Saturday, October 6, 2012

Celebrate Spinning and Weaving Week!

 I hope you got a chance to do some spinning and or weaving to Celebrate Spinning and Weaving week which is October 1 through 7.
Check out  my post on Spinning,Weaving and Storytelling at
Goddess of Random

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Miser Purse??

Vintage Miser Purse found at
Miser Purses from Dresden found at
Lately I have been intrigued by Miser Purses. I think the fascination started with a fable that mentioned a purse and of course I had to find out more.
Miser's Purses (also known as a wallet or stocking purse)were made in the early 1800s. They were a fashionable style for both men and women, and would have been based on a pattern found in popular women's magazines and knitting books. has a pattern for a knitted version of a miser's purse.

This free pattern is at knit wiki.

The Design
It is called a miser's purse because its long tubular shape with a slit down the center is held tightly by sliding rings (or 'sliders') to keep the coins safe at either end. This meant that it was hard to get the coins out in a hurry - hence the name miser.

Miser's purses were usually weighted at the ends (sometimes with steel bead tassels) to hold the coins in place. In the case of this particular purse, one end has been rounded with a single trimming while the other end has squared corners and two trimmings. This meant that coins of different denominations could be kept in either end, making it easier in a dark carriage to find the correct fare to pay the driver by feeling the difference in trimmings.

Women carried miser's purses held in the middle, letting them fall elegantly over the hand or from their belts. Men carried them in their pockets.

Thousands of women made purses such as these for personal use or as gifts or novelties - sometimes donating them to fundraising causes
info found here

Crocheted one-sided Miser Purse by Wind Rose Fiber Studio

 Wind Rose Fiber Studio has a (one-sided) Tasseled Miser Purse Crochet-along
At Victorian Embroidery and Crafts there's a pattern for a very decorative One-sided Crocheted Miser Purse

This video explains how the one-sided Miser's Purse works. I had wondered ! 

More General Information:
Miser purses — also called long purses, stocking purses, or ring purses — were popular in England and France from the mid-18th century through the early 20th century. Their fast and easy construction meant that they were made in the thousands, and are therefore easily available to collectors. (If you do decide to collect them them, however, beware that because of their long popularity, it is sometimes difficult to tell if one was made in 1800 or 1900.)

A miser purse has a long, narrow, tubular shape with a slit left open in the middle. The purse was pulled through two metal rings, called sliders. Both rings are slid to one side, coins are inserted through the opening into the other end of the tube, then one of the rings is slid tight against the end to secure the coins inside. Coins would be inserted into both ends in this way. The rings ensure that coins cannot escape through the central slit.

Some scholars believe the design of the purse was a revival of the Medieval practice of carrying one's coins in the toe of a stocking. A similar tube-shaped purse fastened with rings at each end had been popular with men during the 16th century. It is not entirely clear how the nickname "miser purse" came about. One theory is that they were so called because they were made to disgorge a single coin or just a few coins at a time, or because the design ensured that coins were secure and difficult to lose.

The miser purse was carried by both men and women. In the 18th century, men sometimes wore them hidden inside a sleeve, which is another possible source of the name "miser purse." They also thrust them into pockets, as did ladies. Later, when the waistlines of dresses crept back down to the natural waist, miser purses were sometimes worn folded over a lady's belt.

The purse was either knitted, netted, knotted, or crocheted, using silk, cotton, wool, and sometimes metallic thread. They were often beaded. The two ends were usually decorated with beads or tassels or fringe. The earlier purses had two identical ends. Victorian purses often have each end decorated differently, so that one could easily tell which type of coin was in each end of the purse. The purses vary in length from as short as 8 inches to as long as 36 inches. The longer sizes were generally seen later, in the mid-19th century.

One of the reasons for the long popularity of the miser purse was that it was fairly easy to make one, and it became fashionable for young ladies to net or knit purses to give as presents, especially to gentlemen. William Cowper wrote a poem to his cousin Anne Bodham "on receiving from her a network purse made by herself." During the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, ladies' magazines often published instructions and patterns for constructing miser purses. Thomas Gardon, a watch chain and purse maker on St James Street, was one of the many vendors who provided all the necessary materials for purse-making. In the first years of the 19th century, he advertised that "Ladies may be accommodated with great choice of Purse-Twist, Tassels, and Sliders."
info found here

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Last Hours! Spinning Stories and Yarn!

Crocheted Story Spirits/People and Knitted/Crocheted Hand Puppet
These crocheted figures and the combined knit and crochet hand puppets are part the rewards for my Kickstarter Project  titled Combining Two Ancient Arts: Storytelling and Spinning.
Directions for the puppet will be available soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few Pictures from My World Wide Knit in Public Day 2012

Our WWKIP Day Mascot... one of my tiny Story Spirits

World Wide Knit in Public Days this year are from Saturday, June 9th through Sunday, June 17th so there's still time for you to get out there and show off your knitting skills
I sponsored a KIP in Orlando and dragged two of my friends with me just in case no one else came. But surprise, surprise ..... we had two folks show up! Yea!!! 
Whoohooo! We had two folks just show up.
These are the friends I gently "forced" to keep me company.

