The Right Tools

Recently, Sarah of the Knitting Sarah blog wrote all about some glorious new tools she had acquired (and I now have major swift envy). The sentiments in that post must have stuck in my head because when I was getting fed up trying to card wool at the last guild needing, and realized that it was so much easier to do on the hand carders the teacher lent me, I caved and bought myself a pair of carders I knew I would like better.

The Right Tools | Woolen Diversions

Strauch wool carders from The Woolery. Click for product page.

I had a hard time justifying the purchase at first because they cost more than the pair I already owned — and I already owned a pair. But I bought my first pair on a whim, with no knowledge of what I needed or would like. Now I realize that I needed lighter weight, curved cards for my weak wrists, and a higher density of teeth (112 dpi) for smoother carding of fine fibers. And in about 10 minutes flat, I filled up a shoebox with happy, fluffy rolags that I can’t wait to spin.

The Right Tools | Woolen Diversions

Happy rolags! (Distantly related to Bob Ross’s happy trees.)

I’d been avoiding carding wool for months but now that I have tools that I like, it’s a pleasure and not a chore. For my hands, the Strauch wool cards were the way to go. For someone else, the pair I had might work just fine, so I’m putting them up for sale. These carders came from Paradise Fibers and retail for $66.95. They are the regular size (8″ x 3.25″) and they have a 72 dpi cloth, best for medium and longwools. They’re quite well reviewed on the website, they were just too heavy and flat-backed for me. Happy to sell for $50, which includes US shipping (which will likely be around $13 for priority flat-rate at this size/weight), or best offer.

The Right Tools | Woolen Diversions

For sale! E-mail alicia@woolendiversions.com with interest.

I will be listing these on Ravelry as well, email alicia at woolendiversions dot com if interested.

Have you had a tool-related ‘aha!’ moment?

Prepare for Eye Candy

Oh boy, oh boy. My new Woodland Woodworking support spindle showed up and it is beyond gorgeous.

Woolen Diversions

Feast your eyes!

If you haven’t heard of Woodland Woodworking before, you must immediately go admire Carl’s work. His spindles are fairly unique in both shape and style. I had never encountered a teacup spindle before his, and rarely have I seen any spindles painted with such gorgeous precision.

Woolen Diversions

Pretty, pretty snowflakes!

His custom list is filled up months and months in advance and his updates seem to be few and far between, and sell out in seconds. In truth, I was hoping to land this blue snowflake beauty, but I am thankful to have been able to purchase any spindle at all. The one I received is a bead spindle made of German hornbeam and redheart. It is quite lightweight (0.87 oz, or 24 g) and shorter than some of my other support spindles (9.75 in).

My collection currently consists of a Texas Jeans Russian spindle in curly maple, a Texas Jeans Tibetan in maple and purpleheart, the new Woodland Woodworking bead spindle, and a Hipstrings tahkli for cotton spinning in carbon fiber and acrylic. The two Texas Jeans spindles are the longest at 12″ and 11″, while the tahkli is the shortest at 9″. The Tibetan is the heaviest (31 g), followed by the Russian (27 g), then the new bead spindle (24 g), and finally the tahkli (7 g).

Woolen Diversions

Spinning tip comparison.

What I found really interesting is the difference in the thickness of the spinning tip of the new Woodland Woodworking spindle from the tips of the Texas Jeans support spindles I’ve been accustomed to using. The WW tip is much thicker than the TJ spindle tips. So while the spindle is lighter, you don’t get quite as much spinning force bang-for-your-buck as you do with a thinner-shafted spindle and it took my fingers a little bit of time to adjust to the different feel.

I can tell that I could get really wrapped up in analyzing the different spin times / feels / speeds etc. of different spindle types. I may or may not have already begun a spreadsheet tracking the dimensions of my spindles. I suppose this means I’ll just have to obtain one of every kind for a thorough analysis… what do you think? 😉

(P.S. The lovely fiber I’m spinning on the new spindle is some Merino wool hand-dyed by June Pryce Fiber Arts. I love the colors!)

