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Note: All artwork, including wallpaper on these pages are taken from spindles or from artwork for spindles. If you would like to use some of my designs, please send me an e-mail from the link above.


Homespun Spindles

Homespun Spindles is operated by Carol Cassidy-Fayer in Crystal Lake, Illinois. All Lollipops! are hand made by Carol and friends, who create and hand paint every Lollipop with love.

I only wanted to knit to begin with! I started spinning about 8 years ago because I became frustrated with the available selection of yarns and the proximity of yarn shops. I wanted to be more creative in my knitting and to learn to design. However, I fell in love with fibers, and have done a lot less knitting than I'd like to since! The spindles came about as a result of teaching spinning and taking painting classes at the same time - it was serendipity!

I have been a member of the Spinning and Weaving section of the Fibercrafts Forum on Compuserve, which I heartily recommend, for many years now and have met many wonderful new friends. Anyone interested in spinning will find this the place to be to learn and find encouragement, if you are interested, stop in and tell them Carol sent you <g>.


choose one:

Newsletter for October, 1998
Newsletter for March, 1998
{short description of image}Newsletter for November, 1997
{short description of image}Newsletter for October, 1997
Newsletter for August/September, 1997

Newsletter for August 1999

I hadn't realized how long it's been since I wrote a Newsletter! Time sure goes fast when you keep yourself busy.

I have lots of news! First, how do you like our new look? I've been working on redoing the whole site in my spare time since April! I didn't realize the site had gotten so big <g>. I wanted to make the site easier to navigate, so I added a navigation bar to the left of the screen - that's all I started out to do, but ... I put up new wallpaper, and then I figured, since I decorate things, I ought to decorate more around here. So, I did themes based on the spindle decorations.

You might be interested to know that all of the decorations I've made for the site come directly or indirectly from Lollipops. When I plan a new lollie design, I paint my ideas on a worksheet first. I play with the petals or leaves or the little decorations on the sides. Then, I pick my favorite and try it out on a lollie. I used these worksheets, and sometimes the lollies themselves, to create all the images on this site. In fact, I used the worksheet itself for the wallpaper on both the Red Poppy page and the Forget-Me-Not page. The buttons, except for the heart, are all actual lollipops. The heart is painted too, but not on a lollie.

I also wrote some more about the lollies, especially the retired designs. Thought you might like to know how they came about and how many were made. On the how many were made, I didn't number the spindles in the beginning. In fact, I've forgotten exactly when I started numbering them - sometime in the spring of 1997, I think. So, there are unnumbered lollies out there and the figures I've given are only for numbered lollies.

Now, for what's new! First, I have two new "Regular Lollipops" for you: It's the Berries!, and Flax. The wallpaper here is from It's the Berries! I designed this spindle almost 2 years ago, but I never got the chance to finish it. I just didn't think it looked right. A friend came by and saw my worksheet and she loved it and asked me to finish it - so here it is! Sometimes we need that extra push!

Flax is interesting too - I've varnished it with exterior varnish, so you can spin damp fibers with it. I got that idea from a Bill Davis workshop. He came to our guild for a 2 day workshop on flax spinning and he brought some spindles along to show us it can be done! I was knocked over when he pulled out a Lollipop! He didn't know me, so it was unsolicited! Anyway, it's fine to spin your flax on your flax lollie! I would, however, just as a precaution, wrap the spindle (stick) with paper or waxed paper because linen thread is harsh and I'm afraid it would wear away at the finish.

The Holiday Lollie is out! This year I'm returning to the candy theme with Wintergreen. I like that hypnotic barber-pole spindle! I also did a high gloss varnish on it to look more like the cellophane wrappers. I contemplated calling this one "Starlight Mint", but didn't know if I'd get into trouble...

And...the big lollies is finally here!! We (that's me and my engineering staff (hubby, Jay)), decided in keeping with our candy theme, to call them All-Day Lollipops. I am so excited about this spindle. As you know, I've been working on it for a loooong time. I had one delay and then another and I thought I'd never get it done. And...it's come out much better than I'd ever hoped! It is a wonderful spindle, do try one out at your dealer if you get the chance. I'm also interested in feedback - what do you think of it? Does it work well for you?