My knitting project  It's sitting on a veeeery large bag I crocheted.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Namaste Bags.... I want one...or two... or three

Have you seen these bags? Namaste's  knitting/crocheting/whatever bags are not only attractive but they do a good job of holding your projects for you.
 Plus there are smaller net like bags you can use to separate your projects although I just use plastic bags or anything handy.
Sadly, none of Namaste's bags come in orange, sigh, but I suppose not everyone is as enlightened as Moi (lol, I must be channeling Miss Piggy)

The design I reeeeeeaaallly like is no longer made but I will find one.

One of the other bags I like, the Laguna is apparently on its way out, Arrrrrgh!!!

Fortunately, I also like the Hermosa, though not in black. I much prefer the Espresso or the Eggplant color.

Anyhoo, I love these bags and plan to one or maybe more of them, if they're still around when I'm ready!
Oops, almost forgot to say that you can find the Laguna (for the moment) and the Hermosa at .

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mother Holle


ONCE upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters; one of them was pretty and clever, and the other ugly and lazy.
But as the ugly one was her own daughter, she liked her far the best of the two, and the pretty one had to do all the work of the house, and was in fact the regular maid of all work.

Every day she had to sit by a well on the high road, and spin till her fingers were so sore that they often bled. One day some drops of blood fell on her spindle, so she dipped it into the well meaning to wash it, but, as
luck would have it, it dropped from her hand and fell right in. She ran weeping to her stepmother, and told her what had happened, but she scolded her harshly, and was so merciless in her anger that she said:

`Well, since you've dropped the spindle down, you must just go after it yourself, and don't let me see your face again until you bring it with you.'

Then the poor girl returned to the well, and not knowing what she was about, in the despair and misery of her heart she sprang into the well and sank to the bottom. For a time she lost all consciousness, and when she came to herself again she was lying in a lovely meadow, with the sun shining brightly overhead, and a
thousand flowers blooming at her feet. She rose up and wandered through this enchanted place, till she came to a baker's oven full of bread, and the bread called out to her as she passed:
`Oh! take me out, take me out, or I shall be burnt to a cinder. I am quite done enough.'

So she stepped up quickly to the oven and took out all the loaves one after the other. Then she went on a little farther and came to a tree laden with beautiful rosy-cheeked apples, and as she passed by it called out:

`Oh I shake me, shake me, my apples are all quite ripe.'

She did as she was asked, and shook the tree till the apples fell like rain and none were left hanging. When she had gathered them all up into a heap she went on her way again, and came at length to a little house, at the door of which sat an old woman.
The old dame had such large teeth that the girl felt frightened and wanted to run away, but the old woman called after her:

`What are you afraid of, dear child? Stay with me and be my little maid, and if you do your work well I will reward you handsomely; but you must be very careful how you make my bed--you must shake it well till the feathers fly; then people in the world below say it snows, for I am Mother Holle.'

She spoke so kindly that the girl took heart and agreed readily to enter her service. She did her best to please the old woman, and shook her bed with such a will that the feathers flew about like snow-flakes; so she led a very easy life, was never scolded, and lived on the fat of the land.
But after she had been some time with Mother Holle she grew sad and depressed, and at first she hardly knew herself what was the matter. At last she discovered that she was homesick, so she went to Mother Holle and said:

`I know I am a thousand times better off here than I ever was in my life before, but notwithstanding, I have a great longing to go home, in spite of all your kindness to me. I can remain with you no longer, but must return to my own people.'

`Your desire to go home pleases me,' said Mother Holle, `and because you have served me so faithfully, I will show you the way back into the world myself.'

So she took her by the hand and led her to an open door, and as the girl passed through it there fell a heavy shower of gold all over her, till she was covered with it from top to toe.

`That's a reward for being such a good little maid,' said Mother Holle, and she gave her the spindle too that had fallen into the well. Then she shut the door, and the girl found herself back in the world again, not far from her own house; and when she came to the courtyard the old hen, who sat on the top of the wall, called out:

`Click, clock, clack, Our golden maid's come back.'

Then she went in to her stepmother, and as she had returned covered with gold she was welcomed home.
She proceeded to tell all that had happened to her, and when the mother heard how she had come by her riches, she was most anxious to secure the same luck for her own idle, ugly daughter; so she told her to sit at the well and spin.
In order to make her spindle bloody, she stuck her hand into a hedge of thorns and pricked her finger. Then  she threw the spindle into the well, and jumped in herself after it. Like her sister she came to the beautiful meadow, and followed the same path. When she reached the baker's oven the bread called out as before:

`Oh! take me out, take me out, or I shall be burnt to a cinder. I am quite done enough.'

