Monday, November 16, 2009

Right Place, Right Time, Right People

Sometimes we try to push things. Rightly so, in some cases: we need to get things done. Sometimes, though, everything in it's own time and place.

I've not ever been much for spindle spinning. But soon, in a year or so, I will be somewhere very far away for a period of time, working on a project for which I would like to spin. I do not plan to ship my wheel, nor do I plan to buy one while there. I might be able to borrow one, but I have not investigated that. A spindle is the portable answer.

I started serious spindle investigation when I was at Olds College this past June. Two of my suite-mates were teachers in the Master Certificate Program, and we talked spindle spinning. They showed me a few things. I told them what kind of yarn I would be spinning, and they marched me down to a vendor booth where I bought a spindle and some wool:

spider spindle

I practiced a bit. It was not hard to do, I just needed to practice. And a few tips, encouragement and advice from a Blue Duck (Ravelry link).

Then, several things coincided. We were at SOAR, and Deb had a Mongold spindle:
Mongold spindle

Heavy, durable for travel, no longer available, and not wood (there is a restriction against bringing wood products into Australia. I did not know if a spindle would be confiscated, so I planned to buy one there, just in case).

Deb handed me her spindle. A gift, she said. I could have it. Perfect! I even had wool with me to practice with: Cotswold. I practiced. I'm getting better at it.

In my new-found pleasure at using a spindle, I bought another, smaller one:

loki spindle

It's wood, though, and thus not Australia-bound. It is the right weight and size to spin the wool/silk blend given to me by Sirley and Penny from Lambspun. Perfect again!

You know, having been sickly and puny for the last 10 days (two weeks??) has allowed me to sit and stare, practice spinning, and also read:

abby's book

Lovely advice, history, photos, and spindles on every page. It has helped me in this learning process, and came at a perfect time for me, right now, with the time to slow down and perfect a slower method of spinning. Also, it's just a nice read.

I am not planning to give up wheel spinning. I do love that this path to learning spindle spinning has involved so many people who could help, give advice, help me find the perfect tools, and even provide me with the perfect tools. And no one ever stared, shocked with dismay, when I told them I wasn't much of a spindle spinner. They just helped.


Blogger Lynn said...

Oh, that looks like fun! And mind-stretching as well! It'll be interesting to see how spinning on a spindle rather than a wheel changes your creative process, if it does at all.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, noes... The SOAR crud lasted that long?

Holy mackerel, that place looks amazing. Congrats!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Delighted Hands said...

Oh, they are easy to fall in love wieth and collect, aren't they!!! I, too, came to the spindle after spinning on the wheel forever-nice compliment to your spinning skills.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

I'm so sorry you've been feeling puny. I can sympathize, since I've been puny the last couple of weeks, too. :-/

Very cool idea to take up spindle spinning for the trip. I really enjoy spindle spinning - my favorite is a tiny brass one for cotton. Haven't seen the new book - does she include that wonderful quote about spindles from her father "Slower by the minute, faster by the week."
Oh, and also, Ruth MacGregor's little booklet on spinning silk on a spindle is lovely, too. Her web site is

Got your new book and LOVE it! Congrats on creating such a beautiful and inspirational and informative resource!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Charlene said...

They will let you in with a spindle, since it's a finished wood product which you will have owned for some time.

The second last time I visited was after my brother had just had his second daughter, so I wanted to bribg my nieces the ingenious fold-up wooden doll-house that my father had made my daughter, and I didn;t even consider that it might have been a problem until we landed and I kept passing every more terrifying signs about the Prohibition of Wood, illustrated with really nasty-looking carved masks.

They had a quick look (undid an inch of the bubble-wrap covering) , asked what it was made of ("ummm, wood"), how long I'd had it ("16 years") and let me in.

You could happily bring ALL your spindles, I should think.

5:52 AM  

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