Hands: Irish Spinning Wheel Making

If you have 28 minutes, a cup of tea and your spinning wheel or spindle handy, have a sit down and enjoy this documentary from YouTube.

Power Outage @ the 1764 studio

Good morning from the studio.

We had a windstorm just after midnight and it knocked the power out through out the area.

A pretty tall tree came down and took out the woodshed, just missing the studio.

Luckily, I have neighbors to help me cut some of the tree away and a neighbor that has a generator to his well so I can get water to flush the toilets. The mister is working out of town. He misses all the fun storms we have had over the years.

Any orders placed will be delayed going out as no power equals no internet. Fingers crossed the county gets it sorted soon.

Maybe I should spend the day spinning by the fire…

January 2019 #spin15aday Events


IMG-6938Two #spin15aday events over on Instagram in January.

If you are participating in one or both, make sure to tag your photos so you have a chance of winning one of these gift-aways from some wonderful #spin15aday sponsors:

#spin15adaystashdown sponsor:  @dnali.thestudio (Thanks bunches, Nicky!)

#spin15adaywoolbreedstudy sponsor: @coveredbridgefarm (Thanks Nicole & Lavonne)

Check out my posts over on Instagram for more information.  You can find the link to my account over on the far right —->

Out of the Mouths of Sheep

A bit of wool controversy is happening, with a few big name brands and a well known group doing what they can to tell the world not to wear wool.

What would a sheep say?

I think they would say “Save a sheep – Wear wool.”  Since sheep can’t really tell us how they feel, we have to be their voice.

Wool has so many great natural properties to offer the world, has been around since… well forever seems like a good amount of time.

We know wool is a natural, renewable resource. 

We also know:

  • Wool is self-cleaning, naturally antibacterial and odor resistant.
  • Wool can absorb a lot of weight without feeling wet.
  • Wool is biodegradable.
  • Wool is naturally fire resistant and fire retardant.
  • Wool improves indoor air quality to help remove allergens and pollutants, deterring the growth of dust mites.
  • Wool is 100% natural and forms part of a natural carbon cycle.
  • Wool is a great insulator for homes.
  • Wool keeps you warm in the winter and it cools in the summer.

Can you say that about man-made fibers?

There is much to be said about the health factors of shearing sheep and the by-product of their fleece, for us spinners, it is heaven on earth. 

The sheep is sheared and let free to roam around the pasture. The spinner obtains the fleece to spin the wool into yarn. The weaver or knitter works the wool yarn into an article of clothing or home goods.  The sheep grows more wool and the process starts again. 

There is so much more to it than this small post I am writing. Many of us on Instagram feel that @claraparkes said it well here. 

I’ve ordered buttons, see the photos within this post, and should be available mid-January in the #spin15aday shop!

Until next time…spin on.

#spin15aday gets a mention

Spin Off Winter 2019 Issue

Spin Off has been around, well, it seems like forever.  I had printed copies of issues years and years ago.  Those printed copies have moved on to other spinners as I’ve taken the minimalist approach to magazines by mostly going digital.  

Thanks to @yarnengineer for the heads up about the article in the Winter 2019 issue of Spin OffPodcast! Creating a Fiber Community by Emily Straw. Of course, I had to go out and get a copy to read, especially when #spin15aday gets a mention. 

It just keeps getting better, our little #spin15aday community, mostly on Instagram and now with the group on Ravelry run by some wonderful co-moderators that take care of keeping the threads alive and well.  

#spin15aday has slowly, but steadily spread joy over the past three years and I hope it will continue to do so as we head in to its fourth year in 2019. 

It has been a community effort, even when I nudge all of you spinners, it has taken us as a village to make it happen. Thank YOU for making it what it is and will be.

Spin on…

Oops! Not an IT person – Apology to you!

A huge apology for any and all crazy emails that went out today from The 1764 Shepherdess website.

I was trying to update the website theme.  Fail!!!

Join the #spin15adaystashdown 2019


We hope you will join us for a year-long spin and fiber stash diving! Each month (corresponding with the month number) has a theme to spin to. See what you have on hand to spin or find a fiber vendor, local or on-line, that has just what you are needing. Most of all, have fun and #spin5aday!!!

Starting January 1, 2019 on Instagram!!!

December 2018 Challenge


Well, HoHoHo, December has arrived.

We’ve been spinning all year, so I decided we needed to end the year with an easy, fun spinning/knitting challenge over on Instagram.