But the good-for-nothing girl answered:

`A pretty joke, indeed; just as if I should dirty my hands for you!'

And on she went. Soon she came to the apple tree, which cried:

`Oh ! shake me, shake me, my apples are all quite ripe.'

`I'll see myself farther,' she replied, `one of them might fall on my head.'

And so she pursued her way. When she came to Mother Holle's house she wasn't the least afraid, for she had been warned about her big teeth, and she readily agreed to become her maid. The first day she worked very hard, and did all her mistress told her, for she thought of the gold she would give her; but on the second day she began to be lazy, and on the third she wouldn't even get up in the morning. She didn't make Mother Holle's bed as she ought to have done, and never shook it enough to make the feathers fly. So her mistress soon grew weary of her, and dismissed her, much to the lazy creature's delight.

`For now,' she thought, `the shower of golden rain will come.'

Mother Holle led her to the same door as she had done her sister, but when she passed through it, instead of the gold rain a kettle full of pitch came showering over her.

`That's a reward for your service,' said Mother Holle, and she closed the door behind her.
So the lazy girl came home all covered with pitch, and when the old hen on the top of the wall saw her, it called out:

`Click, clock, clack, Our dirty maid's come back.'

But the pitch remained sticking to her, and never as long as she lived could it be got off.

 collected by the Brothers Grimm in Children's and Household Tales published in 1812

Monday, February 14, 2011

Knitting and Energy Conservation

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 18 is World Wide Spin in Public Day 2010

Yes, I realize you were all just waiting to hear about this!
Well, Saturday the 18th is the day to take your spindles and spinning wheels outside and spin, spin, spin! Cause, hey, why not!!

The official website for this event says:
Worldwide Spin in Public Day is Saturday, September 18th, 2010 however if you are unable to attend a spin in public event on this date, we would like to extend the invitation to September 19th through September 26th, 2010.
So don't worry if the 18th doesn't work for you, just spin on one of those other days. Hmm, I haven't seen an event in my area but I suppose I could just go hang out at a Starbucks and spin. It doesn't get more public than that! Maybe others will come and join me???

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Nettle Spinner....part 2

 Click here if you haven't read part 1 of The Nettle Spinner


The following morning, as soon as she had put the house in order, the girl sat down to spin. Two hours after there arrived some soldiers, and when they saw her spinning they seized her, tied her arms and legs, and carried her to the bank of the river, which was swollen by the late rains.

When they reached the bank they flung her in, and watched her
sink, after which they left her. But Renelde rose to the surface,
and though she could not swim she struggled to land. Directly she got home she sat down and began to spin. Again came the two soldiers to the cottage and seized the girl, carried her to the river bank, tied a stone to her neck and flung her into the water.
The moment their backs were turned the stone untied itself. Renelde waded the ford, returned to the hut, and sat down to spin. This time the Count resolved to go to Locquignol himself; but, as he was very weak and unable to walk, he had himself borne in a litter.

And still the spinner spun.

When he saw her he fired a shot at her, as he would have fired at a wild beast. The bullet rebounded without harming the spinner, who still spun on.

Burchard fell into such a violent rage that it nearly killed him. He broke the wheel into a thousand pieces, and then fell fainting on the ground. He was carried back to the castle, unconscious.

The next day the wheel was mended, and the spinner sat down to spin. Feeling that while she was spinning he was dying, the Count ordered that her hands should be tied, and that they should not lose sight of her for one instant.
But the guards fell asleep, the bonds loosed themselves, and the spinner spun on.

Burchard had every nettle rooted up for three leagues round. Scarcely had they been torn from the soil when they sowed themselves afresh, and grew as you were looking at them. They sprung up even in the well-trodden floor of the cottage, and as fast as they were uprooted the distaff gathered to itself a supply
of nettles, crushed, prepared, and ready for spinning.

And every day Burchard grew worse, and watched his end approaching.


Moved by pity for her husband, the Countess at last found out the cause of his illness, and entreated him to allow himself to be cured. But the Count in his pride refused more than ever to give his consent to the marriage.
So the lady resolved to go without his knowledge to pray for mercy from the spinner, and in the name of Renelde's dead mother she besought her to spin no more. Renelde gave her promise, but in the evening Guilbert arrived at the cottage. Seeing that the cloth was no farther advanced than it was the evening before, he inquired the reason. Renelde confessed that the Countess had prayed her not to let her husband die.
`Will he consent to our marriage?'
`Let him die then.'
`But what will the Countess say?'
`The Countess will understand that it is not your fault; the Count alone is guilty of his own death.'
`Let us wait a little. Perhaps his heart may be softened.'

