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Topic: A Spinner's Progress* (warning: long, contains spindle, wheel and yarn pics)  (Read 1869 times)
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« on: June 14, 2008 12:08:53 PM »

I've always wanted to spin, and last year I decided to learn. (So you can guess this is gonna be a long post.) That's actually Craftster's fault - I saw all the beautiful yarns and how people were making spindles out of CDs and whatnot, and then our local craft shop had wool for sale. Felting wool, mind you, but I thought and thought and figured that it was carded wool, and where was I going to get anything better?

So I put together a spindle out of a circle cut out of cardboard, and a hair stick, and got to it:

My first proto-spindle was crazy light (It's since been disassembled into its constituent parts, because I needed that hair stick.) and the yarn was, predictably, lumpy. It also made me crazy that if I did manage to create a so-so single, I couldn't ply it properly to save my life.

So I got more wool (again, felting wool) and with my Dad's help, made a real spindle out of a plywood circle and a wooden stick. It comes apart, because it isn't glued, but this is actually not a bug, but a feature as it makes traveling easier.

My second and third tries went a lot better.

Then, I went to Belgium for 5 months and despite taking my travel-ready spindle along, I didn't do anything with it. But after I had got back and settled down, I dug my wool out again, this time the 3rd batch...

And then I finally learned to ply. Isn't the blue colour wonderful? (edit: better picture, with a matching rug!)

But wait! It doesn't stop there. My both grandmothers had spinning wheels, of the Finnish traditional type - gran on the dad's side had a lovely wheel, very old and would need to be taken apart and put together again before it could be used, because it's spent the last 30 years in a barn. Sigh. But it's pretty! (I experimentally spun some rough flax fibre - you can't really use the pedal, and the string keeps popping off the wheel, but it kinda-sorta works.)

My gran on the mom's side also had a wheel, which she borrowed/gave to me. And this baby is functional! It's factory-made in the 1940s, and had a prolonged stay in the cold attic, which means that the paint was flaking and all parts that could rust, had.

But I cleaned it up, and as you can see... It works.

Unfortunately, I can only use the wheel when I'm at my parents' house, so meanwhile it's just me and my trusty traveling spindle. But that's okay, we're good. My goal is to spin enough yarn to actually make something... like a scarf, or mittens. Now I only need to find more wool!

*and if you catch the reference in the title, you get 10 points and a parrot sticker!  Tongue
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008 09:52:46 AM by wanderingskopos - Reason: Better yarn picture! » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2008 01:29:07 PM »

congrats on your journey through the fiber... journey. The plies were nice and nice effort. the bobbin and the holder on the last picture's wood design is interesting. good luck spinning.

« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008 10:00:54 AM »


You're right, the bobbin has also been painted with the same swirly decorative stripe as the wheel. You can't tell from the picture, but the wheel's rim also has the decorative stripe. There are two other bobbins that go along with the wheel, but they are plain wood.

Unfortunately, the wheel was made right after World War II when materials were scarce, and the paint quality was not the best. Combined with the time spent in the attic, it's a wonder there's any paint left at all. When I'd finished spinning that 1/3rd of a bobbin, there was flaking paint all over the place!

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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008 10:03:57 AM »

i wish you best of luck spinning, as for me i only have my support spindle that i bought online(spindolyn) its pretty handy on the go, but i am saving up to splurge on a kromski sonata and i dont have any fiber to work with so i usually just play around with 100% cotton balls when i am bored, its good for practicing the long draw technique.

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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2008 10:28:30 AM »

Is the reference in the title a reference to the book - "The Pilgrim's Progress"
Thats the only thing I can think of Smiley
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008 01:35:17 PM »

Kanhoro: Good luck with the cotton! Usually the cotton wool for cosmetic use around here comes in a batt instead of cotton balls, have to try to spin it sometime.

Jadzy: Not quite, though it could've been an inspiration (I'm thinking of a series of engravings about 50 years after "The Pilgrim's progress", it's an English lit geeky thing...)  Grin

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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008 01:44:11 PM »

whenever i use my spindolyn(saving up on a kromski) for the cotton balls and after i unravel it and there are small noils and such, but i usually just spin those things atm because i am bored, most of the time my fiber is too thin and i spin too much and it snaps or too loose and breaks off when i andean ply it.

« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008 12:35:57 PM »

If you really want a wheel but don't have the money for it, I discovered that at the webpage for spin-off magazine they have a few patterns for making a wheel. Why not? The patterns are in .pdf format, and there's one for an upright (I think) and one for a chakra, plus spindle patterns too. I've got that on my to-do list now.
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2008 10:57:30 AM »

I'm not a spinner yet, but this post was most helpful and entertaining!!

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