Monday, February 14, 2011

spindle secrets

1. Ice dams seem to be under control for now. Demolition of our 3rd floor bathroom plaster was successful--we now have an entire wall that is covered with insulation and plastic/taping. It isn't pretty but the plumbing all works, so that is fine for the present time... our second floor bedroom still has an enormous hole in the ceiling and will have that until the spring melt. I have been knocked for a loop by all this weird unexpected house renovation. That said, we're now working on roof estimates so if you have a roofing company recommendation in Winnipeg that does insulation too, let me know, please!

2. My spinning class on Sunday went very well. I'm very tired out --shlepping around twin fetuses while teaching is a lot of work, it seems--
but there are 10 new spinners in the world! Hurray!

3. Geri asks:

What are the specifics of the spindles you're assembling for your class? Are the whorls readily available from a home centre? Does the hole in them readily fit a particular dowel size? What is the size of the dowel (spindle)? I'd love to learn the specifics if you don't mind sharing.

Well, the short version is that there are some very basic "making a spindle" instructions in practically every how-to spindle book. There are even instructions in my book, Fiber Gathering.

The basic information is: you need a weight and a stick. Here are some other great books that have illustrations or information on how to make/use a spindle:
Spindle Spinning: From Novice to Expert

Respect the Spindle: Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool

Spinning in the Old Way: How (and Why) To Make Your Own Yarn With A High-Whorl Handspindle

Productive Spindling

I strongly encourage anyone who is even remotely interested in spindling to check out some of these extremely useful books. There are also many wonderful resources online and at your local spinning store/guild/friend's house/spinning class.

Now, some of you are wondering why I'm not revealing all the exact details of these spindles. Well, first I'd refer you to this post. One summary on this end is--I sometimes get paid to teach people how to spin. I've been spinning about 25 years, and I spend a lot of time learning and thinking about it. I don't think any of the information is top secret. I am also certainly not the only one who knows how to spin out there!! However, I also am sure you will understand when I say that I don't need to help you re-invent the wheel (err, spindle) either. There's lots of information out and ye shall find.

Even if I did want to write a "recipe" for how to make a spindle and give it away for free, I'm afraid it wouldn't work. Everyone lives near a different hardware store. Some folks sell dowels or sticks in metric and some don't. Some people use whorls that aren't toy wheels and some use other kinds of weights. Oh--and I don't always use the same size dowel and whorl. I buy what's available and I teach people to spin on many different types of spindles with different weights and sizes. I don't always make/teach the same thing because there isn't just one way to make a spindle or spin. I'm flexible about it.

Thankfully, all these spindles will work. If they didn't, humans wouldn't exist--we humans would all have frozen to death, naked without textiles, thousands of years ago!!

I know some one out there will think I'm purposely withholding vital information here, and that's not my intention. I just don't have the time/mental energy/desire to create a pattern/design/recipe for this that I can then have edited, formatted and sell efficiently online right now. I also can't afford to always do this kind of thing for free. However, I can point you in the right direction towards making your own, and I hope this post is a good first step.

Congratulations to the 10 new spinners in Manitoba! I am so excited to welcome you to the world of spinning!!

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