So they waited for one month, for two, for six, for a year. The spinner spun no more. The Count had ceased to persecute her, but he still refused his consent to the marriage. Guilbert became impatient.
The poor girl loved him with her whole soul, and she was more unhappy than she had been before, when Burchard was only tormenting her body.

`Let us have done with it,' said Guilbert.
`Wait a little still,' pleaded Renelde.

But the young man grew weary. He came more rarely to Locquignol, and very soon he did not come at all. Renelde felt as if her heart would break, but she held firm.

One day she met the Count. She clasped her hands as if in prayer, and cried:
`My lord, have mercy!'

Burchard the Wolf turned away his head and passed on. She might have humbled his pride had she gone to her spinning wheel again, but she did nothing of the sort.
Not long after she learnt that Guilbert had left the country.
He did not even come to say good-bye to her, but, all the same, she knew the day and hour of his departure, and hid herself on the road to see him once more.
When she came in she put her silent wheel into a corner, and cried for three days and three nights.


So another year went by. Then the Count fell ill, and the Countess supposed that Renelde, weary of waiting, had begun her spinning anew; but when she came to the cottage to see, she found
the wheel silent.
However, the Count grew worse and worse till he was given up by the doctors. The passing bell was rung, and he lay expecting Death to come for him. But Death was not so near as the doctors thought, and still he lingered.
He seemed in a desperate condition, but he got neither better nor worse. He could neither live nor die; he suffered horribly, and called loudly on Death to put an end to his pains.
In this extremity he remembered what he had told the little spinner long ago. If Death was so slow in coming, it was because he was not ready to follow him, having no shroud for his burial.

He sent to fetch Renelde, placed her by his bedside, and ordered her at once to go on spinning his shroud.
Hardly had the spinner begun to work when the Count began to feel his pains grow less.

Then at last his heart melted; he was sorry for all the evil he had done out of pride, and implored Renelde to forgive him.
So Renelde forgave him, and went on spinning night and day.
When the thread of the nettles was spun she wove it with her shuttle, and then cut the shroud and began to sew it.
And as before, when she sewed the Count felt his pains grow less, and the life sinking within him, and when the needle made the last stitch he gave his last sigh.


At the same hour Guilbert returned to the country, and, as he had never ceased to love Renelde, he married her eight days later.
He had lost two years of happiness, but comforted himself with thinking that his wife was a clever spinner, and, what was much more rare, a brave and good woman.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Nettle Spinner part 1

ONCE upon a time there lived at Quesnoy, in Flanders, a great lord whose name was Burchard, but whom the country people called Burchard the Wolf. Now Burchard had such a wicked, cruel heart, that it was whispered how he used to harness his peasants to the
plough, and force them by blows from his whip to till his land with naked feet.
His wife, on the other hand, was always tender and pitiful to the poor and miserable. Every time that she heard of another misdeed of her husband's she secretly went to repair the evil, which caused her name to be
blessed throughout the whole country-side. This Countess was adored as much as the Count was hated.

II  One day when he was out hunting the Count passed through a forest, and at the door of a lonely cottage he saw a beautiful girl spinning hemp.
`What is your name?' he asked her.
`Renelde, my lord.'
`You must get tired of staying in such a lonely place?'
`I am accustomed to it, my lord, and I never get tired of it.'
`That may be so; but come to the castle, and I will make you lady's maid to the Countess.'
`I cannot do that, my lord. I have to look after my grandmother, who is very helpless.'
`Come to the castle, I tell you. I shall expect you this evening,' and he went on his way.

But Renelde, who was betrothed to a young wood-cutter called Guilbert, had no intention of obeying the Count, and she had, besides, to take care of her grandmother.
Three days later the Count again passed by.
`Why didn't you come?' he asked the pretty spinner.
`I told you, my lord, that I have to look after my grandmother.'
`Come to-morrow, and I will make you lady-in-waiting to the Countess,' and he went on his way.

This offer produced no more effect than the other, and Renelde did not go to the castle.
`If you will only come,' said the Count to her when next he rode by, `I will send away the Countess, and will marry you.'
But two years before, when Renelde's mother was dying of a long illness, the Countess had not forgotten them, but had given help when they sorely needed it. So even if the Count had really wished to marry Renelde, she would always have refused.


Some weeks passed before Burchard appeared again.
Renelde hoped she had got rid of him, when one day he stopped at the door, his duck-gun under his arm and his game-bag on his shoulder. This time Renelde was spinning not hemp, but flax.
`What are you spinning?' he asked in a rough voice.
`My wedding shift, my lord.'
`You are going to be married, then?'
`Yes, my lord, by your leave.'
For at that time no peasant could marry without the leave of his master.
`I will give you leave on one condition. Do you see those tall nettles that grow on the tombs in the churchyard? Go and gather them, and spin them into two fine shifts. One shall be your bridal shift, and the other shall be my shroud. For you shall be married the day that I am laid in my grave.' And the Count turned away with a mocking laugh.

