Wednesday, October 01, 2008

let's see if I remember how to do this...

Well, now that I've neglected the blog for over a month and completely lost any readers I might once have had, it seems a good time to reveal that I am now completely, devotedly, overwhelmingly obsessed with spinning.

I've learned a great thing about knitting in the last month or so: that its start-up costs are very low. Buy a couple of pairs of needles, a skein or two of yarn, download some simple beginner pattern from the internet, and poof! You're a knitter.

Not so with spinning. What follows is a sort of tour of my recent spinning acquisitions. Please be gracious and DO NOT add up everything I've spent on this stuff, and especially do not email that information to me or to anyone related to me. The good news here is that in addition to a new obsession, I also have a few new jobs, so it's all coming out more or less even.

Now then, here is my spinning wheel.
Yep, it's a Ladybug. I pretty much love it. I mostly love how cute it is, and how well-constructed, and how modernist it is in its construction and design. It spins well, too, although I am still learning. I'd like a smoother and mellower take-up, but I think I'll adjust (and keep tinkering).

Here's Little, treadling away:
I'm spinning every day, but mostly not on the wheel. At some point in the last month or so, I ordered a few spindles from Carolina Homespun, and wow! I love spindling more than I love knitting! That big fancy spinning wheel up there is mostly being used for plying, because I am doing the vast majority of my spinning on spindles. They're portable, they're beautiful, they're impeccably made, and they are completely trouble-free. If you can spin, you can spin on a spindle. The wheel is relatively fussy: get it out of whack in some way and you're not spinning. There is nothing to go wrong with a spindle. And so, I have (ahem) more than a few.
In the vase is a Schacht Hi-Lo, a big one made by Jim at Susan's Spinning Bunny, and a Cascade Shuksan. The tiny ones are a Bosworth mini and a delightfully light and pretty one by True Creations. Here's a close-up:

The little True Creations spindle has some pygora on it, which comes from a goat (!) which would be my first ever non-sheep spinning. It is incredibly soft, and very slippery.

Here's a Cascade Mt. St. Helens with some merino and silk:
And a sweet small True Creations spindle, with some Ashland Bay merino on it:
And my very first favorite, bestest spindle, also by Jim at True Creations:
It's bigger than any of my other spindles, and it spins f o r e v e r. When I first started spinning on it, I kept looking down to see if I needed to give it another whirl, and it was just spinning. Still. Over and over, it just kept spinning. It's now got me completely spoiled.


Ipo said...

i was starting to wonder where you were...

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking of you this morning, wondering what was keeping you busy! (And with the magic of the feed reader, you'll never lose me :) )

I tried hand spinning once, but didn't get the hang of it. Of course, I should probably try more than once. I'm just impatient too, and the higher output of a wheel beguiles me away from it.

Spinning does have a lot of equipment--niddy noddies, lazy kates, swifts, spindle whorls, bobbins... whereas you could in theory knit with two sticks!

Tara said...

Glad you are back. I bought my first-ever drop spindle just a fews ago at a local crafts fair. It's hand-carved and very beautiful. I wish I could say I just picked it up and started spinning. Not so... The sheep farmer who sold it to me lives near by and offered lessons at the time of the sale. I can't wait to get started and make something that's not all lumpy and uneven...

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I ply on a spindle sometimes, too. I have a heavier one. And those spindle bags do look great.