For Christmas, my love gave me a 16″ rigid heddle loom (in pieces). Christmas afternoon, I got it well waxed, assembled, and warped with some yarn on hand. Using the instruction booklet that came with it, I wove the samplet shawl/scarf pattern trying out various techniques. Christmas also brought the announcement that another grandson was due imminently, so I quickly rewarped the loom with cotton to weave a baby blanket and erred in tracking the panel length, so the second panel didn’t have enough warp left to make it the same length as the first. All of that was cut off the loom, ends secured, and the loom rewarped again to make the second panel. The blanket was shipped off to arrive as it turned out on the day the young man came home.
I had some Romeldale CVM that I wanted to weave, but not enough to warp and weft a scarf, but an online friend had some Shetland lamb, Baby Alpaca mill spun in a color that complemented the CVM and so I ordered 400 yards from her. It has been sitting in a bag waiting for me to warp and weave. I really like to weave, but am not a fan of warping the loom. I learned direct warping and that is what the booklet teaches and I don’t have a warping board. Direct warping requires a lot of walking back and forth from the loom to the warping peg. This yarn is fingering weight, so a finer heddle was required which means more warp threads per inch. Finally today, since I don’t want to put anything on my wheel before next weekend’s retreat, I wound the yarn into balls and warped for an 8″ wide, 6′ long scarf.
The warp uses both yarns and the remaining yarn was weighed so the shuttle has enough for each section of the pattern planned. The loom won’t travel with me, but I’m in no hurry to finish this project.
At least I quit procrastinating and got the loom warped.
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.