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The Handspinning Corner


#1

You know, the thing where you turn flurf into yarn? Let’s discuss.


#2

Hi all,

I have found that spinning in the NYC subway has begun 100s of friendly conversations with riders - who range from “I’ve never seen that before” to “My mother/grandmother/aunt used to do that in (pick your country)”. It attracts interest in ways that knitting and crochet in the subways doesn’t, and I’ve begun to believe that it might be a gateway to bringing more interest in fiber arts and crafts. Or at least making people think twice about their clothes and the animals, plants and labor that provided the material to create them. What is most striking to me is how many men are fascinated by it. I think it looks somehow scientific (spindle turning, fluff getting drawn into small line).

Plus it is really relaxing, especially when the subway stops between stations for what would otherwise feel like forever.


#3

That’s so neat! Does the motion of the train affect your spinning at all?


#4

Man, this is reminding me that I haven’t done any handspinning on my drop spindle in a while. Maybe I’ll try to get some done when I get home… usually I can’t do more than about 15 minutes before my hands start cramping.


#5

I love this and while I have not spun on the subway, I have on the bus! And, yes it does spark conversation!


#6

Hi Spinners!

Glad to see some fluff-lovers here. I spin on a Hansen, mostly, but I usually have a Turkish spindle tucked into a bag somewhere when I am out of the house. Love :heart:️ all aspects of fiber prep, from getting a fleece right from the sheep, to dyeing, carding, and blending. I just made a blending board and it’s another fun way to play with color and texture.

we have an active spinning community in the metro DC area and meet for all kinds of activities. And of course we are next door neighbors to Maryland Sheep and Wool, now less than six months away. More fluff!


#7

I spin on a Matchless and a couple of Jenkin’s Turkish spindles. I love them - they have made spinning so portable!!

I have a fleece room and there is always something in some stage of the process. I am trying to work my way up to spinning for a sweater. But, I am not quite there yet!

I love Maryland and can hardly wait to go again next year!


#8

You can spin a SQ! I bet you have enough yarn spun already to make Less is More http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/less-is-more-2


#9

On my last trip to the City, I was spinning on the Staten Island Ferry. It definitely sparked some conversation. My favorite spinning in public story was in a park in Albany. A big burly biker dude came over to ask me about it. I explained what I was doing, and he said, “Cool. I do macrame.” And I was reminded that craft is for all people and I shouldn’t make assumptions!


#10

I’ve lived near New York State Sheep and Wool for years, but only made the trek a few years ago. My sister lives near Maryland Sheep and Wool - maybe next spring I’ll pay her a timely visit.

I spin on an Ashford Kiwi. I’ve had it for almost a year. There are three Shetlands in my back yard, growing more wool than I know what to do with. I don’t mind the fiber prep, but it takes so long! I keep getting distracted by pretty braids when I’m out at festivals.


#11

Whoa sheep! How cool. What colors of fleece do they grow?


#12

I have considered that - perhaps a “sweater of many colors” is just the thing I need right now. Thanks for the reminder XO


#13

It’s so much fun! Our boys are very friendly (with my husband and me - shy of strangers, though). When we go near the pasture, they run over, heads bobbing, looking for treats. One of them even jumps up occasionally, like a dog but with much sharper hooves. Two of them are dark brown, almost black. The other is a light brown, but gray when sheared. The fleece seems to be gray when I comb it, too - I guess he has a kind of double coat? Not sure. He produces the most and softest wool, and is the friendliest too.

Here’s a shot of Thomas (darker, who is greedy and jumps up looking for food) and Ollie (lighter, the friendly one who is always first in line for head scratches) playing in the garden cart. They’re twins. Half brother Oscar (who looks like Thomas) is being his usual grouchy self and hiding from the camera.


#14

Squee! They are very handsome fellows indeed. Yes, I would guess that they are double coated. I have worked with Shetland that has up to five lengths of fiber all in the same lock.

Thanks for the photo!


#15

Another spinner here! I’m in a few groups with @kachrist37 waves wildly . My main wheel is a Lendrum and I love it. I started on an Ashford Traveler that I bought 7 years ago at Rhinebeck. It wasn’t that crowded that day (can you believe it?) and I sat down at different vendors and sheep exhibitors and learned how to spin at the festival. I bought the wheel unfinished and it was interesting putting it together. Then of course I could not figure out how to spin. It seemed so easy at the fair! I finally figured it out through videos and joining my “local” spinning guild. So far away! I’m a member of the Spinning Study Group of Long Island which meets in Smithtown. I just started going to the meetings again because I have met some great people there and when I bumped into them at Rhinebeck this year I realized how much I missed being with other spinners in person!

When I decided to sell my Ashford and all of the Flyers I looked at what the used ones were selling for, picked a reasonable price and sold it all within 12 hours. I actually made money on the wheel over the years, and took that PayPal money and bought the Lendrum. I also have a Louet Victoria I purchased used with a Wooly Winder and my daughter (15 now and has been spinning for 5 years) adores this and claims it as her own. I have a Pocket Wheel that I bought from a fellow guild member and then I realized why she didn’t like it as the rod that held the flyer was bent. I mailed it back to the builder and he got it back to pristine condition. It doesn’t get used much, so I really should sell it. Part of me feels guilty because I did not spend a lot on it and could sell it for a lot more.

I have a large collection of spindles and forced myself this year not to even look at them at Rhinebeck. It’s so easy to say, just one more! I have 3 Jenkins Turkish, and also a Turtle made which are 3D printed. Great for traveling! I have 2 Bosworths which are really lovely, a few 3D drop spindles, and other assorted art pieces. My favorite is my little Golding though. Wish I could figure out how to add a picture! It looks like you click on the Upload on the bottom right but on my older iPad it doesn’t do anything.


#16


#17

They look like Shetlands? They are so cute!


#18

Hello, hello!! waves back more wildly Spinning is really the best thing! And, I do not think you can ever have too many spindles! I am envious of your Rhinebeck trips! And, I am so happy to see you here!

Also, I pulled out all kinds of mini-skeins yesterday that I spun on my spindles to knit a pair of Squad Mitts! The perfect project for handspun! Casting on today during the Michigan Football game!


#19

Hi, I am looking for someone to spin my dogs hair into yarn. Have you done this before? Thanks!


#20

I love to spin in waiting rooms - I drag my spindles and Hansen with me all over the place. I love the people who are curious, but I also love the people who are trying so hard not to notice what I’m doing.

I’m planning on spinning and knitting Squad Mitts over Thanksgiving, something to look forward to!