Saturday 19 April 2014

spud spindle

Spinning my own wool was on my mind over the winter. With the first golden rays of Spring sunshine, I acquired an ancient spinning wheel and set about making yarn.

The only inconvenience of the wheel, is that it can't be easily moved about. And I like nothing more than to do my handicrafts in the fresh air, where possible. So a week before coming to England, on a whim (and if truth be told, as a bit of a joke) I improvised a drop spindle from an old chopstick...and a potato!

All that week-end, I spun for a few minutes here and there throughout the day, getting my fingers, hands and arms used to the different posture and method of working.

I spun at home in short bursts, stood on the balcony after lunch listening to the radio. I slipped the spindle into my rucksack when we went for a short walk across the fields and up to the castle.

Over the week-end, I even took my spud and bundle of carded fibres down to a local barn dance, spinning in the corner by the traditional Gascon band.

Having at first struggled to coordinate feet, fingers and head when I first started spinning with the wheel, I'd imagined spindling to be even harder. Yet experiments with my potato made me realise just how much knowledge I've already gleaned from playing with the wheel.

2 ply woollen (spud) spindle-spun yarn, (23g)

My first attempts on the wheel had been highly frustrating and resulted in a lot of initial wastage. But over the course of the week-end, I managed to produce a satisfactory set of two singles which were surprisingly fine and even. I plied them together in short bursts the following week and was once again surprised at just how easy the process turned out to be. So far, plying my singles has been proving my real bête noire. But I seemed to learn a great deal with my little spud spindle.

No comments:

Post a Comment