Sunday, September 01, 2013

As The Wheel Turns

I have one more scheduled deadline, but things are winding down (hee!). So, time to break out the new toys and begin the learning curve:
charkha 002

Cotton, spinning on the charkha. I am having fun, and learning, but I am not good at this yet. I need lots more practice! I got a demo one day this summer from another spinner: Will Taylor, and his wife Kate gave me this cotton: brushed top.

I can now draft and insert twist, but not necessarily at a constant or coordinated rate :). I park and draft, and break and re-attach, but I have managed, more than once, to hit that spot where all is going well. I know how that feels and I am confident I can get there again, maybe permanently. Until then, I snarl, yarn snarls, and we all snarl together....I have even started naming the snarls (spider snarl, pigtail snarl, and knot snarl are my not-so favorites).

Cotton fiber is cheap, I have lots, and no plans for this yarn, so it can be odd and bumpy, snarly and smooth by turns. I have the time to practice, and I am getting better!

I bought this charkha used from someone's de-stash. Yes, we "stash" yarn/fiber/tools and then de-stash, in a constant cycle :). It was still pricey, even used (these things tend to hold their value) so I did a bit of de-stashing myself to fund this: I sold off some spindles.

I know! Me! The obsessive spindle collector. Fear not, there are several left:
charkha 007

(I cannot believe I have the guts to post this photo: my walk of shame in the spindle hoarding category!)

But there you have it: these are what is left(!!!). I had this odd assumption, when I first started spindle spinning, that I needed two spindles alike for a two ply. It comes from wheel spinning: spin a bobbin of singles, spin another bobbin of singles, then ply them together. So I tried to acquire my spindles in sets: two for spinning and one for plying. Then...there's a three ply! Three spindles for singles, and one for plying! You see where this madness leads?? So, I, ahem, had a few extra.

The blue vase contains all the spindles that were given to me. I don't want to ever sell those, so I sequestered them. In that vase is a Moosie (spinners will know, but it's made from moose antler), yes! a gift from a very generous friend, a Mongold, also a great gift, an IST, several Goldings (my total favorites) and the best ever spindle for a spinner like me:

KCL spindle 004

Made by KCL Woods: a single whorl, and 3 shafts. Spin one shaft full, exchange it and spin another, and then ply both! on the third! You see? all in one, no hoarding needed.

At any rate, I spent time looking for matches for the gift spindles, and plying spindles to go with them, and I found (and bought, mostly on other people's de-stashes) many of them: a moosie, several other wood Bosworth's, some IST's, finally: overload hit. It comes to everyone, it came to me.

So I traded, bartered and sold spindles, until I had enough cash to buy the charkha. It's a good turnover, and please Bob, may I not become obsessed with charkhas and have to try them all?? (luckily, there are far fewer charkha makers, so that would be a smaller collection...).

I am starting on my second spike (spindle, bobbin, whatever it is called: snarl-maker?) and will ply these two sad examples of cotton spinning together, and keep going. This should entertain me for a least another few months, one hopes, until I can claim competence and decide if I like this method of spinning. It appeals, right now, for it's portability, quiet efficiency, and the general coolness factor of learning a new skill. Plus the tool is a beautiful one, and well made, a pleasure to use.

So the wheel turns, the charkha turns, spindles turn and turnover, and we twist and snarl. Who knew this could all be so much fun?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Rowen said...

Wonderful Sara! Is it a Bosworth? I have the attache verson of the Bosworth. We should sit and spin on our charkhas someday. I love spinning on my. so meditative, I love the long draw. Enjoy!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Deanna said...

And carding punis to spin on a charkha is so satisfying!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

I spent one summer spinning on my Charkha a half hour each morning...I read that Gandhi did that. I got pretty good that summer

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Habetrot said...

"...my walk of shame in the spindle hoarding category!" That's so cute!

We will not speak of the fact that I can identify every spindle in that photo by maker. :D

6:09 AM  
Blogger Deanna Jill Deeds said...

Snarl-maker... I like it. :)

10:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home