During the Tour De France, many spinners involve themselves in groups called Tour De Fleece, where we challenge ourselves to try to spin as many minutes as the miles ridden each day; challenge ourselves to try a new fiber, technique, or piece of spinning equipment on their sprint days; and rest on their rest days. This is Day 5, a challenge day. On Days 1 through 4, due to other constraints on my time, I did not meet the number of minutes, but it is a personal challenge, and I did produce a fair amount of new yarn between my wheel and my drop spindles.
Left to right, is a single still being spun on my Turkish spindle of Romney. About 400+ yards of superwash Merino spun on my wheel to make a hat and scarf for my son, and 50 yards of silk single spun on a drop spindle wheel plyed with a single of Merino spun on my wheel.
Today is a challenge day. I decided to challenge myself by improving on the homemade drop spindles that I made for the camp teaching day recently.
They were made with a 2″ wooden wheel on a 3/8″ shaft about 7 or 8″ long. Though I can spin on them, they didn’t really spin long enough for a beginner, especially a child which is who the camp teaching day was for. The spindle needed a little more weight and a slightly longer shaft I thought. While Gdaughter was in her weekly Camp Creative this morning, I perused the shelves at Michael’s to see if I could find a way to make them heavier next time, but still keep them inexpensive as I made and furnished them at no cost to the camp. I wanted a good inexpensive beginner spindle that kept spinning long enough to learn.
The new model is 4″ in diameter, still built on the 2″ wooden wheel beneath the thin patterned medallion with a 9″ shaft instead of the 7″. It weighs 1.3 ounces and spins smooth and long and it is still fairly inexpensive. It took about 30 minutes to drill, glue, sand, and wax with lavender beeswax.
To add to my challenge, I am spinning a fiber blend that I have never used before, a Merino, Tussah Silk, and Natural Flax mix on the newly made trial spindle. I think I have fulfilled my personal challenge for the day.
While at Michael’s, I also looked at their pre-made wreaths as the very plain one on the front door at home needed refreshing. Their wreaths are so expensive, even with a coupon. A few silk flowers, a new spool of ribbon, a few minutes of my time and the front door has a new look.
The wreath was made sitting in the car while waiting the 2 hours of her class. Always a challenge.