Friday, April 03, 2009

Vacation: Part 1 (Where in I finally "get" using a spindle)




















I recently had a week off from work. This does not sound remarkable except for the fact that I have not had a full week off from work since April of 2008 when my co-worker retired. I didn't know what to do with myself until I remembered that I have a mountain of fiber and yarn in my home. Now I have been spinning on a wheel for donkey years but I have never been able to feel comfortable using a spindle. I had tried on and off again with my sisters many spindles but I just couldn't get it. At least not until this vacation when I finally "got" it. Please see above some of the spindles I bought during my vacation. I started by buying an inexpensive spindle from "A Spinners Lair" on E-Bay that can be used as either a drop or support spindle. She recycles wood for her woodworking so I have spindles in Red oak, Apple, Walnut and Cherry. Some have two sections so you can spin two sets of singles and then ply for lace. These work nicely for spinning while sitting down. They are "center weighted' which means they spin fast but for a short amount of time. I use them primarily as drop spindles. Having admired beautiful spindles all these years but having no reason to buy them, I was now at a point where I could use part of my tax refund to "get a few" for myself. I went surfing the net and I purchased 3 Tom Forrester Spindles for myself from "The Wheel Thing". I have bought products from them before and been very happy with what I received. I have a "Granny" spindle with a Purple Heart whorl and Beech shaft, a "Linium" with a Paduk whorl and Beech Shaft and an "Orchard Pyro" with a Paduk whorl and Rock Maple Shaft. All of these spin a long time but slower than the more center weighted spindles. They are a joy to spin with now that I do more spinning and less dropping! Drunk with power I then surfed over to "The Fold" where I proceeded to drool over the Avi Wasserman spindles. I called Toni Neil and ordered three spindles. She was very kind and made sure I understood that they would spin fast but for a short time which is just what I wanted since I found I like to sit while spinning and I am spinning for lace. Imagine my surprise and gratitude when she asked if I would be interested in having some "cosmetically challenged" Avi spindles. She wanted them to go to someone who would really like to have them. Needless to say I was overwhelmed but accepted her offer. I can honestly say that the few irregularity's I found did not detract from the beauty of these spindles and they spin up a mean lace weight single. Thank you Toni!!! The first one is a 3/4 ounce Ebony whorl and Tulip wood shaft Next is a Rosewood and Ebony whorl with a Maple shaft. This one has a very slight scratch and ding on the whorl but spins like a dream. next is a 2 &1/4 ounce Olive Wood and Ebony with silver Inlay, 1 and 1/4 ounce Blackheart Myrtle and Ebony whorl with a Goncalo Alves shaft, 1 ounce Olive wood and ebony whorl with a Walnut shaft and lastly another 3/4 ounce Olive wood with Ebony and silver inlay with Walnut shaft. Phew! I have a few more things I want/need to get but I'm still working on it :-) I did manage to spin and ply up a few things.The first picture of yarn is the "Faded Flowers 100% African Wool from Black Bunny Fibers that I had stashed. I didn't want to muddy up the colors so I plied with a single of Cashmere from a spare cone of Colourmart I had lying around. The second picture is of a 2 ply 5/50 Yak Silk from A Verb For Keeping Warm in colorway "Magnet". Some of it I randomly spun and plied and some of it I separated into color groups to spin and ply just for laughs. I also have some 80/20 Merino/Tussah Silk also from "Verb" in colorway "Victoria"made up as a two ply lace weight yarn. Aside from spinning, I also worked on a UFO. "Bells Through The Leaves" AKA, "Cloches a travers les feuilles" from that hand spun Madder dyed BFL from Verb I spun so long ago. I finally finished the "Birdseye" section and am into the leaves. As a parting shot ,you can see two Tom Forresters I bought my sister as her birthday is coming up and we are still waiting for her Pocket Wheel to be made. They are a Purple heart "Linium" and a Lace wood "Granny". The remaining spindles my sister purchased for herself at Verb. Two by Lars Larsen (she lost the tags so I don't know the wood) and two from Spindlewood of Leopard wood and Birdseye Maple. There's more but that's for Part 2 :-)

18 comments:

Laritza said...

The spindles are gorgeous and so is the lace!

Aim said...

Hey there. I love the Fold--that's where I learned to spin, and bought my wheel! And Toni is fantastic!!! You sure have an amazing collection of beautiful spindles! What a feast for the eyes, thanx for sharing

fleegle said...

