|Hand Made Quill Spindle|
I didn't really like to admit that I was a bit daunted by it. I have never spun before and was a bit reticent about starting - not because I didn't want to, I was just not sure that I would be able to do it.
I mentioned at work that I was interested in spinning and one of my colleagues said how great it was and how energised you feel afterwards - but it's really hard work and you certainly work up a sweat.
I was a bit puzzled, this was not my image of spinning at all and then realised she was talking about cycling, really fast in the gym. As I try and run a fair bit, she assumed I meant exercise.
No, it's the REAL spinning I'm after. The proper 'been doing it for generations' stuff.
I purchased some Crossbred Merino wool tops. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was ordering. I purchased it from ebay because the description said perfect for spinning and when it arrived I had some misgivings. The wool was lovely and soft and I thought what a shame it was going to be to mangle it all up with my first attempts at spinning.
At this point, I spent quite a bit of time watching youtube videos on how to spin. Pinch, Draft and Draw. Hhmm, it didn't really look easy and when I tried it, I was beyond useless. There was no twist to the wool at all. All the spinning videos used 2 hands and at this rate, I would need 3. To say I was fairly discouraged is a bit of an understatement. I didn't even know how to use the spindle I had as I could not find anything like it. Clearly, the spindle was faulty!
I then rang Dad to say that the spindle doesn't spin, I think it's just a bobbin winder. Between the two of us, we worked out the problem. I was just winding the wool on - there was no twist. The wool needed to be spun off the tip on a 45 degree angle. I also discovered that the spindle was called a 'Quill Spindle'. Looks like the spindle was OK after all and the problem was me - just as, deep down, I knew it would be.
I also discovered a spinning shop just up the road from me. I marvelled at this. Perth has very limited fibre options. Wool shops are very few and far between so I have taken to purchasing most of my supplies online. I arrived at the spinning shop nice and early only to discover that it didn't open until 10.30am .. Oh, the impatience of waiting for wool! But what a shop it is - small but perfectly formed with everything the spinner could want. I fell in love with a second hand Peacock spinning wheel but I felt quite traitorous even considering buying a wooden item when Dad makes such quality things. After lengthy discussions with a seasoned spinner, I learned that a Quill Spindle is not the ideal way to learn how to spin - Great! However, it was all I had and I was very grateful for it and I was determined to learn.
A new google search on Quill spinning revealed the technique. Thanks to Dawning Dreams I was soon up and spinning. Not very well mind you but I was producing something and having enormous fun doing so.
|Second Spinning Attempt|
I'm too embarrassed to include a picture of my first spinning attempt so I will include a picture of my second. It looks like wool, feels like wool but it's very unlike the wool I am used to knitting with. I have some way to go but I am so looking forward to where spinning may take me.