Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WiPs and a Woolen Mill Tour

Happy Wednesday everyone!  It's been a bit since I've written a post.  I've been doing a lot of traveling in the past couple of months and moved somewhere in there.  Life has been crazy-lots of changes.

Wednesday WiPs:

I'm currently working on a pair of socks for my Dad.  They are so close to being done-just a couple of ends need weaving in and a tiny hole on one gusset needs closing.

I cast on a purple hat for my niece Hazel at her request.  For Christmas this year she asked for a purple hat with ear flaps and pom poms.  She wanted ribbing around the edge and some strings with more pom poms.  I am tickled pink that she knew what ribbing was and that she knew exactly what type of hat she wanted.  I did not show her any pictures, she just told me exactly what she wanted.  She is a very smart 4 year old.  Of my 31 nieces and nephews she is the only one who requested a knit item.

I'm still working on my Emelie sweater even though I haven't picked it up in weeks.  I've decided to add a rip cord and rip back to the end of the ribbed section.  I feel like I've gotten off track with the lace panel sections.  And I tore the pattern apart because it includes way too many instructions that aren't relevant to the size I am knitting.  And that was causing problems.  I couldn't ever remember where I was or what was next.

I've got a couple of fingerless mitts to cast on next.

I don't have any pictures of my knitting today but you can see all of the recent photos on Instagram if you'd like to check them out.  I am amylbingham on Instagram.

That's it for WiPs.  For more check out Tamis Amis' blog

I have been holding on to the rest of this post for a while.  When I traveled to Oregon for Oregon Flock and Fiber (OFF) with friends, we took a trip to the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Oregon.  The rest of today's post is picture heavy.  I don't think you'll mind.

The Mill originally opened in the 1890's.  A fire took it down to nothing a few years later and the town banded together to rebuild the brick structure that still stands today.  The mill stopped production in the 1960's.  However the daughter of the founder of the Mill opened a mill in Eastern Oregon as a spin off of the Thomas Kay Mill and that Mill is still in production today.  You may know it- The Pendleton  Woolen Mill.  Pendleton was opened by Thomas Kay's oldest daughter and her husband after Thomas Kay retired and left management of the mill to his son's and left out his daughter who had been an integral part of managing the mill.

I hope you enjoy the photos (in no particular order) and see somethings that you recognize.

This is a swing built by some of the original workers.

 Teasel wicks-to fluff up the fabric.

 Old time cards

 washing room

 One of the older weaving machines.  They turned this on for less than a minute.  The picture below shows you how much it wove in under a minute (about an inch and a half-see the top part of the blue yarn)

 Wheelbarrow to move raw wool

 raw wool into the machine to separate out rocks and veg matter

 Hand carder station-so you can try hand carding wool

 The red plaid is a piece of fabric made here.  

Some of the workers.  At one time my great grandparents worked for this Mill (found that out after the fact).  I was happy to learn that the workers at this Mill were treated fairly and well paid.  They had a good community that was supported by the town.

One of the old sewing machines.  Take a close look at the gadget they use to keep the blanket edging in place and turned before sewing.  Would be very useful to have at home.

 Bobbins in a pitcher at the window

 Dusty bobbin on the weaving machine

 Huge barrel of bobbins.  Hardly faded after more than 40 years.

 Yarn cones made here at the mill-They processed the raw wool, spun the yarn, dyed the yarn and wove blankets and fabrics at the Mill until 1962.

 spinning room

 Lisa and Bessie taking a closer look at some wool

 Weaving machines.  Back when the mill was in operation they used young boys to crawl in there to replace a bobbin or pick one up if the machine threw it.  Glad I didn't have that job.

 Lots of wool

 More bobbins-these were a mess of tangled threads

 Pile of raw wool waiting for its turn to be pretty

 Inspecting and hand sewing blankets after the machines were done

 sewing room

 The Mill supplied the US Military with blankets for quite a few years.  Each blanket was stamped here.

 Becoming a plaid fabric

The Mill was fascinating.  It was great seeing all of the machines and how they all worked.  I would recommend the guided tour if you are in Salem and have a couple of hours to spare.

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