How many spindles do you have now? They are all stunning/

I notice that you presented some exquisite lace, but, um, didn't say much about it! Where is that pattern from? I can't find it anywhere.

Dave said...

Wow, that's a gorgeous collection of spindles! The lace isn't looking too shabby either! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Gee! That's a hard vacation :) Seriously, what a wonderful way to spend a whole! week off and memorable at that. Love each and every one of your new spindles! ps- Nice to know how spindles differ and that we "need" different ones for different spins, right? Terry

Jane said...

Dear Laritiza,

Thanks! I have gone hog wild with buying spindles now that I actually can use them. I'm also glad I was able to go back to that UFO. It's be sitting in my "to do" pile for awhile now but finishing that birds eye lace required some patience.

Jane said...

Dear Aim,

You are fortunate to be able to go to the Fold to shop in person but I feel very lucky to have the lovely Avi spindles that Toni carries. She was lovely on the telephone and so very helpful and generous. It was a real pleasure to speak with her.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

I'm afraid I was a bit excessive with the spindles but I was on vacation and decided I needed to spend my taxi refund from the State Of California before they decided they were well and truly broke and took it back! I purchased 13 spindles for myself and I have two more ordered that have not yet arrived. I will show them in the next post along with anything I missed for this one. The lace pattern is one I have blogged about before but it was a UFO so I don't blame you for not knowing which one or where it's from. The stole is from the Japanese knitting book called "Vintage Knitting in Tradition" . it is the one with the Fair Isle inspired pull-on vest. The pattern is called "Cloches a travers les feuilles: which translated out to "Bells through the leaves" and is on page 22 of that book. It has several really nice patterns in it that I also plan to knit if I could just clone myself :-)

Jane said...

Dear Dave,

Thank you. I'm really happy to be able to use spindles now. They are so portable and pretty though I still think using a wheel is better for large amounts of spinning. The lace is turning out nicely though almost half of the birds eye lace is a very sold red rather than variegated sections you see in the leaves. Still, I spun it randomly so I will just accept the quirks as they come :-)

Jane said...

Dear Terry,

I must say that I really enjoyed that week off and found it very renewing. Though I know I could spin yarn from a leader attached to a rock, I really do enjoy pretty tools when I work with fiber and I felt very decadent buying myself so many lovely things. I can't remember the last time I learned a new skill that wasn't work related in some way so this was a real treat for me! And yes, I really do need lots and lots of spindles because they are all different weights and types (wink wink).

missalicefaye said...

oooh--look at all the pretties!I love looking at your handspun and lace. :) So happy that you've discovered spindle love now, too!

Opal said...

look at all the pretty spindles! thanks for all the eye candy!

Kathy said...

Jane you are far weaker than me!!!!

I love Tom Forrester spindles, and lucky me lives about 20-25 minutes away from his workshop! I also shop at Gemini Fibres also in Mount Albert, and they always have an exquisite range of his spindles. I do have a Tom spindle, an akha which I bought at a seminar after I took a cotton class. I love it, and use it far more than my others.
I love spindles but fear I will get sucked into a whole collecting thing with them.

Kathy

Jane said...

Dear missalicefaye,

I enjoy having the ability to take a little spinning with me anywhere I needed to go though I imagine it will take some time to spin enough on spindles for an entire project :-) I still spin better on a wheel so far but I think it will come with more practice!

Jane said...

Dear Opal,

It's the least I can do since you give eye candy every Friday to me :-)

Jane said...

Dear Kathy,

I love the Tom Forester spindles as well and you are lucky to be so close to a source to get them! I have been buying them for my sister as gifts since she could spin on spindles all along. Since I have lusted after pretty spindles for years without the ability to use one, I could not really stop myself from getting a few once I finally was able to. Guess I'm just making up for lost time. Besides, I just love beautifully made things :-)

Anonymous said...

Please! Leave some paragraphs in your text. It is very hard to read a big block of words.

This is the first time I've come to your blog, and while your work and pictures are lovely, the text is off-putting.

Jane said...

Dear Anonymous,

Unfortunately, I can't promise to make paragraphs for you. I write/post when I have time and I don't always attend to that detail. I will understand if it puts you off my blog but I appreciate your comment.