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Bobbin Lace Boxes, Wool Pickers (almost) and Treadle Inkle Looms (just started)

I've done it!  three prototypes, after studying museum examples, photos from Spain and Portugal, talking with a lace museum in Michigan, and then most of all, a dozen lacemakers chiming in on improvements they would like after trying it out.  I started working on this project nearly two years ago, and am satisfied with the results.

And of course, that means you need bobbins, too, so we're going to have some available with spangles, and some without ready for you to spangle yourself.

These bobbin laces boxes have a deep rolled layer of linen and wool, and prefer a long pin, but of course that depends a bit on the stiffness of your pricking paper and additional pattern paper.  Experiment to see whether or not you need longer pins.  We wanted to use one of the traditional materials, but straw was worrisome because of mice and issues of dampness.  Stuffing with cotton has issues because of dampness and mildew potential.  So we've gone with using a finely woven linen in layers with washed and dried blanket wool, tightly wound, and it's working out well.

There's a stop-pin on one side so you can advance the pattern, as well as a knob you can remove to access the bobbin for re-upholstering or cleaning later as needed.  The hinged front lid is padded to protect your bobbins, and opens forward so bobbins can be dropped inside safely away from little fingers or felines when you are not in progress.  Inside the lid, you can access the screws to release the upholstered panel, again, so you can re-cover it or clean it later on as needed.

We've made Cherry, Ash, and Oak boxes so far, with two walnut ones coming up next. 

Another project, is Wool Picking Boxes.  It's hard for new fiber artists to get their hands on any tools that speed up the wool processing, even hand cards can cost $75 or more.  Many mills are now charging more than $6 a pound (and postage both ways) to card wool for spinners.  So we're experimenting with a low-cost,  sliding wool picker box that can be securely clamped to a table and used as needed, then securely fastened and hung up out of the way when not needed.  It will be rather small and compact, intended for hobbyists or when you're traveling, but at a price that's more affordable than larger models.  Putting your fiber through twice, renders a product that is similar to the processing done by professional mills, but you'll still find some places where you need to further tease the fiber.

At $95 instead of one batch of mill processing, this may be a good option for you, especially if you have good, clean wool, and if you usually spin larger diameter, textured art yarns anyway.  Or use it for bulky yarns and send the rest for mill processing.

We'll have this available at our shows, for you to try out, long as your fiber is clean, bring it so you'll really find out if it's a good purchase for your spinning style.

Now, reaching out into an expected production date of March or April of 2021, I've started sketching a floor standing inkle loom, with a big, big difference--I want foot treadles to change the two sets of heddles.  Ideally I'd like it big enough to do a 2" woolen sash/belt, with enough distance between exit and heddles to allow for card weaving.  Early sketches have a wind up reel front and back, for product and warp, as well as right-hand handles to advance warp and to brake product.

I'm studying two old, falling-apart looms, one is missing parts, figuring out what the best features are for keeping, and adding my own (such as adjustable foot pedals, so you can keep your feet together, or apart).  I want it to be acceptable at historical reenactments, so the time period will decide what style of heddles will end up being chosen--and from there, the frames to hold them.  I have to decide if this will be rustic and usable outside or in cabins and other temperature-varying venues, or if it will be a piece of fine furniture kept in a professional studio environment.  There are still many decisions to be made.