Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Stone

My Tour de Fleece goals included reacquainting myself with the drop spindle - so that I could figure out if I really am a spindle spinner after all - and to work with two new-to-me fibers. Yesterday afternoon I got the brilliant idea of combining those two goals so that I could more easily reach my yellow jersey. (It was one of those 'duh' moments....we'll not speak of why I hadn't figured it out earlier...)

The fiber selection wasn't really that tough. It needed to be something that I hadn't spun before, and my eye had already been on several blends that I had in my stash. Based on some sampling I had done a couple of months ago, I decided to use a gorgeous Suri alpaca/silk blend (The label says 70/25?) from Alpacas d'Auxvasse.
I started playing with my spindle yesterday afternoon, doing just enough to figure out how thick I needed to make my singles. As suspected, this fiber is much more appropriate for my spindle than the luscious fiber which I had chosen last year to be my first spindle project. (I was spinning a very slippery fiber much too fine for the weight of my spindle, and I finally gave up and moved it to the wheel.) Oddly, the suri/silk combination is acting more like Romney than it's acting like either silk or alpaca, and it has a stickiness to it that's perfect for this novice spindle spinner. I've had this particular batch of fiber for about 2 years (I think?) and it's possible that it's felted a wee bit as it's been moved around during that time. Then again, it could just be the preparation. My initial plan had been to make a fine laceweight with this fiber, but when sampled on the wheel it had proved to make a hard, unpleasant thread. Fifteen minutes with the spindle gave me a soft, lofty single and when I let it double back on itself I was enchanted with the the resulting two-ply.
And so, this morning I got up early and took my fiber and spindle to the back porch for a bit of spinning before my family got up. My 30 minutes flew by, and I found myself feeling both comfortable and happy with my spindle for the first time ever.

Of course, it's hard not to love such a beautiful tool!
I'm going to try to meet with my friend Jenny from the guild sometime soon. She's an excellent spindle spinner, and I know I have a lot to learn. In the meantime, I'm going to keep working. I figure at the very least 8 1/2 oz of fiber is enough to help me really get a feel for my spindle.
I don't know that spindles will ever replace the wheel in my heart...but I think there's definitely room for both in my life. AND, I just might need a few more spindles....


Anne said...

Beautiful! It sounds like the perfect blend for spindle spinning, and what's not to love about Golding products??

margene said...

I enjoy spindle spinning just for the process. My Golding Spindles have always been my favorites.

Jenny said...

Beautiful fiber and beautiful spindle. I'm glad you had a good time with your latest spindle experience. The right spindle for the right fiber makes a huge difference. A spindle won't and shouldn't replace your wheel but will travel around town a lot easier than the wheel. ; )

A Day That is Dessert said...

nice pictures! I too am a woman who loves a good tool.

fleegle said...

Oh my--that alpaca/silk is just gorgeous! I love the color and the sheen. I can imagine it would be fabulous to spin.

I got my Golding yesterday and am not happy with it. It's too heavy, it wobbles horribly, the shaft is too short, and even though I requested very dark wood, he made it in cherry. I am thinking about sending it back.

And yeah, UGH about the greedy bloggers. It never occurred to me to make money with my blog (except for selling excess stash). Dumb me. Going to call Microsoft now to see if they will pay me for a stellar review of Vista :) It might be the only one out there!