WIPWed #75: New Wheel In The House

After a mildly soul-crushing shipping mishap last Wednesday which resulted in a delivery of whatever this thing is, instead of my wheel:

Nobody wants you, squirrel cage swift thing!

I finally received my brand new Lendrum DT! (Previous posts in my search for a new wheel are here and here.) As evidenced in the photos below, I didn’t even remove my knitwear after walking in the door before sitting down to spin on it. Guys, it’s so lovely to work with.

The treadles are extremely comfortable, it was simple to put together and seems easy to maintain (I’ve only oiled the flyer shaft, everything else is contained), the wood is gorgeous in person and it is spinning up my free pound of Falkland wool nice and smoothly. I’m unreasonably excited to try out all the different drive ratios the complete package came with (the regular flyer, fast flyer, and jumbo flyer each have 3) and I’m kind of enthralled with the little sliding hook mechanism (rather than individual hooks on the flyer). The Majacraft Pioneer I tried had a slidey bit and was lovely to treadle as well, but I couldn’t get over the delta orifice on that wheel, and much prefer the wood used in the Lendrum anyway.

After a weekend that involved an obnoxious amount of verbal and quantitative reasoning questions (yay GREs!), staying-up-until-3am-statement-of-purpose-essay-writing, copious grad school application activities, and general brain fatigue, I’m really looking forward to spending some free time chillaxin’ with my new spinning buddy. (I’m barely resisting giving a name to this new spinning buddy. I’ve always thought that naming wheels and spindles was sort of odd, but for some reason I’m feeling the urge. Please stop me.) Due to all of the craziness around here lately and a yoga-induced strained back muscle (really!), I haven’t been doing much knitting, but I’ll document the little WIP progress I did manage to make this week anyway.

Overdyed Cypress:

Woolen Diversions

Blurry pic, sorry! Click for project page.

Just a couple more rows added to my (former) #NaKniSweMo sweater. I’ll get there, eventually! Slow and steady with this one.

Chai Tea Latte:

Woolen Diversions

Foxfire Fibre Upland Wool & Alpaca. Click for project page.

The texture of this cowl reminds me of a nice, frothy chai tea latte drink. I started this on Thanksgiving so I’d have something smaller than a sweater to carry with me on our holiday travels. The yarn is a natural tan wool, spun woolen for optimal loft and fuzziness. It reminds me of an even airier Malabrigo worsted, it is a thick yet lightweight singles yarn. My skein is untagged, but I purchased it at my knitting guild when Barbara from Foxfire Fiber & Designs (who wrote an excellent book, Adventures in Yarn Farming) came to give a talk. I believe this yarn is her Upland Wool & Alpaca blend, technically a DK weight but I’m knitting it on size 9’s for a loftier fabric. I’m designing as I go, using a variation of the stitch I explored in the baby hat I finished last week. We’ll see how it turns out!

Petrol BFL:

Woolen Dirersions

Countess Ablaze Pertrol BFL. Click for handspun page.

Just because I have a new wheel, doesn’t mean I’m going to completely ignore my old one! The Babe is still great for spinning longwools, plying, and any art yarns that require strong pull or special techniques. Besides, I intend to use a bunch of random skeins of BFL handspun in one project, so I should probably continue to use the same tool when spinning them up.

Tropical Merino:

Woolen Diversions

Wooldancer 19.5 Micron Merino. Click for handspun page.

I finished the little sample skein I was spinning on my Jenkins Finch (pics later, I forgot!) and started this shockingly pink braid of ultra fine Merino wool. I’m surprised by how much I love this wee spindle and this unabashedly pink fiber. It’s so far outside my normal color palette, but it’s really gorgeous in person. Since the singles are very thin, I split the braid into four equal bits and am planning to spin a 4-ply. Since the colors are not distinct and will undoubtedly jumble up with plying, I’m picturing the finished yarn to have a nicely heathered effect.

