Monday, March 10, 2008

New Hobby - New Tools

A new hobby usually mean that I end up with new tools and gadgets. Spinning is no different. Of course , the most important new tool is the spinning wheel. This is a Lendrum Double Treadle wheel. It's main purpose is to put twist into fiber. I also have a spindle that serves the exact same purpose, but the wheel is much quicker and I feel I have more control over the whole process with a wheel.

The wheel folds flat and came with a carrying case. My husband thought it would be great because it could be folded up and stored in a closet when not in use.

He was afraid spinning wouldn't hold my interest and we end up with something that just sat around taking up space. But to be honest the wheel hasn't moved very far from this spot since I got it. And if you've been reading my blog on Fridays you've seen the proof that I've been using the wheel.

There are several extra parts that came with the wheel that aren't pictured here. I have a couple different flyers and extra bobbins. The flyers are part of what determine the rate at which twist is put into the fiber and holds the bobbin. You can see the arms of the flyer and the bobbin in the above picture. You can also see that beautifully dyed fiber I've been working on from the Yarn Wench. It will show up as a finished yarn on some future Friday.

I also needed a way to get the yarn off of the wheel and into a hank. I use a kniddy knoddy for that. I can also estimate the yardage by counting the number of times the yarn is wrapped around it. I ended up with a kniddy knoddy that can make a 2 yard skein or a small 1 yarn skein. The end pieces come off and attached to 2 different lengths of wood. I use this tool a lot, but I wouldn't buy this particular one again. The end pieces don't stay on well and that makes it very difficult to use. I need to glue the end pieces on, but that will mean it is no longer adjustable. The shipping labels are what i use to tag each skein of yarn when it is finished. I put fiber content, weight, yardage and anything else I can think of that I might want to remember.

Of course there are kinds of little gadgets too. I usually spin in bare feet or some type of slipper sock because they have little rubberized things on the bottom. I have found that my feet slide around too much in regular socks. I have found a knitting pattern for similar socks and plan to replace the store bought ones here with some knit from my own handspun. I've got two WPI tools (wraps per inch). I bought the one laying on the pink socks from etsy. The other came as part of my spinning lesson a couple of weeks ago. I haven't used them too much yet, but I'm going to start noting that for all my handspun yarns. The little bottle with the yellow tip is oil. I think I've only used one drop to date. The plastic card with the black lines is meant to help you check the thickness of your yarn as you spin. It was in my stocking for Christmas, but I haven't used this it at all yet. The project cards on the left are a great idea and were also part of my recent lesson. you can record all types of pertinent info about a specific spinning project as well as a sample of the singles yarn and the plied yarn. This will be extremely helpful when I'm spinning enough yarn for a larger project and want to be able to make consistent yarn for the whole project.

I took a look through my fiber stash this weekend to decide what to work on next. I pulled out this Bluefaced Leicester that I bought at SAFF last year. I pulled the fiber into two pieces lengthwise and coiled them up from opposite ends. I think I'm going to try and spin up a self striping yarn 2 ply yarn.


elizabeth said...

Oooh Shannon, that bfl is beautiful! Love it!!!

Zonda said...

Awesome! Thanks for that information and all your tools! That roving is going to be gorgeous spun up!

Stacey said...

That BFL is beautiful!!! All your new gadgets - what fun!

Monika said...

You have more spinning tools than I do, but we have the same annoying Niddy Noddy! I thought about glueing it together as well, but as soon as I thought about it, I needed the smaller size. Now I stuff some fiber in the holes and it holds a little better, not ideal though. I'm never going to to all that stuff with keeping records of my spun fiber. If I ever spin for a larger project, I just check with the yarn I've done so far. My method of keeping record with my handspun yarn right now, is to write all the info under the pictures I took. I don't care much about what ratio etc. I'm all for the end product, and with time one lears how to spin balanced yarn.
Your BFL looks lovely. You get the most beautiful dyed roving! :o)

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

wow that's a lot of stuff!