What’s on the spindles…

It seems that my high-whorl drop spindle efforts have been better, more consistent than that of my wheel. Go figure.

I use a Schacht Hi-Lo Spindle with a 3 inch whorl that ways just over 2 oz. I’m a fan of the high whorl and this works great, but it only has a single notch that I’d like to deepen. I’d also like to add another one or two, though. I generally spin in a Z-twist and ply S-twist. I’m trying to get better at supported spinning (using my leg), but usually fall back to suspended spinning. We’ll see.

My wheel is a well-loved model of mysterious origin. I picked her up at the NCSU Craft Center surplus sale before the Thompson renovation. She works great, but is a little bit finicky about the weight of the bobbin and tension. No over-filling the bobbin, unfortunately, or at least I haven’t learned that part yet. I’ve tried out a few more modern wheels, but, for me, a spinning wheel is a piece of usable art as well as a tool. I also don’t like a double treadle – I like to have one foot for support of the fiber, etc. The wheel-treadle control isn’t great, but as we get to know eachother better, we’re doing better. The other downfall? No extra bobbins, so it’s more of a pain to ply – I have to unwind the yarn onto a plying stick (an old lonely knitting needle). My mum’s got a nostepinne that I’ve been angling for, but no luck yet.

As you can see from the pictures, I’m getting to be more consistent, but not great yet – not big slub, just have a hard time keeping even tension. I’m hoping some of it will lessen a bit when I ply it.

Next project for spinning equipment? Coke bottles or milk carton to make a pseudo – lazy kate. I might cave and buy a niddy-noddy, though, it’s a pain to not know how MUCH yarn I actually have.

Really looking at my yarn today has made me feel more inspired to make something with the yarn I spin. Krisy suggested the Calorimtry from knitty, but I might make a hat. We’ll see.

Looking for spinning references? I love my book Spinning in the Old Way by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts, all about high-whorl handspindles. If you like lots of different types of fibers and have to buy fiber off line, but aren’t very good at just recalling what different wool is like, try In Sheep’s Clothing by Nola Fournier and Jane Fournier. It tells you everything you need to know, from the fleece to the personality of the sheep. Pretty fabulous.

Happy spinning!


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