What have you been working on lately? Am I the only one in the middle of crazy deadlines? I’m hoping they let up soon so I can actually relax a little and get in the holiday spirit before Christmas comes!

And Now We Wait

I had quite the exciting (and productive!) weekend, which is always a nice way to start off a new and busy week. I missed my Inspiration Saturday post this weekend because the Fiasco and I were off hunting for spinning wheels at the knitter’s mecca: Webs!

Woolen Diversions

And with a well-placed sunbeam, no less.

If you remember from last week, I was having an internal debate over whether to make the 4-hr drive there and back twice in one week: once on Thursday to try the wheels out (when they are open late) and again over the weekend to pick up the wheel. The goal of this plan would’ve been to insure that I got my wheel order in before they sold out, since they were having a big 20% off a single item sale. In the end, I decided that making two trips was too crazy, even for me, and that I’d have to leave it up to fate and see what was left when I got there.

Woolen Diversions

Trying to try a Matchless.

Everybody in the store was super helpful, even though they were totally mobbed with customers. The extremely sweet store manager, Stephanie, helped me try out the wheels. The Schacht Matchless was a gorgeous wheel: large and solid, with an attractive shape. The treadles were large and very comfortable to work. Unfortunately, we had quite a bit of trouble getting the double drive tension system set up so I didn’t get a chance to really try it out. I could see the Fiasco’s face start to fall as he watched a couple different ladies come by and fiddle with it for several minutes to try get it to work: he knew that since I’m crap with machines, he’d be the one who would have to fiddle with it at home. I didn’t want something that was a pain to set up or work with so we decided that at this time, the Matchless was not for me. (Disclaimer: this could have been this particular wheel or my general inexperience with double drive, I’ve heard wonderful things about the wheel from people who own them.)

Woolen Diversions

Trying a Ladybug, with the Lendrum behind me.

The other wheels I went to try where the Schacht Sidekick, the Schacht Ladybug, and the Lendrum DT. (Note: the Lendrum link is an affiliate link to The Woolery, I could not find a company website for Lendrum.) I wasn’t interested in purchasing a travel wheel, but I tried the Sidekick anyway while I was there. You can just see one of its treadles in the back behind the fiber. It’s a tiny wheel, quite adorable really, and I like the look of the teal drive wheel (obviously). The sideways wheel was surprising to spin on, I often use my foot in a rung of the drive wheel to start it spinning and its not possible to do that on the Sidekick. I think that would bother me a bit at first but is likely something I could adjust to. The Ladybug was also a cute wheel, and seemed much smaller in person than it looked online. It was definitely much smaller than the Babe I currently own, so I felt a bit hunched over as I tried to work with it. There were some tension system issues with this wheel as well, the takeup wasn’t working properly, so it was difficult to get a good feel of how it would spin in tip top condition. Many people are very happy with their Ladybugs, but I wanted something a little larger and more solid (it is made with lightweight MDF, not wood) since I already own a lightweight, plastic wheel.

Woolen Diversions

Lendrum Original DT. Photo from The Woolery.

I was so caught up in spinning on the Lendrum, that I didn’t even take a picture! I loved this wheel the moment I treadled it. It’s much more attractive in person than I thought, the maple wood is lovely and the wheel has a nice, solid feel. It’s a tall wheel that is tilted at a bit of an angle so the orifice is closer to you than it would be if it were perpendicular to the floor. It seemed very simple to set up and use, and I appreciated small details like the slot where the orifice hook resides. I was already biased towards this wheel when I went in since I love that the complete package came with a lazy kate and three different flyers (regular, fast, and jumbo) that allow you to spin at 9 different ratios from 5:1 to 17:1, making it a very versatile wheel from the get-go, for which you won’t need to purchase many accessories right away. When I tried it, the spinning was smooth and effortless, and the store manager couldn’t say enough good things about the wheel — basically everyone who spins at Webs owns a Lendrum, and she was very excited to welcome me to ‘the cult’. Stephanie was so excited that even though they didn’t have any more in stock (they thought they did, but they couldn’t find them, even though the system said there was 1 left, but then it said there were 5 left, which was just crazy) she ordered a wheel for me and still allowed me to purchase it at the sale price. Huzzah!

