Spinning

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Spinning

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1MarthaJeanne
Out 16, 2011, 9:23am

I've just started spinning (with a spindle) and I love it. Does anyone have suggestions as to books I should be looking at?

2buchowl
Out 16, 2011, 12:49pm

The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning is my go-to for all spinning info. For spindle spinning I like Respect the Spindle for more in depth info. I also have the book Spin Control by Amy King but I can't personally recommend it as I haven't read it yet, although it looks like a book I will like.

I love spindle spinning - hope you enjoy it too

3MarthaJeanne
Out 16, 2011, 1:59pm

I really ought to finish a couple of knitting projects at least as quickly as I spin, but that doesn't seem to be happening. When I'm not spinning I'm online looking for sources of fibres. Oh, dear!

I'm using Respect the Spindle. I suspect that I will stay with the spindle. I don't really have space for a wheel, and also suspect that I physically need more variety in posture than a wheel would allow.

4aulsmith
Out 16, 2011, 12:35am

I saw very small electric spinners at the local Wool & Sheep Festival today. While small and space saving, they are also going for $800 US. (It looks like they might also ply and wind, so all in all might be a bargain.) I must say I was tempted after looking at Get Spun, which includes directions for incorporating things like plastic bags into yarn. I'm a sucker for thinking up creative ways to recycle. But then there's all the embroidery I'm supposed to be doing.

5AnnaClaire
Editado: Out 17, 2011, 2:20pm

>2 buchowl:/buchowl
The Alden Amos book is one of the first ones I got when I started spinning, but I would not recommend it to a new spinner. It contains a lot of information, and can easily overwhelm a newbie. (Imagine trying to get a drink of water from Niagara Falls and you'll get the picture.)

>4 aulsmith:/aulsmith
I saw those too. I tend to regard those as toys for people with lots of money to spend who want a space-saving wheel but are too lazy to fold up a travel wheel. And as a price comparison, I got my Louet S10 at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago. The wheel and the skeinwinder cost me $450 -- not much more than half what the electric gizmo cost, and it folds up almost flat with only a little bother, if you're so inclined.

6AnnaClaire
Out 17, 2011, 2:28pm

A thought about spindles: I like Schacht's Hi-Lo spindles*, and taught myself to spin on one of the 2.2-ounce sizes. I now also have one of the 1.1-ounce spindles as well, which has been my go-to spindle for a while now. I do have other spindles of non-Schacht varieties, but the only one with any likelihood of being used as much is the ¾-ounce Golding I bought at Rhinebeck on Saturday.

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* They're available from Webs, among other places.

7MarthaJeanne
Editado: Out 17, 2011, 2:59pm

I'm in Austria, so I buy from EU sources.

The spindle I'm using is rather cute- it has two sticks that cross through the shaft with balls on the ends. The balls can unscrew to pull the sticks out, but so far I have wound the spun yarn off the spindle. This afternoon my husband filed notches down the sides of a wooden box to hold the spindle to unwind. He held the spindle for me last night while I unwound it, but I don't think he wants to do that every day. It has a plain wooden shaft - no hook or groove, but I finid that my hitches hold fairly well until the spindle is quite full, anyway.

I can see that I will have to start a collection, though. Someone in Austria is making replicas of prehistoric and ancient whorls. I think I need some of those. http://www.glasperlen-repliken.at/spinnwirteln-01.html

8MaggieO
Editado: Out 17, 2011, 3:25pm

Those are beautiful, MarthaJeanne!
I've long convinced myself that I shouldn't get into spinning because I have no room for a wheel, but maybe I should give spindle spinning another try (I was hopeless the last time I tried it!)

On second thought, maybe I should try to finish some of the other things I have in progress before starting in on another fiber addiction.

9AnnaClaire
Out 17, 2011, 3:52pm

>7 MarthaJeanne:
I love that blue whorl in that second photo. Is that a supported spindle? So far I've been using drop spindles (mostly top-whorl) and my wheel, but supported spindles is something I'd really like to learn to use.

10MarthaJeanne
Out 17, 2011, 4:26pm

I suppose I should try using my spindle as top whorl. Just to see how I like it. I don't think at this stage I ought to be using a glass whorl unless I try it supported. I drop it too much.

Actually, it is the ceramic ones I have my eye on. I wonder when we will need to take an outing to Burgenland.

11LeesyLou
Out 17, 2011, 7:49pm

MarthaJeanne, it sounds like you're using a modified Turkish spindle. Enjoy. I do love the ease of winding as you go on a Turkish. I primarily spin on wheels and supported (Russian) spindles, though. I spin pretty obsessively.