Renelde trembled. Never in all Locquignol had such a thing been heard of as the spinning of nettles.
And besides, the Count seemed made of iron and was very proud of his strength, often boasting that he should live to be a hundred.
Every evening, when his work was done, Guilbert came to visit his future bride. This evening he came as usual, and Renelde told him what Burchard had said.
`Would you like me to watch for the Wolf, and split his skull with a blow from my axe?'
`No,' replied Renelde, `there must be no blood on my bridal bouquet. And then we must not hurt the Count. Remember how good the Countess was to my mother.'

An old, old woman now spoke: she was the mother of Renelde's grandmother, and was more than ninety years old. All day long she sat in her chair nodding her head and never saying a word.
`My children,' she said, `all the years that I have lived in the world, I have never heard of a shift spun from nettles. But what God commands, man can do. Why should not Renelde try it?'


Renelde did try, and to her great surprise the nettles when crushed and prepared gave a good thread, soft and light and firm.
Very soon she had spun the first shift, which was for her own wedding. She wove and cut it out at once, hoping that the Count would not force her to begin the other. Just as she had finished sewing it, Burchard the Wolf passed by.
`Well,' said he, `how are the shifts getting on?'
`Here, my lord, is my wedding garment,' answered Renelde, showing him the shift, which was the finest and whitest ever seen.
The Count grew pale, but he replied roughly, `Very good. Now begin the other.'

The spinner set to work.
As the Count returned to the castle, a cold shiver passed over him, and he felt, as the saying is, that some
one was walking over his grave. He tried to eat his supper, but could not; he went to bed shaking with fever. But he did not sleep, and in the morning could not manage to rise.
This sudden illness, which every instant became worse, made him very uneasy. No doubt Renelde's spinning-wheel knew all about it. Was it not necessary that his body, as well as his shroud,
should be ready for the burial? The first thing Burchard did was to send to Renelde and to stop
her wheel.
Renelde obeyed, and that evening Guilbert asked her:
`Has the Count given his consent to our marriage?'
`No,' said Renelde.
`Continue your work, sweetheart. It is the only way of gaining
it. You know he told you so himself.' be continued

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Lazy Spinner

In a certain village there once lived a man and his wife, and the wife was so idle that she would never work at anything; whatever her husband gave her to spin, she did not get done, and what she did spin she did not wind, but let it all remain entangled in a heap.

If the man scolded her, she was always ready with her tongue, and said, "Well, how should I wind it, when I have no reel? Just you go into the forest and get me one."

"If that is all," said the man, "then I will go into the forest, and get some wood for making reels."
Then the woman was afraid that if he had the wood he would make her a reel of it, and she would have to wind her yarn off, and then begin to spin again.

She bethought herself a little, and then a lucky idea occurred to her, and she secretly followed the man into the forest, and when he had climbed into a tree to choose and cut the wood, she crept into the thicket below where he could not see her, and cried,

"He who cuts wood for reels shall die,
And he who winds, shall perish."

The man listened, laid down his axe for a moment, and began to consider what that could mean.
"Hollo," he said at last, "what can that have been; my ears must have been singing, I won't alarm myself for nothing."
So he again seized the axe, and began to hew, then again there came a cry
from below:

"He who cuts wood for reels shall die,
And he who winds, shall perish."

He stopped, and felt afraid and alarmed, and pondered over the circumstance. But when a few moments had passed, he took heart again, and a third time he stretched out his hand for the axe, and began to cut. But some one called out a third time, and said loudly,

"He who cuts wood for reels shall die,
And he who winds, shall perish."

That was enough for him, and all inclination had departed from him, so he hastily descended the tree, and set out on his way home. The woman ran as fast as she could by by-ways so as to get home first.

So when he entered the parlour, she put on an innocent look as if nothing had happened, and said, "Well, have you brought a nice piece of wood for reels?"

"No," said he, "I see very well that winding won't do," and told her what had happened to him in the forest, and from that time forth left her in peace about it. Nevertheless after some time, the man again began to complain of the disorder in the house.

"Wife," said he, "it is really a shame that the spun yarn should lie there all entangled!"

"I'll tell you what," said she, "as we still don't come by any reel, go you up into the loft, and I will stand down below, and will throw the yarn up to you, and you
will throw it down to me, and so we shall get a skein after all."

"Yes, that will do," said the man.

So they did that, and when it was done, he said, "The yarn is in skeins, now it must be boiled."
The woman was again distressed; She certainly said, "Yes, we will boil it next morning early." but she was secretly contriving another trick.

