It's not just Panda and Politics around here


I've been doing my crafty thing as well. Here is some left over wool/soy silk roving I've had a little sample of. Since there was such a small amount, I spun it as finely as possible. I used my 0.6 oz Golding spindle which helped me achieve a true lace weight yarn. I knit a little swatch of it last night and got 9 stitches to the inch on a US #1 needle and I certainly could have gone down a needle size without a problem. This stuff spun beautifully. I assume it's the soy that gives it its smooth drafting ability since I still find myself struggling a bit with pure wool.

It's taken me a little while to adapt to my 0.6 oz spindle. I learned on a 1.3 oz, have been using my 0.9 oz for almost everything but I'm now really starting to appreciate this lighter one. I know there are people who can spin spider web thin yarn on a 3 oz spindle and I tip my hat to those folks. I just can't get enough spin into the fiber soon enough to ever be successful. My spindle will have proven its dropping ability long before I get a yard spun. But a light spindle holds its own challenges. I realize it's all simple physics, but it's hard to know exactly how it will feel if you aren't well versed on those sorts of sciences. In my case, I face two big hurdles with a lighter spindle.

  1. I have to spin the spindle harder to get a long enough spin to be productive. Or, I have to spin the spindle more than once to spin the same length of yarn.

  2. The spindle tends to be less stable in its spin. I suspect this is partially technique on my part, but, while drafting, I sometimes maneuver in such a way as to send my spindle into a planetary like rotation, where the poles no longer sit at a true north/south*. While this works splendidly for our fine earth, it's less effective for a spinner.

* Ok, ok, I know that North and South are relative to our own planet and not the least bit relevant once you step off the planet or out of our solar system. Let's think "grade school diorama," for this analogy, ok?

More spindly fun, after the bump.

Now that my soy silk is off the spindle, I'm back to spinning more of the purple merino/silk that my brother gave me. I decided to spin this stuff up on the lightest spindle too. I'm including a dime for scale.

All things considered, though, there hasn't been that much in the way of spinning OR knitting going on at the ol' blog, here. It's actually because I've been working on a "stealth knit." I'm hoping it will come out well enough to submit to one of the online mags, but it employs a few details I haven't test driven before and I want to see if the results are worthy of such pursuits.

Here's a little swatch view, though

I'm using some Cascade 220 in a lovely heathered sage shade. I'm about to start my third skein, so I've definitely been cranking along. I hope to have an idea of it's success or failure by the end of this week. We'll see. If it sucks donkey cheeks, I'll post pictures before its done.


I was reading on one of the lace knitting lists the other day about some of the finest Shetland lace yarn. Apparently it was spun with and average of 3 fibers at a time throughout its length. Think of that: spinning something 3 hairs thick. And when you start with superfine wool, you've got something almost invisible! Then you ply it.

The mind boggles. But it makes me want to pull out my little tiny lace spindle that I got years ago and see what I can do with it.

The weighted rim of a Golding spindle ought to spin for a good long time. Are you twirling it off your fingers or your thigh? (Thigh spinning goes much, much faster and longer.)

If you have a little wobble in the spindle, you might want to check your hook alignment.

Good luck!

I have only this advice: park and draft! There is a reason that many cultures use the supported spindle - it works!

The roving is awesome. Can't wait to see the cascade 220 project in person!

I used that heather sage to felt a handbag for my SIL. Turned out yummy!

i am TRULY impressed. i can't spin that thin on my wheel, and i never learned spindle spinning. honestly, i don't think i could do it. i've seen it done, but have never tried it. actually, we saw a spinning demonstration at a lewis & clark "thingie" and my son loved watching, and helping hte lady (he spun the spindle, lol). he actually wants to learn to spin, but i can't do spindles, and i'm not going to buy him a wheel, or let him use mine (yet, he's 11, and adhd, and awfully rambunctious, lol). that is truly lovely stuff. i've never spun soy myself, but i have spun real silk, and it is an experience. enjoy!

Oh that is so pretty! Thin will come with practice and experimentation. Heck, you've only been spinning for umm three months? if you can get it, try some finn sheep - it is the stuff that spins finest and easiest for me :-)

Drop spindling is actually much, much, MUCH easier than it looks. As long as your fiber is laid out ready to go, it's absolutely astonishing how fast the yarn builds, even at a tight twist. I use my dogs' and cats' shed hair for fun (I never *do* anything with the yarn--maybe someday!) and a drop spindle I made.

Try it--don't be scared of it!


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This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on January 9, 2006 5:12 AM.

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