A peek into Bluster Bay’s International Fulfillment Center, aka the shipping room.
Most Bluster Bay shuttles are sold in batches to stores rather than shipped one or two at a time to individuals. Stores’ orders can be quite large and often must be shipped across the country or even across the Atlantic.
The Buster Bay shipping room sees a good deal of our time. Every shuttle is individually wrapped, labeled as to shuttle style and wood type and nestled into boxes with plenty of bubble wrap or other padding. Invoices, packing lists and shipping labels have to be generated. Then boxes are whisked off to the UPS depot and sent on their way.
Shipment abroad require a bit more work due to customs forms. Here is just part of an order that was shipped this week to a store in London:
Last week I took an afternoon off and headed out of town on a wood quest. I usually run a circuit of about 200 miles, hitting about six lumber yards and wood stores in search of a special board or two. I often return empty-handed, but last week I found a treasure. I had to dig through an entire stack of boards, but there near the bottom was the object of my search. One single board of Curly Andiroba.
This wood is a bit heavier and harder than American Black Cherry and similar in color to Mahogany. It’s native to Central and South America and the Caribbean
The one board I have is one inch thick, so it’s only suitable for Swedish and Super Slim shuttles, and will yield just a few dozen shuttles at the most. If this wood strikes your fancy then don’t wait to place an order, because it won’t last long.
Weaving with heavy yarn and using a shuttle with a standard four-inch bobbin or a paper quill means winding lots of bobbins and constantly emptying the shuttle while weaving. Large capacity shuttles to the rescue! This project, currently on one of the looms in our studio, is weaving up quickly using our conventional boat shuttles for 6-inch bobbins.They hold a lot of worsted weight yarn.
In beginning weaving classes at our retail store, Blue Flag Handweaving, students warp and weave scarves using Harrisville Design’s Highland. After every class there are leftover, partially used skeins and cones. These leftovers pile up and eventually something needs to be done with them.
So, the Glimakra Standard loom was warped for two large shawls using eight colors of Highland sett at eight ends per inch. Each color for the six-yard warp was wound on the warping frame until it ran out, resulting in eight stripes of varied widths. Where colors met in the warp they were staggered for eight threads to make a smoother transition.
The weft for the first shawl was one and a half balls of Noro Kureopatora. The long color transitions in the yarn were maintained in the weaving by winding an entire ball of Kureopatora onto eight 6-inch bobbins. The bobbins were placed carefully as each was wound to maintain the color order. Then they were used for weaving, starting with the last bobbin wound. The result is a twill shawl that appears to be plaid.
The shawl is big – 32″ wide by 80″ long – but was woven quickly with only 12 bobbin changes.
The second shawl is now in progress. It is being woven in plain weave using two shuttles for 6-inch bobbins, thrown alternately. One is filled with black Lana Gatto VIP, a luscious merino and cashmere blend, used doubled; the other carries Noro Silk Garden (45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool) in solid aqua blue.
This second shawl is over half way finished and has only required two bobbins of black and three of aqua. Having large-capacity boat shuttles when using thick yarn really does speed up the weaving process!
Blue Flag Handweaving, Bluster Bay’s retail store, will be a vendor at the Log Cabin Fiber Arts annual day-long spinning event on March 19 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Shop with us at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds at 4056 N. Government Way from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
In additional to Bluster Bay shuttles, we will be selling bobbins, yarn, spinning fibers and taking registrations for upcoming weaving at spinning classes at our studio in Sandpoint.