I thought you'd also be interested to know how the All-Day Lollies are made. I don't do the woodwork myself - no time! Ken Runyan makes them for me. Ken is a really nice guy and he takes on jobs like mine on the side. He uses the money to finance trips he makes to South America once a year. He goes there to build orphanages and schools in underprivileged areas. He volunteers his time and efforts. I was so impressed when I learned this! He was also telling me he's had lots of different side jobs - from making fine furniture to making magician's props. (He said the magician finished his own props - only had Ken do so much, so that he didn't learn the magician's secrets <g>).

The All-Day Lollipop has 3 designs right now: Dogwood, Hydrangea, and Lambsy Divey. Lambsy is a new series which will be barnyard animals. I've had lots of requests for animals and I hope to do them all, eventually, on the big lollie. This larger "canvas" will enable me to do lots of things that were too much design for the little lollies.

I didn't make it to any festivals yet this year. I'm hoping to get to at least one in the fall. I'll let you know if I get to the planning stage!

Well, I hope you like all the new stuff. I'm already planning some more! <g>

Happy Spinning!

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Newsletter for October 1998

Happy Halloween (almost)!

It's been a really busy spring and summer around here and we are still busy into the fall. Thank you everyone for your business!

We went to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May. It was mostly a working vacation for me, but hubby and the kids had a great time <g>. I really enjoyed meeting many, many people and demonstrating Lollipops! I taught several people how to spin and I hope I got them off to a good start. I also had the pleasure of participating in the Sheep to Shawl competition with Stefie Isaacson, her daughter Becca Atkinson, who was our weaver, and Tina Norton. We didn't place first <g>, but we were happy with our shawl and we all benefitted from the experience. If you haven't participated in one of these events yet, you should! Don't be intimidated - it's all in fun and you really learn a *lot* from the judges. We give the proceeds from the auction to our guild and last year they paid for a fine spinning workshop given by Bill Davis - it was great!

I had made myself crazy painting a huge stock of Lollies to take to Maryland, so, when I came home I started designing some new ones <g>. I hope you like the new designs - they are Heart's Desire; Planet Sheep; Scotch Thistle; Ladybug, Ladybug!; and Wild Irish Rose.

The 1998 Holiday Lollipop is out now! Snowflake was designed by graphic artist Danielle Russell, who just got married! She is now Danielle Murray. She should be back from her honeymoon and painting again under her new name soon. Congratulations Danielle!

I made a tough decision - I am retiring some of the Lollipops designs. You can see which ones and learn a bit about them here. While I love all the Lollipops! designs, I just couldn't keep up with them all.

Last newsletter, which was quite some time ago, I promised you a Treasure Hunt. Well, I will be doing it very soon! Fiber Design Studio has graciously donated a treasure that is very, very special. I won't tell what it is until I'm ready to do the hunt though. It is still in the planning stages right now but I will post the date on my homepage soon. Could I have some volunteers from the various lists to pass along the date? Drop me an e-mail if you are willing to make a post for me. I will post it myself on CIS, TAF, Spindlitis, and spin2wv. Thanks!

Many of you have sent me requests for Peppermint Lollipops! That design was retired on December 25, 1997. I sent a mailing to all Lollipops dealers asking them to contact me if they had any Peppermints left. The phone and e-mail has been ominously silent! Halcyon Yarn has three left, once those are gone... I suppose if you have a Peppermint you are willing to part with I could start a page and put your e-mail address up for those who are looking for them. Would that be helpful? E-mail me. There were only 84 Peppermint drop spindles painted.

Check out the Cyber Fiber Mall! It's a new craft mall on the net - home of Handpun by Stefania - a shop that sells custom handspun and hand dyed yarns and original knitting kits. Check it out! Also, I've moved Homespun Spindles' storefront there. Soon we will be joined by Fiber Design Studio and the Weaving Wizard.

Other than that...I've been planning lots of surprises, coming soon! Sorry, too soon to mention yet, but I hope you are going to LOVE them! Stay tuned!<g>

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Newsletter for March 1998

Greetings everyone! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

NEW! A lot has been happening here lately. First, let me introduce you to Stefie! Stefania Isaacson has graciously consented to answer your spinning, natural dyeing and knitting questions and to help you solve those dilemmas. Follow this link Let's Ask Stefie!to get to Stefie's page. You will also find a new link on the home page. Here's how it will work - you send me an e-mail with your question, give a detailed description if you can, and I will forward it to Stefie. She will respond to me and I will put your question and her answer up on the web site, as well as send her response via e-mail directly back to you. You may specify whether or not you want your name and an e-mail link to appear with your question (if you have an e-mail link you may get responses from other helpful spinners). By allowing your question and the answer to appear on the web site you will also be helping other spinners who stop by to browse.

