Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back to Basics

Drop spindle, white Corriedale
Sometimes, it's nice to get back to the basics.
Even though Buggy has a lovely chocolate brown Corriedale on its bobbin, I decided to work on a drop spindle project for a little bit.

I started this for the Ravelenic Games back in July, thinking I might actually finish it within those 2 weeks...on top of the 5 knitting projects I had picked out. Hahahaha, yeah right.

So it's been sitting in my basked, waiting for me to pick it back up, to finish the second half of the roving, and ply it together with its sister.

There is something even more relaxing and satisfying about spinning on a spindle, I think. Everything is done by hand; supplying the spin, adding the twist, handling the fibers, coaxing the roving into the perfect thickness. Of course you still do the same thing with a wheel. You still have to hold the roving, you still have to draft it out and make sure you're getting the right thickness. But I feel like a spindle is more of an accomplishment. Kind of like hand sewing versus sewing on a machine. You still need to know what you're doing, but the machine makes it easier. For me, a spinning wheel makes spinning easier.

It also gives me a new appreciation of the way things used to be done. Before spinning wheels were invented, and before spinning machines came to be, this is how people made yarn and fabric. Until the mid-1700's rural households still helped make a majority of the textiles. Merchants would give them the raw materials, the families would spin and weave them for a little bit of money, and the merchants would get back usable fabric. All done by hand. How crazy is that? It wasn't uncommon for women to take a spindle with them when they had to trek anywhere so they could work on the go. It makes me feel connected somehow.

While Buggy will probably always be my go-to piece of equipment if I want to make yarn, I'll still use my spindles for sometimes projects. For when I want to get really into my spinning, when I want to handle the fibers as much as possible, or when I want to make something incredibly fine. Floss anyone?


Becca said...

Will You just come to the east coast and teach me how to spin? I haven't been able to master it and it makes me feel stupid every time I try.

JellybeanInc said...

I would love to come visit the east coast and teach you! Let me pack my bags... =)