Monday, November 27, 2006


This morning I woke up with a weird case of vertigo which seems to be related to a bad combination of my inner ears and Michigan weather. My day has been divided into almost equal portions of sleeping and spinning. With these disturbing sensations of being disoriented in space, it seems best to stay close to the ground, so I've been spinning a my support spindle.

This is the day's accomplishment:

Last week Ted did a couple of blog entries on spindle spinning. I'm a fairly accomplished spinner on the wheel, but my introduction to spindle spinning was with pencil roving and a boat anchor drop spindle before quickly jumping to the wheel. As a result, my spindle spinning skills remained undeveloped.

For some reason, the time for spindle spinning has arrived in my life. Not in an acquisitive way, where one goes on ebay and buys every spindle that catches one's fancy. If there's any acquisition involved, it's more likely to be an acquisition of skill.

I like the technical aspect of spinning, even though I'm not a "treadle counter" and "length of draft" measurer. There's great pleasure to be found in selecting the right method for preparing the fiber. Then deciding which drafting style to use and deciding the diameter and twist of the yarn for it's intended use. Keeping notes and records and swatches all together for reference as the project progresses helps to keep me focused on the end product.

In both knitting and weaving, there is cross over from those involved in manufacturing to those involved in the handcraft. I've never come across that as a spinner. Surely there must be a textile engineer out there who has mastered the spindle or the wheel. But I've never come across one. Curious, isn't it?

This cotton/silk sliver has been in my stash for years. I've spun some of it on each of my 3 wheels. Some of that yarn became the pattern weft in a summer and winter woven sampler. But I've never really liked the yarn that came from the wheels.

Today those colors of a summer sunset were such a pleasure to slowly draft, insert twist, and wind onto the spindle in a quiet meditative way. The pace of life was slowed to something more manageable. Spindle spinning is not about production, it's about process. With no end product in mind, the quality of the thread spoke for itself as I wound it onto the spindle.

One could do worse than to live a strand of their life between the pinch of the twist and the wind onto the spindle.


  1. I'm not much of a spindle spinner either, so your post is encouraging. Your spinning looks great. Maybe a supported spindle is easier than a drop spindle (??)

    Sorry to hear about your vertigo. I hope it didn't last long.

  2. Anonymous5:58 AM

    I, too, hope that your vertigo is gone.
    I have a drop spindle that I love, but don't use very often. It is so enjoyable and relaxing. I've never seen a support spindle. Looks intriguing.


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