I'm really excited that I've made a great deal of progress on the Large Lolly's. I don't have a prototype yet that I like but I do have some capable people working on getting me one soon. I'm hoping to have the Large Lolly's out this summer (being an optimist).

Have you seen the new Violets Lollipop? It's really purple! You should start seeing them in shops right now - I've been filling orders like mad!

I have not had any time to put together a Treasure Hunt lately. I am still planning to have one. In fact, I've got a really terrific treasure all lined up. It has been donated by Fiber Design Studio, one of our Lollipops! dealers. I have a few more orders to get out pronto and then I will have another Treasure Hunt. At that time I will also do a focus on Fiber Design Studio - you will like meeting Kate and Joe, Fiber Design Studio's owners. Look for this Treasure Hunt in 2-3 weeks (around the beginning of April). At this time I will also be pulling the name from the Lollipops registry for the Peppermint ornament.

We will be at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival May 2-3! Homespun Spindles will not have a booth. I'm hoping to get myself invited (have been already in a couple of cases) to demonstrate and teach spindle spinning at Lollipops! dealer's booths. My whole family will be joining in on the fun. If you are going to Maryland, we'd love to meet you! I'll post a schedule of where we will be when as soon as I get that together. Or, look for the family with the Lollipops Tee Shirts! Hopefully, we'll be hard to miss <g>. My guild (Hollow Tree Spinners) is also considering participating in the Sheep to Shawl contest at Maryland S&W. I will really have to hustle if I want time to shop!

Happy Spring! (almost)

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Newletter for November, 1997

Welcome and Happy Thankgiving. We would like to show our appreciation to all of you for your support of Lollipops so we will be having two treasure hunts this month. Look for the first one prior to Thankgiving and the second on on Thanksgiving evening. Thank you!

Progress is moving along on the larger Lolly. I have the prototypes here but would like to see one closer to my design. Because this is taking time, the new spindles won't be out until 1998. However, they will be worth the wait, we promise. In the meantime, the original Lollipop is a great spindle, here are some unsolicited comments:

"I got the [peppermint] spindle today! It's SO BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL!!!!!!!!....Last night...I did some spinning on the spindle...the balance is wonderful, and it spins for a long time..."
"I've been doing a bit of spinning on my rosebuds spindle. You have been getting compliments on that spindle! I really like the twist in the hook."
"I *love* it. I couldn't wait...it is perfect and much better than a standard drop spindle."
"I got mine! I got mine! It's ADORABLE!!! I'm going to be the envy of the spinners in my guild."
"I love your spindle!!!...This is so pretty...Quite collectible...It'd be easy to have a bouquet of these!"
"I've started to try it and it spins really nicely."
"The California Poppy spindle arrived and it is absolutely lovely!!! Spins great too!!"
"Looking forward to having your spindles in my booth...they are SO unique and easy to spin with!"

Well, enough of that! <gg>

We've taken our last order for Peppermint Lollipops, we won't be making anymore after these orders are filled so if you want one, buy it when you see it! If you cannot find one, contact me and I'll put you in touch with someone who has them. I will post how many spindles and ornaments were made here after Christmas.

I'm sorry, I haven't had a chance to write up about the Fleece to Shawls yet, but am still planning to do that, perhaps in the holiday lull.

My friend is working on the article about the COE right now. I am happy to say we'll have it here soon!

Homespun Spindles is still planning to move the website. Currently we are waiting for friends to set up their new server, so it will be awhile yet. We will have a link here to the new site once the move takes place, so don't worry!

Someone requested a cottage spindle. You can see a cottage on this page, we use it for a home button. Unfortunately, this is not a spindle but a painting made to look like one for the website. We are working on some new cottage designs, however, and will put up the pictures here once they are available.

There has been some confusion about the hooks on the Lollipops. Some people think they were mangled in the mail, we hear. This is not so! Our very own custom hook does look a bit bent, but that is the way it is supposed to be - it looks a bit like a corkscrew (or a pig's tail)! This allows the thread to center better on the spindle to keep it spinning smoothly longer. It also makes it simple, you don't have to wind the thread around the hook, just thread it into the corkscrew and you are off!

NEW! We are beginning a Lollipops! Registry. If you have purchased a Lollipops drop spindle, drop me an e-mail with your name, state, e-mail address, and the number on the bottom of your spindle (also include which design you have) and I'll post the registry here, on the website.

Newsletter for October 1997

Welcome! I thought I'd just add the newsletters on here and save a few months so you can go back and see what's happening.

Hey, we are going international! Homespun Spindles got it's first European vendor - Fibrecrafts, located at both Barnhowe and Godalming, England. Welcome!

Lollipops will also be featured in several catalogs this fall - they will be in Patternworks, Halcyon Yarn and Fibrecrafts. In preparation for the catalogs I had a professional photographer (thank you Jim!) come and take lots of pictures. They all came out beautifully and I will be updating the scans here just as soon as I find a few spare minutes. The pictures show the Lollipops designs and details much better than the current scans. (I did those myself by just plunking the spindles down on the scanner!)

Many of you may have noticed that I didn't have a Treasure Hunt in September - time just got away from me. I'll be making up for it by having 2 of them in October. Look for the first one soon and the second near the end of the month.

We have announced our first in the series of special holiday Lollipops - the Peppermint Lollipop. You can link to it from the homepage. I've included the scan of the sketch - they are even better in person! Really wild when they spin!

Plans for a larger spindle are moving along. We are currently getting the design just right.

Homespun Spindles webpage will be moving! No date for the move has been set yet but we have secured the domain handspinning.com and will be making the move soon.

I plan to write up some of my experiences with Fleece to Shawl competitions and fleece washing that I had earlier this summer. It was a wild summer! <g> I hope to have them posted here under the proposed Spinner's page soon. I also have a friend who has just completed the COE and is awaiting the results. I am going to let her rest a couple of weeks and then I hope she will write about her experiences and share them here. I personally watched her grow through this whole process and it's just amazing. The yarns she submitted were the most beautifully spun fibers I've ever seen!

Anyone else who has had new experiences and would like to share them is welcome to send me an e-mail (via the mailbox below) and I'll happily post them on the Spinner's page!

Anyone having trouble with spindle spinning is welcome to post me an e-mail. If I can't help you I will try and put you in touch with someone who can!

Coming soon - a featured vendor article will go right here.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Newsletter for August/September 1997

Homespun Spindles has been growing lately! As you can see by the Lollipops! vendors page, we have added quite a few new shops to our list. I'm very grateful to all of you who like our Lollipops! I have also added a section of drop spindle instructions (for top-whorl spindles). I hope it helps all those who have questions and inspires more people to start spinning! I plan to add some sections on dyeing and some reminiscenses about my "fleece to shawl summer" later this fall.

I would like to start "Spinner's Corner" page (or something like that). If you wish to write a short article about your experiences - like trying copper/ammonia dyeing, spinning a novelty yarn, or drop spindle spinning, etc. - that you would like to share with other spinners, please send it to me in an e-mail (just press the mailbox button on any page here) or send it to lollipops@handspinning.com.

I am also happy to help advertise events in a "Coming Events" page. If you know of or have an event coming up - a show or festival or workshop, drop me an e-mail and I'll put it up here on the website, with links if available.

If you have a favorite website you would like linked, drop me a note about that too. I'm happy to add it to my "favorite links" page.

I'm planning to announce new Lollipops! Holiday tree ornaments (mini drop spindle-looking ornaments) sometime very soon. I will have a matching spindle and this design will only be available for the 1997 holiday season. Each ornament and spindle will be signed, dated and numbered. I also hope to add a new heavier spindle to the Lollipops! line later this year. I'll put it up on the homepage when it becomes available.

I'm always happy to get feedback so please sign the guestbook or drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think! If there is something you would like to see as part of this website, please, speak up!

Thank you for stopping by and keep spinning!

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In this site:

[See the Lollies | Lollie Dealers | What makes a Lollie? |
Registered Lollies | Dealer Inquiries Welcome!]

[Drop Spin Instructions | Dyeing | School Demos | Ask Stefie]

Homespun Spindles:
[What started all this? | What's New?]

[E-mail us! | Favorite Links | Awards]

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