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paper bags and spindles

December 3, 2013

when Heather was here on Saturday she brought me a gift from her friend in Japan

 I was very touched by his thoughtfulness, thank you JPgifts 148

a paper bag!

with a lovely butterfly pin (very Japanese) made by wrapping and knotting a special Japanese cord

the warp is cotton

the weft a flat paper with very little texture (for my paper friends)

gifts 150

it is not rolled or spun and as it has none of the telltale thick twists I think it was made with individual lengths of paper threads

gifts 151

inside is finished with silk tape – handmade?

the bag handle is a heavier paper twisted into a cord which I have seen used in many different ways in Japan

oh joy!  my new Akha drop spindle arrived

handmade from Arizona alder and birch by Kristin at Resourceful Nomad

gifts 145

she included some “easy to spin Pima”

and I’ve been saving some natural green cotton roving from Knotty by Nature, tied with handspun 2 ply cotton

it is not as well carded/prepared but I love the colour

with a little practise I’m spinning my finest cotton ever

the clever “hook” works like a charm

gifts 146beautiful, Kristin – thank you

p.s.  it is sunny but cold outside, look at papa hummingbird

he is hanging out beside the feeder

insects-critters 123

all puffed up, trying to stay warm, looking like a feathery golf ball

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2013 3:23 pm

    Wow, what a neat bit of history!


    • December 10, 2013 4:54 pm

      Kristin – isn’t that a wonderful surprise? and there is more about the bag on tomorrow’s blog.


  2. Jean-Pierre Antonio permalink
    December 9, 2013 10:59 pm

    HI. I just saw this by chance. The small paper and silk bag was made by a 75 year old woman named Kazuko Hirota, the wife of a Buddhist priest in Suzuka-shi, Mie ken. The paper (kozo as you say) was originally used in a Meiji period obi so it is probably at least 120 years old. It was used inside the obi so the paper’s condition is quite good. Hirota-san also made the butterfly pin. I hope you enjoy using the bag.


    • December 10, 2013 8:39 am

      Jean-Pierre – thank you so very much for such a special gift, it is a treasure, even more so with this history. I will give it a good home and care for it with respect. Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness.


  3. December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

    Wow! I love this gorgeous paper bag. So charming. I’m glad you received the spindle in one piece. I’ve been under the weather, but I will have a video up soon. There are a few Akha vids on youtube already, but some are confusingl. But it looks like you already figured it out. Smart lady.


    • December 3, 2013 4:21 pm

      Kristin – it didn’t take long, but I become very determined with a new spindle. Hope you are feeling better quickly. The bag is a gem.


  4. December 3, 2013 2:44 pm

    The spindle is gorgeous! I’ve never tried spinning with one but I’d like to have it around just to look at and touch! Will the hummingbird stay around as it gets colder?


    • December 3, 2013 3:17 pm

      Kerry – I’m a confessed spindle addict. The hummers stay over the winter. I have 2 feeders and bring one in overnight so it won’t freeze – then set the alarm so I wake up and put it out at first light in the morning. That’s crazy, I know, but they need the energy first thing.


  5. December 3, 2013 1:31 pm

    Paper and silk! What a surprising combination. Must pay attention to that.


    • December 3, 2013 1:57 pm

      Alice – this is handmade Japanese paper made from kozo fibre. very different than what most Westerners know as paper. Traditionally, in Japan, kimono woven with shifu (paper thread) was woven on silk, cotton or linen warps.


  6. December 3, 2013 1:18 pm

    yet another way to use paper, very fine. and the spindle is lovely, too.


    • December 3, 2013 1:29 pm

      Velma – it was a lovely surprise to receive the bag and see how it is made.

      Judith – first, the yarn being spun should come off the shaft in the exact center whether it has a metal hook or carved into the shaft. when it is spinning it shouldn’t wobble. what type of spindle do you have? have you tried different ones? I have several – top whorl, turkish and now this one. my first two are from “Houndesign” – he is somewhere on the lower mainland and his top whorl spindles are nicely made, well balanced and great to use. Hope that helps.


      • Judith permalink
        December 3, 2013 2:07 pm

        Thanks Jean, I have an Ashford top whorl. I believe that is a good spindle.
        I am going to seek out a ‘spindler’ in my guild and see if I can get some instruction. I am amazed at how much yarn you produce on your spindles
        and how even it is!


  7. Judith permalink
    December 3, 2013 11:53 am

    Your spindle is beautiful! I really struggle with my drop spindle. How do you know if a spindle is balanced?? It was fun to meet you at Bryan’s show at the Diana Sandersons.
    I love your blog!


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