I enjoy spinning on my wheel. It is more production as I can fill a bobbin, ply and make a skein of yarn in a few hours. I started spinning less than a decade ago on a drop spindle. The instructor was excellent, though the class was brief. She brought many different wools for us to experiment with and I was quickly hooked on the process and though I moved on to the wheel after a couple of years, I still find a great deal of joy in making yarn using a spindle. The process is much slower, I find it very relaxing and I love the portability. The soothing precision on the Turkish spindle of the winding on of the cop, a God’s Eye pattern that creates a center pull ball that can be plyed on itself, or the cone on a top or bottom whorl drop spindle is. That one has to be wound off or two spindles worth of singles plyed off onto a third spindle or onto a bobbin on the wheel.
I will never use or get rid of my first skein of drop spindle spun yarn. It is thick and lumpy, a sample of about 4 different wools.
When I spin on my wheel, my yarn is now consistent and fingering weight or dk weight unless I really work at making a thicker worsted or aran weight yarn. On my spindles, the yarn is generally much finer, lace to light fingering weight and very consistent.
Both of these spindles have silver Shetland being spun on them. There is a pound of it and a half pound of white. Already spun on my wheel is a skein of light fingering weight pale gray Shetland. I am hoping to spin all of the silver and the white on spindles and have enough for a Shetland shawl. With two Turkish spindles and two top whorl spindles, I can spin quite a bit before it needs to be plied and the plying will probably be done on the wheel working to fill a couple of bobbins.
The cop on the Turkish spindle is the yarn that I have spun today when there was time to sit and spin.
A few weeks ago, I began a destash of some fiber tools, mostly spindles I didn’t use. I own a 2018 Jenkins Aegean Turkish Spindle and a new Golding 3″ ring spindle and I use both. They travel well, pack nicely, and allow me to spin whenever I feel the urge. I am currently working on a pound and a quarter of Shetland that I want all drop spindle spun to knit a shawl.
Today I went to our spinning group. One of my friends has sent out an email that she was bringing spindles and weaving yarns to spinning, some she was giving away, some she was selling to destash. She had a 2012 Jenkins Delight Turkish Spindle (they are discontinued) and two Golding ring spindles. One of them was another 3″, a Celtic design and the other a 2 3/4″ with a cut out flower. She had another Turkish spindle, several heavier top and bottom whorl plain wooden one, several 3D printed ones. I couldn’t resist. I bought the Jenkins and the smaller Golding, so now I’m back to 4 spindles that will get used. She gave me a 3D printed one for kids to use and they will join the wagon wheel ones I make for kids.
At least these are ones I will use regularly and they don’t take up much room. They are spindles that hold their value as well. But enough is enough, I must stop.
Yesterday when my friend was using my Kromski Prelude, I noticed the wheel was wobbling a bit and as I watched, I realized that the drive wheel supports were both a tad loose. I have two Allen wrench sets in my tool box, one metric, one American standard. Since the Kromski is Polish made, I brought in the metric set, which is missing the 3 mm size. I feared that the Allen head screws were 3 mm, but got lucky, they were 4 mm. Now the set is missing two sizes because I put the 4 mm one in my wheel repair kit. Hopefully if I need it elsewhere, I will remember where it is. The design of the wheel makes it very difficult to get to those two screws and I feared I was going to have to remove two legs to tighten them. That would have been a hassle as the treadle and its connected footman are attached to one of the legs. With some difficulty and the short end of the Allen wrench, I managed to get them tight and the wobble is gone.
As I was so enamored with my new spindle, I continued working with it last night until the entire fiber sample was spun. Then I hand wound it off the spindle into a tiny center pull ball and plyed it on itself. It was such a tiny amount, that it produced only 24 yards of light fingering weight yarn.
With the 73 yards spun on the Jenkins Turk recently, if I can find a good coordinating fiber to spin, I will use those two as garter ridges in a hat.
Tonight, I am spinning on the wheel, some Coopworth and Alpaca roving, and on the new spindle, I have some silver Shetland. I want to finish the fiber on the wheel, there is very little left, but the bobbin is getting full, so I may be playing chicken with the bobbin. When I leave for my fiber retreat weekend next Thursday, I want to leave with empty bobbins and some fun fibers to spin. I have one colorful BFL braid, two others at least 4 ounces and a 2 ounce due in the mail, hopefully to arrive before I leave.
I also need to make some lip balm that has been requested by friends prior to my leaving. Hopefully, the bobbins will be emptied, the lip balm made and I will concentrate on knitting the Close to You mini shawl and the strandwork hat both on the needles and spin on the spindles until I leave.