And now we wait. I had mentally prepared myself for not even being able to purchase a wheel, so I thought I would be cool with not getting to take one home, and even bragged to the Fiasco about how I cool I was about the whole thing and that it was better this way since the wheel is supposed to be my Christmas gift so if I wait for it, I’ll get it closer to Christmas. I thought I’d be cool, but I’m so not! I want my new wheel! The more I think about it, the more excited I get! Also a little nervous, since that was the fastest I’d ever made a decision about a large purchase. But I think I did enough research and should trust my instincts anyway, right? Right! And of course, I didn’t come home from Webs empty-handed.

With the purchase of a wheel, you get a pound of fiber so I took home some Ashland Bay Falkland, which I think I’ll use to break in my new wheel. Even with a pound of new fiber, I couldn’t resist that blue-green braid of SweetGeorgia superwash BFL. I’ve admired Felicia’s colorways for a long time but had not yet purchased any. And even though I know I said I wasn’t knitting any Christmas presents this year, it turns out that someone on my list really wants some winter accessories and I think a chunky blue/purple cowl made out of Malabrigo Mecha will be just the thing. Finally, we went to a nearby gift shop in Northampton and found the coolest literary-themed candles ever. Aren’t they awesome?

What do you do to help yourself wait patiently for something really exciting? Help a knitter out!

 

 

WIPWed #59: Wedding In Progress

The wedding itself is not in progress at this moment, but the preparation for it certainly is! The Fiasco and I have been busy busy bees lately. Thank goodness he’s a teacher and has free time to run errands all over town while I’ve been working. Our evenings, late nights, and weekends have been overflowing with tasks but many of them have been creative so it’s been a good time.

IMG_6716

ALL THE RIBBONS!

I essentially bought out the entire blue/green ribbon section of Michael’s to turn this mess:

IMG_6680

White duct tape around a hula hoop + ribbons =

Into this gorgeous thing:

IMG_6707

AWESOME!

The aptly-named “hula hoop ribbon thing” is going to serve as a backdrop during our ceremony and will reside behind the sweetheart table at the reception. It’s the one and only Pinterest-inspired wedding craft that I actually accomplished. That shawl I dreamt about? Never happened. I totally gave up on my Something Blue purse. But I was bound and determined to make this ribbon thing and I’m really glad I did!

IMG_6708

Also, jewelry?

I also decided, in a fit of randomness, that I’d really like to make my own wedding jewelry. (I think we made one too many trips to Michael’s and I became infected with some sort of craft all the things bug.) The bracelet was a breeze, I’m going to tackle the earrings and necklace tonight. We’ll see how it goes!

IMG_6696

Cotton tahkli from hipstrings. Click for Etsy shop.

As is my wont, stressful busy days with no time to knit or spin lead directly to some stash and tool enhancement. I am excited to try this little cotton tahkli from hipstrings. It’s made of acrylic and carbon fiber and is very lightweight and supposed to spin very quickly. Since I enjoy my Tibetan and Russian supported spindles so much, I figured it was time to branch out into cotton spinning and see how it goes. I’ll give this baby a whirl next week.

I hope you all are having wonderful weeks! Check out some actual knitting WIPs at Tamis Amis.

Winner & More Than You Cared To Know

We have a winner for the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz review & giveaway! Congrats to Whit of knitsbywhit, Stitchraft Marketing will be in contact with you about your prize.

winner3

Entries for comments and pingbacks were listed in the order in which they were received.

