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1  Re: DROP SPINDLE vs. WHEEL --Your input appreciated! in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by stellie on: April 05, 2006 07:50:56 AM

I have never used a spinning wheel before.  I started spinning (lace-weight for the most part) this past August with a hank of fiber and my fingers, progressed to a pencil for larger amounts.  Pencils kept me going at about 80 yards a session and I'd sit there watching tv while doing it.  If I had a book that would prop itself open I could read, too!

This past October I decided I wanted to get a spindle.  I asked around to see what to get - brand and top vs bottom.  Chose a louet top whorl.  Everyone gave their praises to it.

And I HATED it.  I couldn't use it, it either went way way too fast or my fiber would snap and it'd fall to the floor.  I broke the darn thing and went back to my pencil -- my friend, however, was intrigued by all of this spinning nonsense.  She and I are sculpture majors so, of course, she wanted to make a spindle of her own.  The result is what you see above -- a bottom made from scrap wood, a dowel from the back of a chair and small pencil rod bent and manipulated to form a hook.  I will say that I absolutely love this spindle and I'd never trade it for the world -- it makes spinning fun for me.  It also goes easily where I go and I've never had a problem out of it.

If you've got a top... I say try a bottom or switch brands.  See where that gets you.  What kind of fiber have you been using?  I'm going to sing praises to the Dorset breed and also to Cranberry Moon Farm.  They have wonderful fleeces and rovings for a great price.  They also keep good contact throughout transactions and have prompt shipping times.

I wish you luck Smiley
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2  An Orange Creamcicle and Zebras in Spinning: Completed Projects by stellie on: April 04, 2006 06:01:24 PM

Handspun yarn. Wool, silk and mohair -- an undetermined amount of each in all three skeins. The silk is what gives the 'wet' sheen.

The Orange Creamcicle is 106 yards thick-and-thin 2-ply. The Zebras, together, total 181 yards thick-and-thin 2-ply (larger is 106, smaller is 75).

All yarn is spun and plied on the drop spindle you see at the very top -- it was constructed from scraps found in the sculpture studio by my friend Chris. The whorl (round bit at the bottom) was a bit of scrap wood left over from a project, sanded and balanced. The dowel is actually a rod from the back of a rocking chair and the hook was made from a piece of metal rod lying about.

Anyone have a nifty word, phrase or item that can be made into my next skein?
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3  Re: 'Knitting Olympics' knitalong in Knitalongs by stellie on: January 22, 2006 02:47:14 PM

You have to do this stellie, its gorgeous, I showed it to my husband (the artist) and he said: "that's a doodle? Wow!"

Aww, thank you!  And I think I will, actually -- though I'd love to spin up some wool for it and do everything from scratch... I think it's a little late in the game to do a sheep-to-sweater project (though I know a few sheep that would be perfect for the task)!  A practice swatch:

I understand the basic pattern that I'd need to go by for the cuffs, now, and I should probably figure out the basic structure of the sweater itself.  I just need to get my butt in gear and do it Grin
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4  Re: 'Knitting Olympics' knitalong in Knitalongs by stellie on: January 20, 2006 09:53:48 AM
I'm in.  I've just really started getting involved with my knitting though I've been doing a garter stitch for the past ten-ish years.  So I guess I'm somewhere between novice- and mildly advanced-knitting depending on what it is....

I've never made a sweater before and I'd like to -- it's either going to be one of these found patterns:

Jumper with Tassels -- Mermaid Mesh -- or this sweater from one of my more recent doodles!

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