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Taking a Fresh Look at the Nøstepinde

drawing: finished ball of yarm with flat top and bottom

The past week has been nøstepinde intensive. I’ve been doing a lot of work on the website and had noted that the graphics on the “Nøsting …or…Zen and the Art of Ballwinding with a Nøstepinde” page were looking very old-fashioned. They dated back to the days of yore when computer download speeds were abysmally slow and the web designers primary goal was to make image files as absolutely small as possible.

I decided that NOW was the time to “kill two birds.” I am re-jiggering the nøstepinde instructions and will finally set them up as a PDF file which people will be able to download, print out, archive in Evernote or whatever.

In the recent months I’ve been doing a lot of research in YouTube on various hobbies I’ve been adopting. So, I was not surprised to find a number of good videos covering the use of the nøstepinde. In the past, when folks asked me how they could learn to use a nøsty I would send them to our “Nøsting” webpage. These days, I have to admit, my first recommendation would be that they check out YouTube. It’s much easier to first learn to do something while listening and watching than by reading. I found Ann Kingstone’s “Nostepinne” especially helpful and complete.

drawing: wrapping parallel diagonals

wrapping parallel diagonals

But, it was “Using a Kromski Nostepinne” by Tim Horchler of The Woolery/New Voyager Video that really piqued my curiousity!

drawing: wrapping figure 8 "crosses"

wrapping figure 8 “crosses”

Tim promotes a completely different winding pattern than I had ever run across. Rather than placing all his wraps as parallel diagonals, he crosses his diagonals, making a series of “figure 8’s.” Noting that Tim’s video has been viewed more than 13,000 times I am guessing that a bunch of nøstepinders out there are “figure-eighting”.

I’ve set up a “questionnaire” (see below) that, if you’re game, you will fill out and submit. If there are enough submissions I’ll collate the results and post a report here and on the Nosty Luv group that I’ve just discovered on Ravelry.

drawing: Wrapping diagonally.

If you still have remaining form-filling energy you might want to jump over to the “Tools” page and get put on the “Woodshop News” mailing list. You’ll receive emailed announcements as fresh inventory is listed in the shop.

the Hatchtown online shop is a success

line drawing: elevation view of a classic Lady Ann "Victorian silk spindle" 
Whew! We finally took the plunge and installed what they call an “e-commerce solution.” Pam noticed that our good friend and entrepreneur extraordinaire Michele Michael had used something called Big Cartel to connect an online shop cum shopping cart to her website Elephant Ceramics.

Well, we launched our Shop a week or so ago and all went very well! TaDAAA! Each of the spindles I make is unique so we had to list every “item” as having an “inventory” of One (1).

screen capture: section of the Hatchtown Farm online shop powered by Big Cartel

A monitor “screen capture” showing a section of the Hatchtown online shop (March 2013)

We really did not want to experience three or four spinners being upset because they had all BOUGHT and PAID FOR the same Amelia High Whorl. I’m now able to happily report that, from our end, there was not a single “double sale” processed through Big Cartel and PayPal.

We’ve been emailing the faithful customers who have been on our mailing list. Sending emails first to those who have been on the list the longest. I’m not accepting any “orders” until everyone on the list has had a chance to shop available inventory.

It is mid-morning Sunday as I type this and I am about to put the Shop into “maintenance mode” so I can update the inventory this afternoon.

If you have not signed up to be on the “mailing list” fill out and submit the form at the bottom of the “Tools” page.

We’re Setting Up a New Shop for the Woodshop

color photo: closeup of a handspindle's whorl -- woods: orange Padauk and creamy Ash

An Amelia’s whorl: a layer of Padauk from Africa on a solid base of solid North American Ash.



I’m really excited. After years — yes, YEARS! — we’re finally putting together a “shop” to display and sell the little, wooden thingies I turn out in the barn. Pam noticed that a good friend, Michele Michael, is using an online “shop” powered by a neat little outfit called Big Cartel.

color photo: closeup detail photo of Nøstepinde handles
I’m uploading photos and descriptions of a bunch of fresh-from-the-shop Nøstepindes as well as spindles that came home with us after the NETA Spa down in Freeport.

rams get a mention

We do a lot of talking about the girls…ewes…moms — especially as we get into lambing season.  But not much is said about the boys. Let’s face it…there wouldn’t be any lambs without them. Well, there’s always artificial insemination but that’s not happening around here just now.  So I thought it would be nice to give some time and space to the very important but not often mentioned rams.  Just before they were sheared I actually thought to take some photos of them.  One young ram, Hatchtown Dickens, just couldn’t be captured on film so you’ll have to meet him another day. But here are the bigger boys…all Coopworths and handsome devils!

I know…there seems to be disproportionate number of rams to ewes here at Hatchtown Farm.  That’s because I adore rams.  Can’t help myself.  I can justify my addiction because with this many rams, we can switch the ewes around at breeding time each year and get lots of years out of the two groups.  Besides, I think they’re sweet — at least ours are — and they make so few demands.  They just hang out and eat (ok – a little more than ewes) make gorgeous lambs and grow a delicious, humongous fleece every year.

This year’s lambs were sired by Cole and Bartok.  Hoping for lots of natural colored lambs.

more hay…in April?

I think I must have miscalculated somewhere along the way because we’re still getting hay that I ordered last summer.  It’s lovely stuff…certified organic and it smells so good, I might eat it.  Jim thought it might make good tea.  The sheep certainly approve and they’ve been staying in very nice condition on it.

preparing to off load hay

There’s another 100 bales waiting for us to pick up so we’ll definitely have some left over when it comes time to put the sheep out on grass. That could be a good thing, though, because the soil is very dry…we had very little snow.  It might mean a not-so-great grazing season and maybe we’ll be happy to have that extra hay in the barn.