Thursday, January 25, 2007

Latest Handspinning & Spindle Update

Just a few pics of my latest handspun.

First, a comparison. The fiber is Corriedale, from Yarnpunk on Etsy. I first bought some back in August, spun it up, and promptly ordered more. The first batch was...not bad, for my spinning at the time. I ended up with a heavy worsted-to-chunky single, somewhat consistent but still varied. I was really proud of it, though.

After the first batch, however, I discovered that I wanted something softer that would show off the colors more. In that time, I attended two Guild meetings and worked on spinning some angora, which was an amazing fiber yet required more attention than I had ever needed to give before. Once done with the angora, I started spinning up some Rambouillet/Border Leicester that had been given to me back in April. Imagine my surprise when I was suddenly creating even, thin singles that plied into a nearly perfect (for me) sock yarn!

I turned back to the green and tried working with it on my current level of finer spinning, and ended up with the lovely 2-ply you see on the left of the picture above. The old single chunky yarn is shown for comparison on the right.

Here's that Rambouillet/Border Leicester I told you about (thanks, Patty!):

The green--I don't know what it will be yet. I have about 100 yards plied with some black Corriedale, plus all the chunky stuff, and now this pretty thin I have another 6oz or so left to spin. The grey-brown wool will become socks for my husband as I promised him. The heavier grey-brown, my first skein that I spun before realizing it was a bit too thick for what I wanted, may go to something else for my husband or else I'll gift it to someone.

All in all, I'm really happy with what I've done in the past month. I feel like my spinning has taken a turn for the better, as well as becoming FAR more consistent and predictable.

My spindle collection is growing, too! In my possession now, I have:

Ashford 'boat anchor'--sturdy, heavy, and my first top-whorl spindle. Also the first spindle I actually owned, given to me by a secret pal early last year.

Louet beginner's spindle--lighter, though with a very large hook, with sheep woodburned into the whorl. I entertain thoughts of replacing the hook and turning the shaft on a lathe to make it a bit prettier, as it's an otherwise blocky piece. Still, I have used it for several fibers and it's a good, solid spindle. Received as part of a swap.

Kundert Bloodwood & Maple spindle with Walnut shaft--my main workhorse spindle. I adore it, I love it, I am lost without it. It was the first one I'd bought for myself, at the Guild meeting in October. I was expressing frustration with the Ashford because I couldn't get thin singles that wouldn't break, and two guild members (one of whom ran The Wheel Thing, who may be carrying some of my swifts soon) said, "The spindle makes a difference--try spinning on a lighter one." So I did, and almost cried at how pretty the single turned out. I experimented with a few different ones, but ended up with this one because of the gorgeous deep red color of the inlay. I now use it constantly.

Stone Whorl spindle from Running Moon Farm--the newest addition to my collection. I heard about RMF through the spindlers group on Yahoo; a stone whorl spindle intrigued me and I checked it out. Boy am I glad I did! It's light, unique, pretty, and spins forever. I got some very nice, very thin singles with it, though I haven't used it enough yet to really get to know it.

Prototype Turkish spindle--made from a Windsor chair spindle and two pieces of cherry. I have a few things to iron out before this can go into production, but I have the basics. It DOES spin, and it DOES work, but I still need to play with it for a while. It doesn't spin long enough. I'll show pics of it at some point.

Coming soon:

Stone Aztec spindle--from Salome on Etsy. An early birthday gift from my husband to me. The whorl is an authentic archeological find from the end of the Aztec empire, about the time Cortez brought them down. Salome turned a new spindle, and I can't wait to play with it when I get it.

??--from The Wheel Thing. I have my eye on a small Purpleheart & Yellowheart spindle, though we'll see if I can still get it when the time comes! I may change my mind, though I've been thinking about that particular one since December. Actually, since October, when I had to choose which one to buy. I got the Kundert then, but I've been thinking about that small one ever since. I recently sold a scarf on Etsy, and the deal was that I could get something at the meeting if I sold new spindle, here I come!

And that, as they say, is that for the night. :)


Anonymous said...

Isn't it good when things start coming together (so to speak) in one's spinning? You have access to soooo many spindles it isn't funny. We have one spindle maker (that I've found so far) here.
Your spin off spindle pal

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

I really need to learn how to use that drop spindle hidden in my stash bins! Your yarn is so pretty.