Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Respect the Spindle

Over the last 5 days, I have come to respect the spindle.
Last week, I suddenly became obsessed with spindles - something I had never cared about before.
First, I finally realized what they were (I have seen them hanging in yarn shops, but ignored them because I didn't really know what they were/how they worked).
They are simple, handheld tools for hand spinning fiber.
Then I read online how to use one (google searched it) because I was too embarrassed to try in the store AND I was at work, so I had to be virtual.
Then I wanted to get my hands on one and try out this ancient, women's skill...but I was still at work :(
After work I walked over to the cool U District fiber store, Weaving Works, tried one out (using my recent google knowledge) and realized no one at the store really knew how to use a hand spindle either. I also found out the nice ones are very beautiful and expensive.
Then I read online (searched 'how to make a spindle') that you can easily make one with a wooden toy wheel and wooden dowel or even with a pencil and CD's (If you were babysitting or something...?)
I figured I should make one for my birthday, and have a great present for under $5.
You have to remember the original spindles were sticks and balls of clay, so you don't need to be fancy.

Here's how I did it:

wheel, dowel, brass cup hook

and here is what I spun:

the cotton fluff from the vitamin bottle!!!

I saw this intriguing book called Respect the Spindle. It has beautiful photos of spindles both new and antique from all over the world. Very cool.

Here is a great link to interesting photos of women spinning all over the world.


Briana said...

woa! that's funny and so cool you could do that. I'm also glad to see you've added another skill for the apocalypse preparations.

homegrown said...

I know! I have lots of those kind of skills!
I said the same thing to Adam, as I was sitting there spinning the vitamin fluff. I said, "let's just count this as a new survival skill."

ashmae said...

tess, I feel like we should talk about some things! For the past year or so I've been super into wool and dyeing, carding, etc... I even bought a spindle but haven't used it yet. Hope you're doing well!