Early in the morning she got up, lighted a fire, and put the kettle on, only instead of the yarn, she put in a lump of tow, and let it boil.

After that she went to the man who was still lying in bed, and said to him,
"I must just go out, you must get up and look after the yarn which is in the kettle on the fire, but you must be at hand at once; mind that, for if the cock should happen to crow, and you are not attending to the yarn, it will become tow."

The man was willing and took good care not to loiter. He got up as quickly as he could, and went into the kitchen. But when he reached the kettle and peeped in, he saw, to his horror, nothing but a lump of tow.

Then the poor man was as still as a mouse, thinking he had neglected it, and was to blame, and in future said no more about yarn and spinning.

But you yourself must own she was an odious woman!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

OMG! The Fraggle Rock Doozer Knitting Song...too cute!

 A friend sent this too me today. I just love it!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Spinning Quote

“All work, even cotton spinning, is noble; work alone is noble”
Thomas Carlyle(Scottish Historian and Essayist, leading figure in the Victorian era. 1795-1881)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gandhi inspired Spinning Wheel

“I claim that in losing the spinning wheel we lost our left lung. We are, therefore, suffering from galloping consumption. The restoration of the wheel arrests the progress of the fell disease.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I just thought this was interesting:

Mahatma Gandhi believed that the spinning wheel, or charkha, was a sign of self-reliance and independence. Now that belief is being taken to a new level with the e-charkha, a hand-driven spinning wheel that generates electricity.

The e-charkha, which was designed by Gandhi follower Ekambar Nath, can generate enough electricity in its attached battery for 6-7 hours of power in rural homes. Two hours of operation can light up the e-charkha’s specially designed LED light for eight hours— so the spinning wheel provides enough light for its continued use as an instrument of clothing production.

Even though the e-charkha is only 9,000 rupees ($197), the Indian government is giving the spinning wheels away for free in the farming village of Jatwara.

info found at

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Aerobic Knitting?

I forget where I found this t-shirt but I love it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love this!!!

I found this at .
Isn't it fabulous??? The author of this blog provides lots of free clipart.
Check it out!

(another tale about spinning) The Wood Fairy...a tale from Central Europe

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Betushka. She lived with her mother, a poor widow who had only a tumbledown cottage and two goats. But in spite of this poverty, Betushka was always merry.

From spring to autumn, Betushka drove the goats each day to pasture in a birch wood. Every morning her mother put a slice of bread and an empty spindle into her bag. The spindle would hold the flaxen thread she would spin while she watched the goats. She was too poor to own a distaff on which to wind the flax, so she wound it around her head, to carry it thus to the wood.

"Work hard, Betushka," her mother always said, "and fill the spindle before you return home."

Off skipped Betushka, singing along the way. She danced behind the goats into the wood of birch trees and sat down under a tree. With her left hand she pulled fibers from the flax around her head and with her right hand twirled her spindle so that it hummed over the ground. All the time she sang merrily and the goats nibbled the green grass among the trees.

When the sun showed that it was midday, Betushka stopped her spinning. She gave each of the goats a morsel of bread and picked a few strawberries to eat with what remained. After this, she sprang up and danced. The sun shone even more warmly and the birds sang yet more sweetly.

After her dance, Betushka began again to spin busily. At evening when she drove the goats home she was able to hand her mother a spindle full of flaxen thread.

One fine spring day, when Betushka was ready as usual to dance, suddenly there appeared before her a most beautiful maiden. Her white dress floated about her as thin as gossamer, her golden hair flowed to her waist, and a wreath of forest blossoms crowned her head. Betushka was struck silent.

The wood fairy smiled at her and in a sweet voice asked, "Betushka, do you like to dance?"

At this, Betushka lost her fear. "Oh! I could dance all the day long!"

"Come then, let us dance together. I will teach you." She took Betushka and began to dance with her.

Round and round they circled, while sweet music sounded over their heads. The maiden had called upon the birds sitting in the birch trees to accompany them.

Nightingales, larks, goldfinches, thrushes, and a clever mockingbird sang such sweet melodies that Betushka's heart filled with delight. She quite forgot her goats and her spinning. On and on she danced, with feet never weary, until evening when the last rosy rays of sunset were disappearing. The music ceased and the maiden vanished as suddenly as she had come.

Betushka looked around. There was her spindle -- only half filled with thread. Sadly she put it into her bag and drove the goats from the wood. She did not sing while going down the road this time, but reproached herself for forgetting her duty. She resolved that she would not do this again. When she reached home she was so quiet that her mother asked if she were ill.

"No, Mother, I am not ill." But she did not tell her mother about the lovely maiden. She hid the half-filled spindle, promising herself to work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for today.

Early the next morning Betushka again drove the goats to pasture, singing merrily as usual. She entered the wood and began her spinning, intending to do twice her usual amount.

