Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Love for Spindles

During my vacation, I used my spindle project just like I would use a mindless or social knitting project. Anytime I had some free time, even if it was only 15 minutes, I would get out my spindle and work a bit on my spinning. It's so addicting. I completely understand now why they say you can actually spin more on spindles because you spin more often.

My main project was with the sprinkler-homemade spindle that I got from Beth during my spindle class:

I finished two small skeins of yarn on it both at a heavy fingering weight. The first skein I got 71.6 yards from 1.2 ounces and the second I got 81.6 yarns from 1.3 ounces. This was a great learning experience. Since the spindle weighs 1.9 ounces I don't think I'd want to go much more than 1.3 ounces of fiber at one time. It just starts to get too heavy and the yarn slips and breaks more often. Here's of the skeins:

I'm pleasantly surprised at how nice it turned out. I still have a slight problem with how small the yardage is with spindles but it's makes great yarn for smaller projects like cowls or mitts. I used my ball winder to make a center pull ball and then just did a two-ply yarn from the center pull ball.

I had one section of this fiber left weighing 1.3 ounces and my husband suggested that I use my Ashford spindle to get a feel for a lighter weight spindle. This one weighs 1.75 ounces and you can definitely feel the difference when spinning it.

I'm not finished with the fiber yet but I have been spinning a little here and there during the day. I can tell now that the lighter the spindle the finer the yarn. I've been able to get a nice, smooth yarn so far that will probably end up as light fingering weight once it's been plied.

Working with the Ashford spindle has helped me understand what I like and dislike so far. I like the smooth wood whorl but don't like the longer shaft. I have been spending way too much time admiring new spindles online. Just looking at the Golding and Bosworth sites along can waste an hour or two (I'm obsessed with the Golding Celtic themed ones right now and the Bosworth Moosies that have a waiting list). I'm thinking I'd like to round out my spindles with a lighter medium weight and one true light weight spindle. With that full range I should be able to get a good idea on what I like to spin on for each weight yarn.

I joined a few spindle spinning groups on Ravelry and came across The Spanish Peacock spindles. There's no prices on the site because everything is custom ordered. His cut-out spindles are just amazing (there's a tempting snowflake design in a lighter wood). Lots of spindle makers use exotic woods so I've asked my husband to check out some of these sites with me. He's so much more knowledgeable on them that I am. I'm more of a "ooh that's pretty" type of opinion.

I have some fiber lined up next my next couple spindle projects already. I'm thinking about taking each of the 4 ounce braids and breaking it up into 1 ounce packages just for ease of use. Having these spindles has opened the doors for me in terms of where and when I can spin so I expect to have lots more handspun yarn to show in the future.

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