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A Very ODD Weekend…

On Saturday, January 7, 2024, I attended a fiber arts festival in Kissimmee called “Orlando Distaff Day” (ODD).  There were so many fascinating machines, and so many 3D-Printed objects: Niddy Noddys*, notions boxes, drop spindles*, and more.  In conversation with various people about the amount of 3D-printed merchandise and tools available, one commented, “oh, yeah, 3D-Printing is revolutionizing the fiber arts!”

Among the vendors and merchandise:

String Theory Colorworkswww.selfstriping.com and Facebook at String Theory Colorworks: The wife sells wool and yarn; the husband 3D printed her octagonal display drawers; he also had made stackable boxes w/ magnetic lids for sale; in conversation, he told us he programmed his own files for them in Python and using SCAD.  (The daughter had an adorable shirt that said: “Schrödinger’s cat played with String Theory!”).

Jon Pearsonjpspindleworks@gmail.com and Instagram: jonpiercer: In addition to drop spindles, he has made a magnetic wool holder that spins beautifully!  The top, holding the wool, sits over the base, but magnetism makes it float just over it, without touching.  You pull the wool as you work, and there is no friction!  (I want one!!)

Bosworth Spindleswww.bosworthspindles.com: suitcase (attaché case) size, and book size, fold up spinning wheels (“Charkhas”).  I have never seen such small, portable spinning wheels!  I saw them demonstrated, and they are amazing (though pricey)!

book-size-charka (spinning wheel)

Weavers of Orlandowww.weaversoforlando.org: (they were also at the most recent Maker Faire).  They had adorable, felted dragons, and I discovered a whole new (to me), ancient fiber art, called Sprang.  On display were some gorgeous scarves and cowls, that felt like gossamer and looked like interlaced, entrelac, or knitted lace – but it’s a weaving technique that’s much older than knitting! 

One of the ladies from Weavers of Orlando was kind enough to take the time to show Dana and I how Sprang weaving works, and now I want my own loom!  I’m excited to be opening up a whole new fiber arts hobby, and though the Sprang loom is inexpensive to buy, it should also be fairly simple to make:

sprang-loom

This group is also working on getting a maker space up and running in the Metrowest area of Orlando, for fiber arts and more.  There is a space next door to the one they are looking at, that they said might be perfect for FamiLab, if FamiLab decides to move, and this could be a great opportunity for both maker groups to work together and help each other out.

There was a table of swifts and wool winders set up (see my previous post about the swift and wool winder that I 3D-Printed, here) so that people could immediately wind the hanks of hand-spun and hand-dyed wool they had just bought, into yarn balls.

There was also a “free” table where people could drop off things they didn’t want any more, for someone else to take, and pick up things that interested them.  I found a Bernat Handicrafter magazine from 1954!  Vintage patterns, gotta love ‘em! 

Bernat knitting magazine cover

I made a lot of connections, did a lot of networking, handed out a few flyers for the Cosplay workshop coming up on January 28, 2024…

Cosplay workshop flyer

…and talked to several local fiber arts practitioners, who were very pleased to hear there is a new Fiber Arts and Machine Sewing Hangout every Sunday at FamiLab.  I’m hoping they will start joining us on Sundays and will tell their friends.

Now to go buy a Sprang…

3D Printed Niddy Noddy 3D Printed Niddy Noddy 3d-printed-drop-spindle

(*3D Printed Niddy Noddy and drop spindle)

Vivienne

I started in fiber arts with knitting, when I was 8. Over more than 4 decades since, I've added crochet, embroidery, applique, needlepoint, quilting, machine sewing (including costuming), spinning (with a drop spindle), weaving (with a table loom), and other skills. Dana recently got me into 3D printing, and one of our first projects together was the swift and winder for my friend Brielle that I will be blogging about. Next, I've found the files for a 3D printed spinning wheel I want to make. Brielle wants a 3D printed sock machine, next, so we may end up starting our own fiber-processing cottage industry! >D

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