At noon Betushka picked a few strawberries, but she did not dance. To her goats she said, "Today, I dare not dance. Why don't you dance, my little goats?"

"Come and dance with me," called a voice. It was the beautiful maiden.

But this time Betushka was afraid, and she was also ashamed. She asked the maiden to leave her alone. "Before sunset, I must finish my spinning," she said.

The maiden answered, "If you will dance with me, someone will help you finish your spinning." With the birds singing beautifully as before, Betushka could not resist. She and the maiden began to dance, and again they danced till evening.

Now when Betushka looked at her nearly empty spindle, she burst into tears. But the maiden unwound the flax from Betushka's head, twined it around a slender birch tree, seized the spindle, and began to spin. The spindle hummed over the ground and grew thick with thread. By the time the sun had dropped from sight, all the flax was spun. As the maiden handed the full spindle to Betushka, she said, "Wind it and grumble not. Remember, wind it and grumble not." Then, suddenly, she disappeared.

Betushka, happy now, drove the goats home, singing as she went, and gave her mother the full spindle. Betushka's mother, however, was not pleased with what Betushka had failed to do the day before and asked her about it. Betushka told her that she had danced, but she kept the maiden a secret.

The next day Betushka went still earlier to the birch wood. The goats grazed while she sang and spun, until at noon the beautiful maiden appeared and again seized Betushka by the waist to dance. While the birds sang for them, the two danced on and on, Betushka quite forgetting her spindle and the goats.

When the sun was setting, Betushka looked around. There was the half-filled spindle! But the maiden grasped Betushka's bag, became invisible for a moment, then handed back the bag stuffed with something light. She ordered her not to look into it before reaching home, and with these words she disappeared.

Betushka started home, not daring to look into the bag. But halfway there she was unable to resist peeking, for the bag was so light she feared a trick. She looked into the bag, and began to weep. It was full of dry birch leaves! Angrily she tossed some of these out of the bag, but suddenly she stopped -- she knew they would make good litter for the goats to sleep on.

Now she was almost afraid to go home. There her mother was awaiting her. "What kind of spindle did you bring me yesterday?" she asked. "I wound and wound, but the spindle remained full. 'Some evil spirit has spun you,' I grumbled, and at that instant the thread vanished from the spindle. Tell me what this means."

Betushka then told her mother about the maiden and their dancing. "That was a wood fairy," exclaimed her mother, alarmed. "The wood fairies dance at midday and at midnight. If you had been a little boy, you might not have escaped alive. But to little girls, the wood fairies often give rich presents." Next, she added. "To think that you did not tell me. If I had not grumbled I might have had a room full of thread."

Betushka then thought of her bag and wondered if there might not, after all, be something under those leaves. She lifted out the spindle and the unspun flax. "Look, Mother!" Her mother looked and clapped her hands. Under the spindle the birch leaves had turned to gold!

Betushka told her mother how the fairy had directed her not to look into the bag until she got home, but that she had not obeyed and had thrown out some of the leaves. "Tis fortunate you did not empty out the whole bagful," said her mother.

The next morning Betushka and her mother went into the wood, to look carefully over the ground where Betushka had thrown out the dry leaves. Only fresh birch leaves lay there, but the gold that Betushka did bring home was enough for a farm with a garden and some cows. She wore beautiful dresses and no longer had to graze the goats. Nothing, however, gave her such delight as she had had dancing with the wood fairy. Often she ran to the birch wood, hoping to see the beautiful maiden, but never again did the wood fairy appear.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

See!! I have been doing some spinning :-P

Okay, not a lot of spinning but some. Course now I have to ummmm.....shoot! you know....whatever it's called when you twist the stuff together....Oh! Ply it!!!
Yeah, ply it and theeeeeen get enough together to make something.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Colorful Crochet People

Okay, I really have been doing some crafting. Here's a pic of a few of my People!
You'll notice that I have "face" on a few of them. I made the face from polymer clay.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Cap that Mother Made......a Swedish folk tale retold

Here's a wonderful story about knitting...Enjoy!

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Anders, who had a new cap. And a prettier cap you never have seen, for mother herself had knit it; and nobody could make anything quite so nice as mother did. It was altogether red, except a small part in the middle which was green, for the red yarn had given out; and the tassel was blue.

His brothers and sisters walked about squinting at him, and their faces grew long with envy. But Anders cared nothing for that. He put his hands in his pockets and went out for a walk, for he wished everybody to see how fine he looked in his new cap.

The first person he met was a farmer walking along side a wagon load of wood. The farmer made a bow so deep that his back came near breaking. He was dumbfounded, I can tell you, when he saw it was nobody but Anders.

"Dear me," said he, "if I did not think it was the little count himself!" And then he invited Anders to ride in his wagon.

But when one has a handsome, red cap with a blue tassel, one does not ride in a wagon, and Anders said, "No thank you," and walked by.

