Monday, November 30, 2009

Show and tell

I haven't had time in weeks to sit down at my wheel, but that doesn't mean yarn isn't being spun. I am totally blaming Sara for a new hobby for which there is not enough time! Not only am I filling up this "Punkin's Patch" spindle with singles, I decided I really need a lace-weight spindle for finer yarns. But how does a complete beginner to spindles go about choosing a good lace-weight spindle? There's a guy on the Yahoo Spinning list who makes spindles; since he is a "regular," getting one from him seemed less of a risk than buying from a complete stranger. So I emailed him, asking if by chance he would be open to a trade of fiber. He emailed back and said he has plenty of fiber but is interested in natural dyestuffs; did I have access to black walnut hulls or other plant materials? I do, in fact!

Last week on a beautiful afternoonI drove over to this treeon a friend's farm, donned my rubber gloves, collected over 12 pounds of black walnut hulls,and sent them off in the mail. In exchange, I got this lovely little tool:

I do intend to get back to my wheel soon; I would love to hand over another eight ounces of two-ply pure alpaca yarn by Christmas to the alpaca farm owner who is trading me spinning for fiber. Isn't bartering wonderful?

That's it for now at . . .

11 comments:

Laura said...

So you like drop spindling! What is on the spindle now? I learned to spin on a bottom whorl drop spindle and then got a wheel after about 2 years (I now have 2 wheels) i do like spining on a wheel better now, except when I'm going somewhere (ex: fiber show) and then I use the drop spindle.

Michelle said...

You know, Laura, for me I think drop spindling had to come after learning on a wheel, both for interest's sake and skill level.

The roving under the spindles is what is on the one; it's from a mixed breed ram belonging to my farrier/shearer. Great for learning, as it isn't "slippery" or fine.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Excellent!!!

Leigh said...

Lovely! I learned how to spin on a drop spindle but never really got the hang of it. Your singles are beautiful! And I love the sheen.

Sheepmom said...

I have about 2 " lace " spindles that I bought and a handful that I made. What I look for in a " lace " spindle is its weight. That last one I bought weighs less than an ounce and spins very fast. I like to use a drop spindle outside ( except on a windy day - due to the spindle's light weight ), otherwise I spin on my Ashford Traveller.
Benita

A :-) said...

Look at you go!! I have a beautiful new spindle that I got earlier this year in Boulder, but I haven't tried it out yet. I did try the one I have . . . not for me, but it was not balanced or weighted properly, so I'm likely to try again with the new one at some point :-)

roundaboutacres said...

You've spun a lovely single! I have two drop spindles but set them aside when I got my wheel. Of course, I don't spin much either. But the last few days my spinning seems to be on a roll! Gaaack - sorry!

Kathleen said...

Your spinning is beautiful! And the new spindle is lovely. I love spinning on spindles. I had a wheel in the states, but I've learned more about fiber since restricting myself to spindles, than all my time on a wheel. It's much slower going, I love the feeling of the fiber sliding through my fingers, I love the feeling of the long draw - something I never mastered on a wheel!

He traded for dying medium?! What a great find! Any more trades in the works?

Michelle said...

Thanks, all, for the compliments!

Actually, Kathleen, I just learned about the local availability of Osage Oranges, which can be used to dye without mordant according to my source. If I can get some, I will ask Michael if he's up to another trade!

tonya fedders said...

The bartering is great! As, is your new hobby :) I like to drop spindle too, and find it very addicting. Have fun!

Sharon said...

So that's the spindle you were talking about. it's really sweet - you got the better part of the deal for sure, though he may think the same thing too.