Thursday, December 6, 2012

A lightbulb goes off!

Remember those cartoons with the lightbulb over the character's head when he/she gets an idea? I actually felt one of those go on in my head last night.

Spinning wool is very different from spinning cotton. With cotton, I let the twist into the fiber supply and let it pull more fibers from the supply. All one needs to do is pull the fiber supply back at the right speed to get yarn.

When I tried this with wool, especially a medium-length fiber like Corriedale, the thickness of the yarn dwindled down to almost one fiber. It was still yarn but not the yarn I wanted. I wasn't able to control the thickness.

I have been watching youtube videos on supported spindling using a nifty app called Tubebox. It was free when I got it. I don't know if it is still free. But you can download the videos and watch them offline. I have downloaded a bunch of supported spindling videos and watch them over and over again. It also automatically switches from one to the other.

Anyway, I was watching the amazing fleegle's 'Fleegle spins on Tibetan Spindles' and realized that she was not holding the spindle while it was spinning. I had been cupping my hand around the spindle tip as it spun, which didn't leave me any fingers to draft with the spindle hand. But fleegle wasn't doing this.

So I tried it, just as a test, with the spindle on the window sill. And it works. The spindle keeps spinning even if it isn't held vertical. It can go down to about 45 degrees while still spinning. After dinner, I sat down and worked on this a bit and was able to spin a nice even yarn. And quite a bit of it.
That is the end result of about 30-45 mins of spindling. Not bad eh?

The dervish spins silently and beautifully. It is so efficient that you almost don't realize it is still spinning. I found it easier to spin in the bowl rather than the saucer. The saucer works better for the supported trindle as the arms don't hit the sides of the bowl. But the dervish spins better in the bowl as it tends to stay centered.

I need practice to make my movements smoother and more efficient. But this was huge progress from where I was before.

The Corriedale spins like a dream. I think I can get a lot of yardage out of it and then I have to see whether I ply it with itself or with some silk or other fiber.

The supported spindling gave my hands a rest. They were hurting from the ruffle on the shawl. The first few rows require a huge increase in the number of sts. The first row triples the number and then the third row adds another 66%. This makes the row very tight and that was causing my fingers and elbows to hurt. I find that working with different fiber techniques reduces the potential for repetitive stress injuries by working the muscles differently. After another day of rest today, I will be ready to tackle the ruffle again.

1 comment:

Stitchmistress said...

That looks beautiful. Thinking of ordering one, and some extra Corredale to spin. Thank you for enabling!