Here’s what to do:

  • Stash dive for about 100 grams of fiber or use up a bunch of bits to create something unique.
  • Spin up approximately 100 yards in a DK weight (yes, you can target your spin to a specific weight, that’s just part of the challenge)
  • Post your progress on Instagram with #spin15december2018
  • Knit up a pair of Good Time Fingerless Mitts by Melissa Woods (a free Ravelry download) with your freshly spun yarn.
  • Keep posting your progress on Instagram with #spin15december2018
  • I’ll be drawing two names (completed the challenge) on December 31, 2018, and will send a woolly surprise package to them.

Even if your name is not drawn, you’ll have spun and knit yourself a pair of mitts! As @itsmyhamburger said, everyone wins.

Keep spinning and look for the activities being planned for #spin15aday in 2019!!!

Spin on…

It’s the Simple Things in Life…

As I struggle with my early 1900’s circular sock machine, I am reminded that it’s not that important if I’m not successful with it, only that I tried. Our time here is too short to sweat the small stuff and just enjoy the simple things in life. What reminded me? This sweet holiday commercial put out by Hobby Lobby!

Check out all the handknits the young girl is wearing.  This longer version of the commercial is better via YouTube than the 30 seconds played over the television.

Brings a tear to my eye!



Shop Small Saturday – 2018


My youngest daughter and I support Small Business Saturday every year, spending Saturday morning in a small, local town near us.

We start out with breakfast, then we go to A Good Book first thing, then make our way through the other shops.

Some years we hit gold, other years, it may only be a small item we have found. Either way, we support it.

I also support small fiber businesses.  Every year I find something that I could use to create my own handmade gift with, be it yarn to knit a project or fiber to spin for the yarn to knit a project.

To get into the spirit of “shop small,” I have put a 20% off coupon code in the #spin15aday store for Saturday, November 24, 2018.

Enter: shopsmall2018 for 20% off items ordered.

Even if the #spin15aday shop has nothing you are needing at this moment, please take some time to look on the web or down your local street to see if there may be another small business shop that holds that perfect gift item.

I’m not dissing the big box stores, I’m just thinking we can do a better job of gift giving without them.

Spin on…

Home for the Holidays


Home for the Holidays:

It’s Thanksgiving weekend! The turkey has us stuffed and the pie made us sweet(er).

One of our family traditions over this long weekend is to watch Home for the Holidays, starring Holly Hunter, directed by Jodie Foster. (playing as the some of the family watches from the couch and I write this post)  This movie still makes me laugh…


Not much spinning or knitting these past few days, though I am trying to work on the website, which feels disappointing when I can’t get it to do what I want.  There are thoughts of looking into a new platform, but the prices are pretty high for a very small business.

I’ve had a few issues with WordPress/Woocommerce for #spin15aday purchases, so I’ll apologize for this upfront as I work through the issues.  Not always easy being your own IT department.

In #spin15aday news:

#spin15aday plans for 2019 are pretty light at the moment.

For sure there will be #xoxospin15 and #campspin15in19′ happenings.  Also, there will be a Halloween spin, once I decide on the theme.  Between these will be small #spin15aday events, which I’ll post on IG once I get some brilliant ideas.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to #spin15aday.

Until next time…



Breed Study Conservation List

A while back, one of the lovely spinners on Instagram asked if within the breed study we could focus on conservation listed wool breeds.  I thought that was an excellent idea.

So, I made an executive decision (laughing, because how executive can you get on Instagram), then researched and decided on six wool breeds to spin.

DorsetDorset Horn Sheep – Wikipedia

Here is the list with the corresponding month to spin them and their level of conservation:

January 2019:      Dorset Horn – threated

February 2019:   Teeswater – watch

March 2019:        Lincoln – threatened

April 2019:          Manx Loaghtan – at risk

May 2019:           Southdown – recovering

June 2019:           Shetland – recovering
Finding resources to spin for the breed study each month: 

No. 1: Stash Dive…dive deep, really deep. Find that bit of wool for the breed that corresponds to the month and spin it up.  Don’t spend when you don’t have to. At least until you decide if it is a wool breed you enjoy working with…then buy to your heart’s content.

No. 2:  I’ll have 1 oz. samples of the breeds available in the #spin15aday store near the first of the year.  I haven’t decided yet if I will put together packets as I did before or go with individual tastings.  I want to keep the costs down for both you and I.  Boxes, shipping, it all adds up.  The less it costs to get the wool to you is for the better.

No. 3:  Make a trade with some IG folks. Maybe a listing in the Ravelry #spin15aday group for spinners to contact each other to trade wool breeds. Maybe someone has multiple of one breed and can exchange with you for a wool breed you may have that they don’t.  The cost would be postage to each other. I think that’s a swell way to work things out.

Once we get to June 2019, we will have completed a full year of study with so many more breeds to try.  We will revisit this in the late spring.

Until then, spin 15 a day….




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