use but not overly so and is structurally sound. I’ve stored it inside for the past several years but I used to store it outside in the summers so the original light lavender top deck is faded. The tie downs and hardware fore and aft are original and just fine.

Asking price of $650 includes the original float bag, a used neoprene spray skirt, and a paddle float and hand pump, both brand new and worth $65 alone.