I can’t get over how many entries there were! Turns out you guys really like your needles. I had a great time reading all of your comments and I wish I could send needles to everyone. Since I can’t do that, I figured I could at least summarize some of the interesting things people said about their needle-using habits. (Data analysis is a great consolation prize… right?)

needles1

How many people mentioned that they owned/preferred a particular set or brand of needles.

First up is a table displaying all the brands and sets of needles that people mentioned either owning or preferring. Knit Picks Harmony wood needles are a clear frontrunner here but I was pretty surprised by the wide range of needles in use out there. It seems like there is something that appeals to everyone, and I had never heard of Inox before.

needles2

The needle materials and types that people stated they preferred.

If you were to sum all of the numbers of types mentioned, you’ll have more than the number of people who commented on the post since many people expressed a love of both metal and wood… which is probably why those columns are so similar, with wood in the lead by just 2 mentions. Still others said pragmatically that it depended on the project and kind of yarn being used, and a few mentioned that weather payed a role in which needles they preferred. Seems like Karbonz were high up there on the list of needles you all tried and liked, too, which is pretty cool.

Well, there you have my quick-and-dirty summary of all the lovely things you said. Thanks to everyone who commented and shared the giveaway post. I hope you stick around and continue to visit!

IS #73: Spindle-Spun

It felt good to confess my stalking of spindles to you all last week. Some of you affirmed my spindle infatuation with stories of your own collections, others expressed wonderment and curiosity about all the different types you’ve never thought of before. It made me feel a little less ridiculous for my spindle coveting… just in time for this beauty to arrive!

IMG_6571

Our new friend.

This little lovely is a birdseye maple Russian spindle from TexasJeans. It is long (12″) and lightweight (0.9 oz, 27 g) and is a quick little spinner. I was surprised at how fast and short its spin was, and how much it differed from my heavier Tibetan. My fingers quickly got the hang of it, however, and I spent an enjoyable Friday night spinning up some silk from The Wacky Windmill and watching Once Upon A Time.

IMG_6572

Mmmmmmm, silk.

The key to supported spindling (in my opinion) is spinning from carded rolags. Whatever fiber you’re working with, it will spin up much more smoothly and evenly if you card it first. This means your yarns will likely all be woolen or semi-woolen, depending on how you draft. Also keep in mind that I’m a newbie and generally winging it when it comes to spinning supported, so there could be better ways to do things. In light of that, for inspiration this week I decided to seek out gorgeous handspun yarns on Ravery that had been spun on supported spindles. Prepare to be amazed!

Photo copyright ArcticWoolies.

Photo copyright MaryBear.

 

Photo copyright LillyVoigt.

Photo copyright NotNotKnitting.

Photo copyright RoeOfPurls.

Ok, things I’ve learned from this exercise: spinners do a less-than-stellar job of documenting their spins on Ravelry! I checked every handspun page of every spinner in the Spindlemania group that I KNOW has some gorgeous support spindles… and nada. Nothing. No projects on the support spindles and barely any handspun posted at all! So I just ganked most of these photos from the Thick Or Thin Challenge thread in the Spindle Candy group. I was hoping to show off some finished yarns but these are cool, too!

What’s been inspiring you lately? Share with us or link you own blog post in the comments!

IS

Review & Giveaway: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Needles

Edit: Thanks to all who entered, the giveaway is now closed!

I’ve officially become enamored with a new-to-me knitting tool: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles. These needles are made from carbon fiber and have slick nickel-plated brass tips.

IMG_6235

Oooooh, shiny.

As you may have noticed over the last few months, I’ve been slowly transitioning from the colorful Knit Picks Harmony needles I’ve used almost exclusively for the last few years to sleek, black KP Karbonz needles. It began when I realized I was mending far too many holes in my socks and needed to tighten my gauge. However, I wanted to knit with size 0 (2.0 mm) DPNs that didn’t feel like bendable, careful-or-they’ll-snap-in-half toothpicks. So I ordered some Karbonz DPNs and loved them.

IMG_6568

Current sock in progress. Click for project page.

