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 :-)