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?


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...

" 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 Deeds said...

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

10:09 PM  

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