And I thought — maybe the Harmony’s are NOT the be-all-end-all of knitting needles. I first learned to knit on Susan Bates metal needles but have been fiercely anti-metal since I first discovered Clover Bamboo needles way back in the day. When I found the Knit Picks Harmony wood needles it was love-at-first touch. Between the warmth of the wood and the sharp pointy tips you just don’t get with bamboo, I thought they were great. Sure, I had my share of split needle tips (can we say snags?), and needle bases that separated from their metal casings so that they had to be glued back together (boo), and cords that unscrewed while I knit (that old nightmare) — but they were what I had, and I thought they worked well enough. But when I was sent a Deluxe Interchangeable Needle set to review, I was super excited to give them a try, and I haven’t been disappointed.

IMG_6230-001

Lovely packaging.

The great thing about the Karbonz needles is that they are strong and sturdy, like metal, but warm to the touch and lightweight, like wood or bamboo. THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, GUYS. The interchangeable set comes with 9 pairs of needles (from US 2.5 – US 10), 4 cords (24″, 32″, 32″, and 40″), 8 end caps, 4 cord keys, and a set of needle size markers so if you remove your needles from your project and store it on its cord, you can remember what size you were using.

IMG_6239

Accessories.

I really love the pouch the needles are packaged in, and there’s a handy slot in back to hold more cords. I ESPECIALLY love that the needle size is printed both on the needle tip AND the metal base of the needle, so no more hunting around for a needle gauge to figure out what the heck size you’re using.

IMG_6346

Lifeline near stitchmarker indicates where I switched to Karbonz needles on my Stitch Block Cowl.

Since this set has come into my possession, I’ve been swapping out the needles previously being used in my WIPs for these new needle tips. Projects that were bothering my wrist or hands for one reason or another before, suddenly felt fine. Perhaps my hands have been extra-sensitive since my wrist injury or perhaps I just needed a change, I don’t know, but the grippiness of the carbon fiber surface combined with the slipperiness of the needle tips seems to have made my knitting proceed more smoothly. Happily, changing needle tips didn’t change my gauge mid-project. I’ve since used the Karbonz needles to swatch a variety of yarns with multiple sizes and all have felt really great.

IMG_6521

Swatches! Top: handspun BFL on size US 7. Bottom: Shibui Knits Linen on size US 4.

I have two minor complaints about the set:

  1. It only comes with 4 cords. I am a knitter-of-many-WIPs, and 4 just isn’t enough for me. However, one can purchase additional cords in sizes ranging from 16″ to 60″ (for less than $3!) as needed.
  2. Needle sizes do not range smaller than US 2.5 or larger than US 10. For many people and projects, this probably isn’t an issue, but I am also a knitter-of-chunky-yarns and have plenty of use for needles on the larger end of the spectrum. Their fixed circulars have a wider range on the smaller end, though, so magic loop sock knitters can get their tiny needle fix that way.
IMG_6478

Using a cord as a stitch holder in my Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl. Click for project page.

Overall, I really love the feel of the Karbonz needles and will likely use them for the majority of my knitting. Unlike some others, I haven’t noticed any snagging in the transitions from metal tip to carbon body, or from needle to cord. I love that the size is printed on the needle and that even the thin sock sizes feel strong and unbending, but not too inflexible. While the tips aren’t as pointy as some, they appear to be pointy enough for most purposes and I am happy that they won’t split like wooden needle tips often do. The Deluxe set retails for around $125, which is certainly pricier than wooden sets, but if you can afford it I think the carbon fiber needles have definite advantages. There are also smaller interchangeable sets available priced in the $60 – $65 range.  For more information, check out other reviews at Knitter’s Review (older but still interesting), Badfaerie Designs (from the point of view of a steel needle user), and Knit Luck (really detailed!).