12MarthaJeanne
Nov 11, 2011, 8:29pm

My husband took a picture of my hand spun wool tonight. I have it on my profile now.

13craftyknitter
Nov 11, 2011, 10:03pm

I have owned an Ashford e-spinner since July and I absolutely love it. I am a long draw spinner and originally bought it for plying but now find I am using it for spinning and plying. I have a wild carder so make thick and thin art yarns and I love adding beads and sequins to my yarns and find the e-spinner copes with these very well. It is so portable too but you do need an electricity supply so not suitable for spinning in a field or lots of exhibition/demo spaces!

14MarthaJeanne
Editado: Nov 26, 2011, 4:33pm

I bought one of the ceramic spindles today. Not enough money for a glass one as well. Besides, the woman selling them says there is a real problem with breakage on the glass ones if you drop it onto a hard floor. However she uses these ceramic ones and loves them. They are set up for bottom whorl, and she uses them as drop spindles. That doesn't mean that the originals were used that way, of course.

Let's see. I didn't think to weigh it until I had been spinning for some time. Right now it weighs 28g, but I would guess that at least a third of that is yarn. It somehow feel more alive than my other one, even just in my hand, and certainly when spinning - it makes the yarn thrum a bit in my hand. I think I am spinning faster with this one. The other one starts fast enough, but then slows down and stops before slowly starting to spin in the other direction. This one stays fast until it hesitates for a moment and then starts spinning in the other direction gathering speed very quickly. This means that I have to be very aware of how it is spinning, but unless I miss and have to make up for the unspinning, I can draft as fast as I want, and don't have to wait to get enough spin into the yarn. I think a lot of the difference is probably that this has most of the weight in the centre, and the other one more to the outside.

I'm curious as to how much yarn I can get onto the spindle before I have to stop and wind it off. Last night I was with my husband at a Christmas market he is selling at, and I ended up with my old spindle very full by the end of the evening. But now I can have two spindles and two types of wool with me. Bet I end up with two full spindles tomorrow - a lot of time sitting around.

By the way, you see two spindles on my profile picture. The big one is home-made from a wooden wheel and a dowel. It is slow and heavy, but holds a lot, and I like it for plying. (I use it supported on the floor.) The spindle next to it with the tan wool on it is the one I have been using so far.

15MarthaJeanne
Mar 15, 2012, 4:41pm

Just read The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning. Yes, you warned me.

I have a Kromski Minstrel at home right now - on loan until mine comes. (Castle-type wheel, double treadle; Amos would not approve.) I still love my spindles (the star-shaped ceramic one in the picture on the link above is my favourite). One place I really agree with Amos is that a wheel is much better than a spindle for plying.

16jmjamison
Jul 11, 2012, 6:15pm

The book that I learned how to use a drop spindle is "Spindle Spinning: From Novice To Expert" by Connie Delaney. Clear, good illustrations.

17sarahbird
Jan 23, 2013, 5:11am

If you're at all interested in spinning nontraditional/novelty/art yarn, I have to recommend Intertwined and Hand Spun by Lexi Boeger. Some of those skeins are beautiful works of art by themselves!

I've been spinning for about 6 years now. Started off on a drop spindle but I've had my majacraft wheel for 5 years and I love it!

18MarthaJeanne
Editado: Jan 23, 2013, 3:48pm

I like my wheel, but I find that I really prefer the spindles for spinning singles right now. Maybe I'll switch back to the wheel after finishing the current projects. The books look interesting. Mostly I still just want to make yarns that I can knit, crochet or weave with, and am more comfortable with making my 'statement' at that level, but I also want to have more control over my yarn, so I need to push myself a bit.

I made thrummed mittens for my youngest son for Christmas (finished on the 24th), and now have a few more people who would like them, so I'm still making the same 2-ply Manx Loughton yarn for that.



But I did finish the vest for my husband, and therefore have stopped production of 3-ply Jacobs. Lovely wool! but I'm a bit tired of it.

19MarthaJeanne
Jan 23, 2013, 3:49pm

I've just replaced the picture in the previous message with the one Jerry took of the finished mittens. The one on the right is inside out.

20sarahbird
Jan 23, 2013, 9:24pm

Oh I love the thrummed mittens! Those look so cute and cozy.

21MarthaJeanne
Editado: Jan 23, 2013, 9:47pm

As I said, on the basis of that picture, I now have 'orders' for more. But I'm not doing the random colours again I really like how it looks, but it was just one more complication in the process of making them.

They feel lovely inside, but I don't like wearing glovevs or mittens, so I don't think I'll make myself a pair.

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