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June 27, 2006



Well, let me just throw this out there...spinning on a spindle is more difficult than spinning on a wheel. While some concepts are the same the coordination is a bit different. So, with that said maybe you need to just find a spinning wheel (from a friend or dealer) and try it out. That just might be your cup of tea and the old spindle can be used as a lovely Christmas tree ornament.

(bizarre advice from another Wendy.)

Oh, and another thing I learned is that some spindles don't spin certain types of roving very well. I learned this the hard way. When I first tried to spin on a spindle I was using Merino that came with the spindle. The spindle crashed to the ground and broke. BFL has long fibers and makes a much easier roving to spin for someone who is new. In addition, I found it easier to spin with the top spindle than I did with the bottom worl spindle.


I love the hankie yarn! I'm so glad you were able to keep yourself going, even when the going got tough. BTW, both my dh and myself are impatiently awaiting your new shell pattern! It's really lovely.


...it'll be ready the first week in july!


My understanding of marathoners is that they push their bodies so hard, so far, that they lose control of their bowels. They can keep running, but lose control of the poop function; losing control of the whole body is not far behind the poop.

You push through some rough, rugged spinning because of your passion for fiber. A passion which rivals a marathoner's love for running.


While hiking the Grand Canyon 5 yrs and 40 lbs ago, I learned I will never do it again...LOL!

I am happy that you figured out the spinning thing. I would always rather just drop a craft because I don't care for it, rather than have the craft beat me.


Thanks for the mention, Wendy and congrats on the spinning triumph! I stink at it, in a major MAJOR way....


Love the socks! Haven't tried the spinning thang and hope to avoid the yearning for it. I love yarn but want immediate gratification. I'd rather run a marathon—and probably would do better at it—with no poop!


i've been learning how to spin on a drop spindle lately too - it's tiring, but really fun once i've gotten the hang of it.

ps - i love your blog - read it every day =)


Thanks for posting about project snuggle, I'm always looking for knitting for good and not evil projects.

I think you're pretty good at spinning from the recent pics...or maybe I'm just really bad...shit


thank you so much for the huge laugh at the end of a long long day. I really needed it. I personally hope that you don't get into spinning because then you'll want to write about that, and well, I am just not into the roving/spinning thing, but I am thinking whatever you write, it will be interesting : )


No worries, Cynthia. Although spinning has been on my mind lately, I'm only talking about it a lot because it has been such a struggle.

I don't think I'll ever own a spinning wheel because, well, it won't look good with the decor (heh heh) and second, I have a knitting book to write!


jump on that book thing, so I can buy it!


Looks good, purty colors and fun texture.

Next time we see each other I'll try to remember to bring a spindle, maybe I can show you some tricks to make it easier. I never liked spinning on a spindle until a few months ago, I started back on it again. I like the portability, but the small amounts I do feel kind of limiting.


Hey Wendy (Spaaz.), I remembered you didn't like the spindle action, otherwise I would have emailed you. Now that you're back on the wagon (or off? Never got that particular phrase), we'll have to make sure our lower Southern and upper Southern CA friends get together again.

Oh, and on that comment about the purty colors and "fun" texture? The "fun" texture is completely unintended...


To stick up for my fellow marathoners,if you make it 22miles. You are past the point of NO CARING how you look :-)
LOL>.. tho Iwill say in my defense, I am slow enough to stop at every portapotty stop, which I would never consider going in one of these before I ran. and no, have never pooped the pants .:-) and I have 3 marathon record of it. hehehe.
oh, love the socks.


Not that you want to hear it, but I couldn't get the hang of the spindle until I learned to spin on the wheel.

Just a suggestion....


I am a VERY experienced spindle spinner *snort*. I have exactly one skein of handspun merino, so my advice is worth exactly that.

I second Wendy #1's advice - it might be the spindle (some weigh more than others and apparently that has an effect). One thing that has helped me a lot is to pre-draft the fibre before spinning. I basically "tear" apart the strips into a thickness a little bigger than I want to spin and lay them on the nearest piece of furniture. Then, while drafting and parking (beginner here) - the fibre is already almost thin enough so I just have to gently draft it out a bit.

Seems to work reasonably well for my clumsy mitts.


Wendy, did you see the post I did for you? Trying to help. Ironically, I almost put "try spinning it counter-clockwise" in there because that's what I do with my spindle ... crazy enough, I spin my wheel clockwise. LOL. I'm so glad you're making progress!!

amy [Knitty]

I spin my dropspindles "backwards" according to what everyone else I know does -- clockwise. Yup. It's always felt right to me, so that's how i do it. Matters not. Just remember which way you spun it so you can go the other way to ply it [or ply someone else to ply it for you].


Thanks for the info about Project Snuggle. I have a very lonely hand-knit bear sitting at my house. He will now find someone to love him! I knew there was a reason I made him!


I'm a new spinner - so take my advice for what it's worth. My understanding is that silk is not the easiest fiber to spin. Corriedale, BFL, or wool blend are easier because the individual fibers are longer, so it's easier to draft - and pre-drafting is really the only way to go. That said, I really didn't have much luck on my spindle until I figured out how to draft on my wheel and now that I have, my spindling is much better (and I also bought a new spindle that I think works a bit better for me). Good luck with the spinning, but beware - it's addicting!


It is a great feeling when things finally "click" into place, I am glad it did with your spinning. Your little hanks look beautiful.


*sound of screeching brakes*
"But then I remembered my fortunately short roller skating career ..."

Out with it, missy!


That was Grete Waitz in the Boston Marathon one year, I think! I remember that. I also will tell you that she likely didn't even care. When I'm doing a half Ironman triathlon, I don't care (after the 10th mile of the run, which is the third leg of the race) if I'm out there running naked!!! :-)


Well I'm glad you mastered the spindle. I could never ever do it. I actually had to take a leap of faith and drop a bunch of money on a wheel because I wanted so desperately to spin. Good job!!

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