I come from a crafty family. My mom was the first one to teach me to knit, crochet and cross stitch. My sister and I have dabbled in a lot of things over the years. And the highlight of every Christmas season is Craft Dinner, where we get together with another family (I’m 35, and we’ve been doing this since I was single-digit age), do a Christmas craft, and then have a great Danish lunch for dinner.
My dad, however, has pretty much always worked with wood. When I was growing up, he carved and painted decoys and other birds. A few years ago, he bought a lathe, and started making bowls, wooden spoons, and other lathe-turned items. So when I started getting into spinning, I mentioned off-hand, “Hey Dad, can you make me a spindle?”
Little did I know what would become of that innocent suggestion.
A few years later, Dad has an Etsy shop, has been featured in Spin Off, and keeps asking me what else spinners and knitters might like that he could make. After suggesting niddy noddies, spindles, nostepinne, WPI gauges, yarn bowls (once I convinced him that yes, it was worth it to cut a notch out of the side of a perfectly good bowl), and yarn tops, I was a little tapped out of ideas.
Enter Level 2, where we have to spin for a braid, and where our instructor introduced us to several types of braid. I was so excited to stay overnight at my parents’ place after Level 2, because I got to say, “Hey Dad, can you make me a lucet fork?”
When the family came up for this past Thanksgiving, Dad brought a couple of prototypes with him. He and my brother-in-law and I tested them out, and the two of them went back home with ideas for improvements.
Thursday I got a package in the mail from my brother-in-law, who also has a small lathe and some time for small projects when my nephew is sleeping or otherwise occupied/supervised.
I’ll be taking them around to my knitting groups for others to test as well, but the new improvements are lovely. The two outside ones are the original prototypes, and the middle, lyre-shaped ones are the new ones I’m testing. I can’t decide which one fits in my hand better, but I do know that they make me want to ditch spinning for Module C1 and just dive straight into C4 and spin mohair for a braid, just so I can do some braiding. Lots and lots of braiding! Because unlike knitting, it doesn’t take too long for you to have something substantial. It might just be a length of cord, but it’s a LONG length of cord!
It’s a funny convergence, really, my hobbies and skills and my dad’s hobbies and skills and my brother-in-law’s hobbies and skills. It gives us something to work on together, and constantly pushes us to think about tools and processes differently, and come up with improvements and ideas. But really, it’s selfish on my part. After all, I’m the first one that gets to play with all these new and lovely toys. 🙂