At the turn of the road he met the tanner's son, Lars. He was such a big boy that he wore high boots, and carried a jack-knife. Lars gaped and gazed at the cap, and could not keep form fingering the blue tassel.

"Let's trade caps," he said. "I will give you my jack-knife to boot."

Now this knife was a very good one, though the handle was a little cracked. Anders knew that one is almost a man as soon as he has a jack-knife. But still it was not as good as the new cap which mother had made.

"Oh, no, I'm not so foolish as all that. No I'm not!" Anders said.

And then he said good-bye to Lars with a nod. But Lars only made faces at him, for he was very much put out that he could not get Anders cap.

Anders went along, and he met a very old woman who curtsied till her skirts looked like a balloon. She called him a little gentleman, and said he was fine enough to go to the royal court ball.

"Yes, why not?" thought Anders. "Seeing that my cap is so fine, I may as well go and visit the King."

And so he did. In the palace yard stood two soldiers with shining helmets, and with muskets over their shoulders; and when Anders came to the gate, both the muskets were leveled at him.

"Where are you going?" asked one of the soldiers.

"I'm going to the court ball," answered Anders.

"No, you are not," said the other soldier stepping forward. "Nobody is allowed there without a uniform."

But just at this instant the princess came tripping across the yard. She was dressed in white silk with bows of gold ribbon. When she saw Anders and the soldiers, she walked over to them.

"Oh," she said,"he has such a very fine cap on his head, and that will do just as well as a uniform."

And she took Anders' hand and walked with him up the broad marble stairs where soldiers were posted at every third step, and through the beautiful halls where courtiers in silk and velvet stood bowing wherever he went. For no doubt they thought him a prince when they saw his fine cap.

At the farther end of the largest hall a table was set with golden cups and golden plates in long rows. On huge silver dishes were piles of tarts and cakes, and red wine sparkled in shining glasses.
The princess sat down at the head of this long table and she let Anders sit in a golden chair by her side.

"But you must not eat with your cap on your head," she said, putting out her hand to take it off.

"Oh, yes, I can eat just as well with my cap as without it," said Anders, holding on to his cap. For if they should take it away from him, nobody would any longer believe that he was a prince. And besides, he did not feel sure that he would get it back again.

"Well, give it to me," said the princess, "and I will give you a kiss."

The princess was certainly beautiful, and Anders would have dearly liked to be kissed by her, but the cap which mother had made, he would not give up on any condition. He only shook his head.

"Well, but see," said the princess; and she filled his pockets with cakes, and put her own gold chain around his neck, and bent down and kissed him.

But he only moved farther back in his chair and did not take his hands away from his head.

Then the doors were thrown open, and the King entered with a large number of gentlemen in glittering uniforms and plumed hats. The King himself wore a purple mantle which trailed behind him, and he had a large gold crown on his white curly hair.
He smiled when he saw Anders in the gilt chair.

"That is a very fine cap you have," he said.

"So it is," replied Anders. "Mother knit it of her very best yarn, and everybody wishes to get it away from me."

"But surely you would like to change caps with me," said the King, raising his large, heavy crown from his head.

Anders did not answer. He sat as before, and held on to his red cap which everybody was so eager to get. But when the King came nearer to him, with is gold crown between his hands, then Anders grew frightened as never before. If he did not take good care, the King might take his cap from him; for a King can do whatever he likes.

With one jump Anders was out of his chair. He darted like an arrow through all the beautiful halls, down all the marble stairs, and across the yard.

He twisted himself like an eel between the outstretched arms of the courtiers, and over the soldiers' muskets he jumped like a rabbit.

He ran so fast that the princess's necklace fell off of his neck, and all the cakes jumped out of his pockets. But he still had his cap. He was holding on to it with both hands as he rushed into his mother's cottage.

His mother took him up in her lap, and he told her all of his adventures, and how everybody wanted his cap. All of his brothers and sisters stood around and listened with their mouths open.

But when his big brother heard that he had refused to trade his cap for the King's golden crown, he said that Anders was foolish. Just think how much money one might get for the King's crown; and Anders could have gotten an even finer cap.

That was something that Anders had not thought of, and his face grew red.
He put his arms around his mother's neck and asked:
"Mother, was I foolish?"

His mother hugged him close and kissed him.
"No, my little son," said she. "If you were dressed in silver and gold from top to toe, you could not look any nicer than you do in your little red cap."

Then Anders felt brave again. He knew that mother's cap was the best cap in all the world.

Anders' Cap is retold by LLL,Storysinger; the original source is Swedish Fairy Tales by Anna Wahlenberg, published in 1901

above illustrations are from "The Cap that Mother Made Me", Rand McNally Start-Right Elf Book, 1967, Illustrations by Esther Friend