Well it’s been a busy couple of weeks spinning for me! Obviously I had my spinning class last weekend and last Sunday I sold my spinning wheel to a lovely lady from York who was looking for one. Those two things together have given me some fundage to spend on some fibre and new spindles!
I’ve been wanting to learn how to spin using supported spindles for a little while. I keep seeing beautiful pictures of Russian and Tibetan spindles and you can spin the finest, loftiest yarn on them – just what I want to learn – particularly for fibres like cashmere and other short stapled fibres. So, to learn, I bought this spindle & bowl in a destash from a friend:
It’s made by the husband of her guild’s vice-chairperson. I have no idea what the woods are, but the spindle weighs 50g and is approximately 13 inches long and the bowl weighs 118g.
I spun up my first little skein at the weekend – a few grams of superfine merino measuring about 33 yards of 2ply – took ages and I’m having issues working out when I have enough twist in the yarn (worried I’m not putting in enough twist) but overall it’s not bad for a first attempt. It’s back to park and draft for now, until I get used to things – but what I really want is to be able to spin like this:
Some way off being able to do this yet, but hopefully with practice! My first little skein, woefully small and oddly plied though it is, is amazingly soft with a little fuzzy halo to it. I can’t wait till I can properly fill a cop with beautiful cashmere or silk singles. I’ll also be a whizz at long-draw by the time I get to grips with things.
I bought a load of fibre to practice with too. As well as the superfine merino I’ve been using, I also got:
100g of Dehaired Carded Yak Down:
Words cannot express how soft this is!
200g Baby Camel Tops:
And some purple tussah silk that I couldn’t take a good picture of. I’ve still got a few more fibres that I’d like to buy – namely some mulberry silk and a couple of different blends but one step at a time.
I have a special “Rose” spindle on order from the very talented Gripping Yarns who makes amazing supported spindles. The Rose is a hybrid spindle that combines both Russian and French characteristics and mine is being made in Black Palm. I’ve seen a shot of it in progress and it looks amazing.
I also have plans for some more suspended spindles! I have a Bosworth on its way to me – I couldn’t decide between a Kauri Midi or a Sumac Maxi so asked Sheila to chose for me – either way I’ll be very happy with what arrives, but I find myself wanting the Kauri slightly more. Fingers crossed for whatever comes 🙂
I also have a bottom whorl spindle en route from a local spindle maker, Michael Williams who makes mathematically precise spindles. He mostly makes top whorls but I’ve asked him to make me a bottom whorl that I can use for plying and spinning larger quantities.
So happy day! Don’t know where I’m going to find the time for all this as I’ve got so much knitting and crochet that I want to do – I need more hours in the day. Such a shame that I have a day job which takes up so much time – although of course I’m very grateful for it.
To end with, I’ll show you a couple of spinning projects I have in progress on some Bossies.
Spunky Eclectic “Ribbons” on my Rosewood Mini – this will be chain plied into sockweight:
Spunky Eclectic “Storms of Jupiter” (such soooft organic merino) on my Zebrawood Midi – hoping this will be a sport/DK weight 2 ply: