Today is a red-letter day, and it has barely begun! Because it is the first Thursday of the month, I have one of my guild meetings tonight, which hopefully means spinning help, and Anansi is going with me, as is Zhan, for the purpose of show and tell, as I promised Lynette I would. That was enough to look forward to. But, two more books that I ordered came in the mail: The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt, and Please Weave a Message by Linda Hendrickson, both of which I’d been looking forward to seeing. I can use all the help I can get with drafting, and Ms. Hendrickson’s book is about weaving letters into card weaving. But the pièce de résistance was the arrival of the things I had ordered from Ampstrike in Estonia!
This is going to sound like another shameless plug on my part, and it could definitely be taken that way, but, oh, you have no idea! I said before that I loved his Etsy store, and that was before ordering from him. Now that I have, you can rest assured that I will be an awesome customer of his.
When you order from Etsy, you’re doing it on the basis of the pictures of the items you want, obviously, since this is an online store. Ampstrike‘s items are always well-photographed, but the photos do not do justice to his woodwork. Everything was well-packed, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for safety. (And can someone explain to me why the plastic wrap for packing clings better than the Saran wrap I have in my kitchen? Compared to the stuff they use for shipping, the Saran wrap doesn’t cling at all!)
I bought two sets of 24 square wooden card weaving cards made of zebrano wood, which has a beautiful striped grain; it almost looks as though someone drew on it with a marker. They are wafer-thin, and so tiny!!! I’ve never used such small cards before. They’re 2″ x 2″, a little more than half the size of the paper cards I already had. I’m looking forward to using them. Then there is the set of 30 hexagonal cards with six holes. They’re made of oak, and are 2 3/4″ across at their widest points. These, I will have to learn to use, but I’m looking forward to that too.
Following these is a blue birdseye shuttle that is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know what kind of wood it is, unless the wood is actually called blue birdseye. And lastly, I have a shuttle and two pick-up sticks made of plum wood that are stunning. I don’t think I can take a picture to do them justice either. Plum wood has subtle, beautiful pink-lavender streaks running through the grain. I don’t have the right words to describe how beautiful they are, and I only hope my photos can convey the message better than I can.
All of the items from Ampstrike (his name is Gunnar, by the way) feel very solid and substantial in your hands, and feel so silky that you just want to stroke the wood. That really sounded naughty, but it’s the absolute truth. The wood has that same feel as a tumbled worry stone that you keep in your pocket and find yourself playing with without realizing it, because the texture begs to be handled. It is beautiful, beautiful work. I hope my work does his justice!