While my drop spindle gently weeps

Ooh look, designer yarn. It’s slubbylicious.


I think I’m going to need to get a wheel this summer.

While I was in class, a couple of things occurred to me. First, having a chair the appropriate height is really important. I was sitting on a low futon that made it really awkward to use the spindle. Secondly, if you’re going to wear a skirt while spindling, make sure it’s pleated. :-) Third, learning to spin on a drop spindle is one of those tricky things because you need to combine several new processes simultaneously to get any of them right. You have to draft the fiber correctly, you need to control the spin in the yarn correctly, and you need to manage the length of the yarn and keep re-winding it, thus interrupting the previous two processes.

Still, it was fun.

I think I’m going to need to get a wheel this summer.

No Responses to “While my drop spindle gently weeps”

  1. janna Says:

    Knees together, ankles crossed – doing the spindling version of riding side-saddle. You do own pants, you know…. and I belive I’m quoting your mother when I say that! šŸ˜‰

    However, you are right about your yarn — it could pass as designer stuff! Congratulations!

  2. Lee Ann Says:

    Park-and-draft, and then just draft-and-drop, are great ways to learn all of those fibery techniques without also having to worry about the mechanics of a spinning wheel…all that interruption of processes actually makes you have to think about the processes and even learn to control them. I found that mastery of spindling techniques eventually got me onto a wheel with virtually no trouble and no lumps and bumps at all. The training, pre-wheel, was invaluable.

    Which of course led to the fact that not only do I now have a friend’s wheel plus two of my own in my house, but I also have an obsessive number of spindles…

    Beautiful blue. Welcome to the fun :-)

  3. Carrie Says:

    Looks nice. I don’t have access to many teachers, but I saw the spinning episode of Knitty Gritty last week, and I think it might be enough to get me moving. I hope mine looks as good as yours. I don’t have a pleated skirt, though. šŸ˜‰

  4. Martha Says:

    I agree with Lee Ann-spindling is a great way to learn the mechanics of spinning at a slower, more easily controlled speed. All those spindle drafting skills will pay off when you sit down at a wheel. I honestly don’t know how people learn to spin without spindling first–the wheel moves faster (even at its slowest) and you have less time to react.

  5. kate Says:

    That’s exactly what happened to me! In fact, I learned to spindle last winter, became instantly obsessed, bought my wheel at Md Sheep and Wool, began spinning like crazy, am now trying to find a way to makw a living at it (hand-dyed yarn and roving), and just a bought my second wheel this w/e. And I’ve never gone back to the spindle, but it sure made bme readfy to learn on a wheel.
    Your yarn is beautiful. New yarn is like a new baby, it’s alwyas beautiful:) But yours actually really is!

  6. Suzy Says:

    Real purty blu’ yarn there guy! I found drop spindling to be quite addictive and am lusting after a wheel also. What comes next, raising our own wool growing critters?!?! Do I start looking for a place with acreage to share with you?! (My Dad raised sheep AND had a llama-woe is me-I didn’t spin then.)

  7. heatherly Says:

    my wheel will be here this weekend! hurray for a LYS with a no intrest payment plan for spinning!!! whooohooo!

  8. Ted Says:

    Skills are skills. There’s always a learning curve with anything new; let yourself have it.

    You wrote:
    Third, learning to spin on a drop spindle is one of those tricky things because you need to combine several new processes simultaneously to get any of them right.

    Wait til you add in coordinating your hands and your feet.

    You might want to read my blog posts from Nov 1, 2006.

    Gorgeous blue.

  9. bonnie Says:

    When you say, “I think Iā€™m going to need to get a wheel this summer,” not once, but twice…then you are really just “thinking” anymore. You are chanting šŸ˜‰

  10. Jess, of the Bugs Says:

    I am fixin’ ta go spin right very now. Having a wheel is a wonderful thing. Holy marinated cow, I love my wheel. But you are going to want to hone your technique on the spindle before you go whole-hog and buy a wheel. They are so fast in comparison. Wicked fast. Uber fast.
    All things considered, the yarn looks pretty good for a noob šŸ˜‰
    It will get even better, I promise, and then you will be one of us.

    One of us!
    One of us!
    One of us!

  11. Kim Says:

    Now you understand why women hate skirts!

  12. Juno Says:

    I could never spindle until after I learmed to spin on a wheel – but park and draft can really help.

    And really – skirts and low furniture are a bad combo no matter WHAT you’re up to. We are grateful to the pleats.

  13. Rachel Says:

    I drank the spinning Koolaid myself after my landmark-birthday-spinning-lesson-party last spring. I made do with a spindle, even made some yarn (corriedale and BFL sock yarns, and some dark chocolate alpaca) but I was dying for a wheel. My darling was saving money on the side, wouldn’t you know? He got me the folding lendrum, and I am IN LOVE. Now I just scream through roving and have really developed my skills. I will be taking the ‘three wild downs’ spinning class at Madrona this month, whoohoo!

  14. Cheryl Says:

    Summer? You’re going to wait until summer to get a wheel?

  15. Sharah Says:

    I got to try a spindle… I didn’t hate it, but I love my wheel so much more. The whole concept of drafting is so much easier on a wheel… where your feet are concerned with keeping the wheel going.
    Never the less, I like your designer yarn. Its a lovely color, and will probably be a joy to knit up sometime.

  16. yarnmonkey Says:

    With that much spinning wonderfulness, Tag – Your It!

  17. carrie Says:

    I think we started spindling at the same time, because I’m finding out all of these things, too. But I love it so durned much, I know there’s a wheel somewhere in my future. Gotta spin a lot of yarn to justify it, though. I can’t wait to make something with slubby yarn =-)