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.
Some weeks are spent in the kitchen, others doing fibery crafts.
About a week ago, I left for a fiber retreat in the south west part of the North Carolina mountains. The venue was delightful, as was the company of the friends that gathered. It began a week that has been devoted to fibery crafts. For the retreat, I had packed plenty of fiber to keep me busy spinning, but half way through the first day, I got bored with the natural colors that I generally spin and indulged in a grab bag of sunshine yellow and heirloom tomato red Romney wool. The idea was to work a gradient beginning with the yellow, but as I pulled it out of the bag, I realized that though they looked lovely together in the bag, they would not gradient, so the slightly more than 3 ounces was spun separately and it plyed up finer than I had hoped for as I wanted to weave a shawl with the 8 ounce grab bag. Once home Sunday afternoon, I began on the red using a long draw technique and got 4.9 ounces of yarn heavy enough to weave, but not enough yardage.
At the retreat, we do door prizes and have a dirty Santa exchange and in the exchange, I got a 4ish ounce bag of Pohlworth that I realized was very compatible with the Romney.
It was spun yesterday, plyed this morning and though I haven’t measured it off the bobbin yet, it is 4.2 ounces or similar weight long draw spun yarn.
This day is too hot to garden or cook anything more than a stir fry this evening, so the morning was spent playing with other fibers as well. The last of the Santa Cruz wool was washed and rinsed for a 4th time and set to dry on the deck. It is so full of vegetable matter, mostly feed or weed seed that I may never get it prepped to spin.
Before I left for the retreat, I realized that a lovely little Jacob raw fleece that I had improperly stored had several moths in it. Hoping to save it, I put it in a black garbage bag and threw it in the deep freezer. This morning, I removed it and hung the black bag in my closed car. It is supposed to get up into the 90’s today which in the superheated car should kill off any eggs that may have been layed. The freezer should have killed any moths and larva. After it has had a couple of days in the car, I will open it and examine it for damage and wash it if I caught it in time to save it.
Though today is stifling hot, there are signs of autumn, some of the early changing trees and scrub coloring, the Autumn Joy turning pink.
At the retreat, I took a class in Rigid Heddle weaving. It is not new to me, but looked like fun. The instructor had prewarped the looms with white cotton and I grabbed a skein of Aran weight Acrylic to use as my weft. We made two mug rugs in class and after. I failed to leave enough space between my two to get good fringe, so did rough easy to remove knots until I got home. Last night I sat and hem stitched the edges after removing my temporary knots, and evened the fringe on them.
A gal never has too many spindles so about 10 days ago, I ordered a Jeri Brock Turkish spindle. It came today and is cute with it’s laser cut out. It is a bit stockier and more substantial than my Jenkins and looks like because the shaft is heavier, it might be better to carry in my bag with a bit of fiber to spin and save the more delicate Jenkins for home or when it can be securely packed in the middle of a suitcase along with my Snyder turk that I use for plying. When traveling not to a retreat or demonstrating event, I always have a spindle or two so I can still spin.
My Facebook memory of today was jars and jars of tomato sauce canned and cooling on the counter. Not this year, the tomatoes failed early and the bed sits idle. I’m still toying with buying a 25 pound box when the weather cools again and getting at least a pot of spaghetti sauce cooked down. The cost is about the same as buying the Organic store brand at the local grocer, but then I would have to “doctor” it up. Indecision.