Spinning Wheel Inspector, reporting for duty!

February 5th, 2010  |  Published in Babbling

Wow! I had the greatest time the other night when I drove down south to look at a spinning wheel for somebody on Ravelry.

Scandinavian SlantyFirst off, I know, spinning wheel. What’s with the spinning wheel on a spindle blog? I seem to have been bitten with the antique spinning wheel bug (don’t worry, it seems to be compatible with the spindle bug!). I bought a sweet Scandinavian slanty wheel last month after those evil enablers in the Ravelry Antique Spinning Wheel group linked to an online ad. I looked. My heart went pitty-pat.

CPW Drive WheelTurns out there’s a Canadian Production Wheel group, as well. Have you seen the CPWs with that gorgeous hardware (especially the treadles!)? There was one for sale in the area. A couple of not-in-the-area people were interested in it, so I offered to go look at it and see whether it was spinnable. That’s where the Wow! comes in!

CPW with hardware!Do you know how much fun it is to kluge a footman (photo mat, paper punch, and string…really, it worked!), tie on a drive band, figure out how to tension the drive band…and then stare at the wheel when your yarn doesn’t wind on? And then realize that the bobbin isn’t spinning all that freely on the flyer shaft…so you clean off untold number of years of greasy gunk from the shaft? And then finally spin on a real live antique spinning wheel? Go. Do it. And don’t blame me when you get bit by the antique spinning wheel bug.

I have a new calling: Roaming Spinning Wheel Inspector.


Not only cute & tiny, but precious, too!

December 26th, 2009  |  Published in Babbling  |  1 Comment

Are these not the sweetest little spindles you’ve ever seen?

Here’s their Etsy shop (jenkinswoodworking), but it looks like the Kuchulu spindles mentioned on their web site 12/19/09 have sold already. Sob.

Wow. So…brown.

November 27th, 2009  |  Published in Babbling

Enchanted Knoll superwash merino

Enchanted Knoll superwash merino

I was just showing a friend what I’ve started here…and we both looked at each other and said, “Wow. That’s so…brown.” So I grabbed the nearest fiber, took a photo, and here’s proof that not all I spin is brown…just, well, you know, mostly brown.

The specs: Enchanted Knoll Farm’s superwash merino in the Big Sky colorway


Spinning sock yarn

November 22nd, 2009  |  Published in Spindle Project

Three Sock Singles

Three Sock Singles

I’m mildly obsessed with sock yarn. Having it, using it, getting more of it, and, you know what’s coming, spinning it.

So it only makes sense that most of my spinning projects involve making sock-weight yarns. One of my current projects uses 3 spindles for the singles, and a 4th yet-to-be-named spindle for plying.

I’m shooting for a nice fingering weight because it just makes me crazy to finish knitting a pair of socks made with that slightly too thick yarn that requires a new pair of shoes. Bigger shoes. So even though I whine about the itty-bitty needles, and the itty-bitty yarn, I’m happier in the end (really).

Confession: I started spinning these singles something like, um, maybe 3 years ago? I know. Pretty sad. The good news is I think I’m finally almost ready to ply (ha! almost!)! Each spindle has 0.8 oz of fiber in the cop, and I only have 0.6 oz of roving left to spin. I should end up with a skein weighing almost 3 oz, which should make a pair of socks.

Sock Single Size

Sock Single Size

And if not, I guess I’ll just have to spin something matchy-matchy so my socks have toes. And the rest of their feet.

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Greensleeves’ Bare Bonesies

November 13th, 2009  |  Published in Spindle Review

This little spindle has become one of my favorites. Why? It’s tough, it’s not fussy, it’s a good little spinner, the shaft is just the right diameter, and while it’s one of the plainer spindles in my collection, it’s quietly beautiful.

Greensleeves Bare Bonesie
Weight: ~1.0 ounces (~28.35 g)
Whorl diameter: 2″ (5.08 cm)
Whorl material: maple
Shaft length: 7.5″ (19.05 cm)
Shaft material: birch
Total Length: ~9″ (~22.86 cm)

Let’s talk about tough. I tend to stuff spindle projects in bags and toss them in the car where they ride around for days or weeks until I decide to bring them back into the house for a little shelf time. Or I’ll pack them for a trip…where ‘packing’ consists of squashing the spindles & fiber in between the socks (I’m a lazy packer–I don’t want to have to baby my spindles). The Bare Bonesie whorl is a nice thick round of maple, and the shaft is a fairly hefty length of birch. Both of which have stood up to the abuse I’ve heaped upon them.

I have some fussy spindles. They’re pretty adamant about the type of fiber they want to spin, or the size of singles they’ll produce. The Bare Bonesie has proven itself to be fairly flexible: silk and merino to mohair and corriedale; spider web to fingering (confession: I like to spin fine.)

Greensleeves' Bare Bonesie, top view

Greensleeves' Bare Bonesie, top view

The physical aspects of this spindle fit my hands nicely. The shaft diameter is small enough I can easily use my thumb & finger to get the spindle spinning, yet large enough I can feel the shaft. The finish is simple and doesn’t interfere: there’s still enough of the raw wood coming through for your fingers (or your thigh, if you roll the spindle up/down your thigh) to get a good grip.

Bare Bonesies are also easy on the wallet, costing less than $20…which may explain why I have 7 or 8 of them around the house and car. These are great spindles to share with new spinners (as is the slightly heftier 1.5 ounce Bare Bones).

Sometimes it’s the plain Jane spindle that wins your heart.

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spin-dle [spin-dl] noun, adjective, verb, -dled, -dling

September 18th, 2009  |  Published in Babbling

1. a rounded rod, usually of wood, tapering toward each end, used in hand-spinning to twist into thread the fibers drawn from the mass on the distaff, and on which the thread is wound as it is spun.
9. a measure of yarn, containing, for cotton, 15,120 yards (13,825 m), and for linen, 14,400 yards (13,267 m).
bef. 900; ME spindel (n.), OE spin(e)l; see spin, -le; c. G Spindel

A Trio of Barebonesies

January 16th, 2009  |  Published in Spindle Glam Shots

Three Barebonesies spindles from Greensleeves Spindles

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Dang, I wish I’d written this!

December 30th, 2008  |  Published in Babbling

I was just doing a little blog hopping, and ran across Abby’s post for today: Getting Started! Thinking about learning to spin? She’s gathered the articles and resources you need! Go! Go read and explore!

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