April 7, 2008: I think four months has been the
longest that I have ever gone without updating my web site. This entry has
a lot of pictures so patience is in order for the page to download.
A lot has
been going on. I set myself a task of learning to spin with hand spindles and
that tiger just about got me! I struggled for about three months and it reminded
me of when I first got a computer and the frustration and despair I experienced.
However, I am fortunate because I have a cousin Joyce who spins with a wheel
(she didn't like using hand spindles) who made many efforts to help me and
I met a new cyber friend, Jan Ford (see her web site
here )who actually
took the time to make two videos for You Tube to show me how she drafts the fibers and then in
the blog of another cyber acquaintance who calls herself Spinning Spider Jenny (see
her blog here), Jenny answered a
crucial question and between the three of them I turned the corner and began
spinning yarn using some hand spindles and a Mini Meggie Kick Spindle sold by
Jan Ford. The Meggie is my favorite spinning device, although I do like my hand
spindles. I had always thought spinning wheels did the job of spinning
yarn only to learn that spinning is a learned skill that takes place
between the spinner's hands. The wheel provides speed and a bobbin
that it winds the yarn on; that is a simplistic explanation, but it also means
that one can learn to spin yarn without a spinning wheel, although many who spin
with hand spindles soon buy a wheel. Here are my hand spindles:
The upper one came in a kit and is a low whorl spindle...oh, I should mention
that these pictures were taken
right after I began the learning process. The middle spindle is a high whorl
spindle, the Pricilla Gibson-Roberts
lap spindle. The larger whorl beside it is for plying two spun single yarns
together. The spindle on the right
is a Kundert spindle. They are of varying weights. I prefer high whorl spindles
to the low whorl, because I find them
easier to spin.
This is my beloved Mini Meggie kick spindle. I spin the ball with my foot and
both my hands to be free to draft and control the spin in the fiber. It allows
me to spin
a longer amount of yarn before I have to wrap the yarn on the shaft of the
These last two are another hand spindle, the light weight Little Joe
that Jan gave me as a gift and I love it. The item in the back of the picture
is another type of spindle called the Spindolyn. It is sold by Catherine Goodwin
and you can see her using it on her web site
Spindolyn is new and
I have not had a chance to work with it yet.
This is the first skein of yarn I have ever spun. I plied together two spun singles
made partly on hand spindles
and partly on the Mini Meggie. Although my spinning has improved since
were taken, I still am working to get my yarn smaller and of more consistent
size. But I
am at the fun part now. Persistence and a lot of help from friends and family pay off!
When I first got into computers I heard people say they don't want to try
that because it isolates one. Well, I learned to spin from someone in Michigan,
someone in Georgia and someone in Vermont while they were at their homes and I
was struggling here at home in Texas without any hand spinners where I live. And
in addition to that I made a new cyber friend!
If you are curious to see Jan using the hand and kick spindle
in the videos she so generously made for me, go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGWOho-uI5k where she is using the Little Joe
hand spindle, and then to see her using the MiniMeggie go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oFp0e5Z1O4 . Jan uses her hand and foot
to spin the Meggie in that teaching demo, but most people use the foot, as you can see in this
The reason I haven't had time to learn to use
the Spindolyn yet is I am in the process of what I call the Great Cleanout
Caper. I am completely reorganizing my studio and my house in order to find
storage for all my interests. The supplies had taken over and I didn't
like my house any more so I hired my daughter in law Tresa to be my drill
sergeant--she is a whiz at seeing space where it doesn't exist and at
organizing. Mitch is helping with the heavier chores, assembling new computer
tables, hanging speakers, etc. Someone laughed when I said I have now limited my
interests to the computer, doll making, knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing
fabric and yarn, painting silk scarves, and
photography. So maybe I should say I have defined those as my main
interests. This Caper is so huge it will take weeks to complete.
Several months ago I was asked to be part of a
three member design committee along with Cherie Saylor Garrett and Edwina Wieser
to design new windows for our sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church. Or
task included selecting a company to make the windows if the congregation
approved the project. The Reverend Kelly Chadwick was a big help to us in
selecting the theme for the windows and we also profited from the generous
sharing of information and research done by Jack Shelton and his committee of
First Baptist Church who had recently had similar windows installed. We
designed the windows and selected a company to
create faceted glass windows and the congregation approved the project.
They were installed in time for us to see them for the first time Easter Sunday.
Here are pictures of the windows and their story.
The theme of the windows is Toward the Cross.
They are made of thick faceted glass by The Cavallini
Company of San Antonio, TX.
We collaborated with their glass artist/ designer in order to be sure our
designs would be suitable for faceted glass.
On the left side of the sanctuary as you face the pulpit are the Old Testament
windows; the New Testament windows are on the right.
The Old Testament and New Testament windows across from each other
echo one another in events
reflecting the development of the better covenant through Jesus.
The symbols can also
have multiple meanings.
The original window design is groups of three slender separate panels per
In our designs they are tied together by the travelling colors
and the red and amber frame; our carpets and pew cushions are crimson.
First Old Testament Window
Symbols are the sun, moon with a "cloud" passing in front, stars, water and the
For me, the three stars also represent the presence of the Trinity at creation.
Directly across from this window is the
First New Testament Window:
Heralds a new creation, a better covenant.
Symbols are the Star of Bethlehem, the crèche, and the Gifts of the Magi.
Second Old Testament Window:
The Twelve Tribes and the Lion of Judah.
The latter symbol refers to the tribe of Judah, the dominant tribe of the
It can also serve as a forecast of the coming of Christ, for in Christian
the lion is often used as a symbol of Jesus; the phrase appears in the New
book of Revelation, chapter 5, verse 5:"And one of the elders saith unto me,
Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of
prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
The Stars represent the twelve tribes.
Across from this we see:
The Calling of the Twelve Apostles/ Fishers of Humans
Symbols are the fishing boat, the net and the twelve crosses in the net representing the
Detail of the twelve crosses representing the twelve
Apostles. The one on the lower right, smeared with "blood"
represents Judas who betrayed Jesus.
This Old Testament window shows the giving of the Law.
Symbols are the burning bush and the tablets of the Law.
Unfortunately, in the photo I was unable to bring out the symbolic writing
on the tablets, but they are the Roman numerals of the Ten Commandments.
The Resurrection, the coming of the New Covenant
Symbols are the cross, the empty wrappings,
a butterfly symbolizing the person in Christ as a new creation, and Easter
The butterfly is also a traditional symbol of resurrection.
The final Old Testament Window is the Twenty-third Psalm.
Symbols are the Shepherd's Crook, the cup, the waters, the landscape
and the sheep representing the Christian.
Across from this is the final New Testament window:
The Great Commission: to go and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit,
and Jesus promises to be with us always.
Symbols are the path of life or or the path of the Christian,
the shell and water drops on the left representing baptism,
and the Bible on the right representing the Gospel
and teaching, The path goes through the symbol of the Cross
to the burst of Light that represents Life with God at the end of the path.
This window, my favorite, is unique to our church. While the other windows
contain symbols specifically designed by the committee, some of the symbols
have been used in other churches, although in different forms and settings.
This is the first time Cavallini has done this window design.
For perspective, here is a picture taken from the pulpit of one of the committee
members looking at some of the windows:
Of course, pictures cannot begin to to capture the beauty of the sunlight
through the thick, faceted glass. It has transformed our beautifully simple
into a truly meditative Sanctuary.
It means a
lot to have been part of creating something that hopefully will bless and
be enjoyed by generations to come.
I hope you have enjoyed this visit
together. I will try to get the next entry up before too much time passes.
Last revised September 17, 2008