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

If you’d like to win a Karbonz needle prize from the good folks at Stitchcraft Marketing (exact prize to be determined), leave a comment below telling me what type of needle material you prefer and why. Each comment gains you one entry, and if you share this post via Twitter, Facebook, or on your own blog, let me know and you’ll earn extra entries. I’ll choose a winner with a random number generator on Friday, May 30th so you have until 11:59 pm Eastern time the day before to enter. Good luck, and please spread the word! (My apologies but this giveaway is only open to US residents.)

Spindle Stalker

I’ve become a stalker of spindles. I don’t know how this happened. For so long, I was perfectly content with the two that I had: a Golding beginner spindle and a Kundert that I used for my spinner’s study. I thought two must surely be enough and secretly scoffed at people who had entire bouquets of spindles in their possession.  What could they possibly need all those for, I thought***?

IMG_0962

Kundert and Golding, circa 2012.

Then, at Rhinebeck 2012, I met a lady at a function who was happily spinning away on an itty bitty spindle while we spoke. Just spinning the whole time, like it was no big deal, because her spindle was hardly bigger than a pencil and surprisingly unobtrusive. The next day I purchased a tiny Golding tsunami spindle of my very own.

IMG_2901

Golding tsunami

That’s when it really hit home: all spindles are not created equal. There is a world of difference between my 3″, 52 gram (1.86 oz)  Golding beginner spindle and my 2″, 14 gram (0.5 oz) Golding tsunami. Size, weight, wood density, whorl shape — all of these things affect the speed and length of the spindle’s spin and the weight and thickness of the spun yarn. Larger whorls with more weight around the rim, will have a longer spin. Smaller whorls or spindles with weight concentrated near the shaft, will have a faster spin. Faster spin means finer yarn. Also, lighter weight drop spindles can spin finer yarns than heavier weight drop spindles, which will break a yarn that is too thin.

IMG_6430

TexasJeans Tibetan, spinning angora

This brings us to supported spindles, which essentially have all of their weight concentrated at the shaft. This means they have a very short but very fast spin and are well-suited for fine fibers that need a lot of twist, especially since they are spun with their tips resting on a surface rather than suspended, so the weight of the spindle will not break the yarn. The Woodland Woodworking website has one of the best and most concise descriptions of the different kinds of support spindles that I have found. I currently own a Tibetan style spindle from TexasJeans on Etsy, and may have just ordered a Russian style to compare the two for myself.

IMG_6523

Jenkins Aegean, with my current spin-in-progress

About 6 months ago, I became curious about spinning on a Turkish style (bottom whorl) spindle. I really liked how neatly one could wind the cop and how the center pull ball formation eliminated the need to wind the yarn off the spindle before plying (one less step). I did some research and deduced that Jenkins Turkish spindles were among the best-of-the-best and the Fiasco kindly gave me a tiny Aegean for Valentine’s Day. I’m extremely glad he requested one when he did because 1) I love spinning with it and 2) Jenkins spindles are getting quite difficult to find! While I love my Aegean, it is tiny and lightweight (19 g) so it tends to spin a very fine yarn. I would like to obtain a larger Turkish spindle for spinning thicker yarns and for plying, as well.

And thus the stalking has begun. I’ve discovered many talented spindle-makers through the Spindle Candy and Spindlemania boards on Ravelry and now have a rather lengthy spindle wishlist, including:

Photo copyright Woodland Woodworking. Tried and failed to score one of these beauties last weekend…

Those groups are dangerous to your spindle sensibilities. I now have opinions about what types of woods I like (birdseye maple! purpleheart! holly!) and what weight of spindle I would like to obtain to fill in the gaps in my collection. The members of those Rav groups are a wealth of knowledge and of temptation… peruse at your own risk! Do you spin on spindles? Do you use just one, or many?

***Boy, was I ever wrong.

P.S. If you’ve been waiting, I’ve just updated Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe with 7 tasty lip balm flavors: toasted coconut, passionfruit rose, lemon lime, strawberry vanilla, chocolate cake, lavender EO, and spearmint EO!

lipbalm

Tasty, tasty flavors!