Of Spindles and Knitting Looms

Tibetan spindle, on the left, Russian on the right

Tibetan spindle, on the left, Russian on the right

Vacation is so nice. My oldest is on spring break this week, which means I don’t have to get up early in the morning to take her to school, although the baby has taken this as an invitation to somehow get through the gate and come upstairs to wake us up as soon as she gets up, which could be anywhere between 5 and 10 am. Fortunately, there have been fewer 5s of late, which I will attribute to the fact that big sister is also on vacation, and going to her room to annoy her is much faster than coming to wake up Mom!

Vacation also means that I’ve been able to actually do things in my studio, especially since hubby has made friends with a neighbor who also likes video games, which lets me off the hook on being in the man cave constantly. Not that I mind being down there, since my recliner is very comfortable and I have downstairs projects as well as upstairs ones, but I like my studio too, and not having to pack up what I want to work on to haul it downstairs. Inevitably, I will forget something, or several somethings, and wind up running up and down the stairs like an idiot. Much easier to just work in the studio to begin with!

So I’ve been learning to use my supported spindles, and have picked up two new loom knitting stitches. I have an e-book, Fleegle Spins Supportedwhich is so big it’s actually sold on a flash drive all by itself. Great book, full of videos and pictures, and I love Fleegle’s sense of humor. Beyond that, there are tons of videos on YouTube on supported spinning, not to mention all the groups on Ravelry. So I’ve got help. Which is a good gorram thing, because the learning curve on a drop spindle is different from the learning curve on a wheel, which is different from the learning curve on a supported spindle…you get the idea. Learning the wheel was easy for me, the drop spindle took me a lot longer. I’m starting to get the hang of the Russian spindle, but the Tibetan spindle has a lot longer spin, so I’m thinking I might try her out today just to do it. I’m using a fiber sample that came with some other roving I bought a few months back and had tucked away for later. That’s now my practice roving for my spindles. My wheel, at the moment, is dedicated to spinning Sibe fur. Once the bobbin is full, I might give Anansi a break and spin something else on him. I have a gorgeous roving from Russia that’s waiting for Anansi.

Both the Russian and Tibetan spindles are from the same maker, Woodturnerva on Etsy, as is the little bowl they spin in. The Russian is a little slower-spinning than the Tibetan, which, on an easy, light flick will spin for more than 20 seconds. The Russian is getting a little faster now that there’s some actual yarn on it, adding some weight, but it’s still the difference between a Clydesdale and a Thoroughbred as far as speed. Both beautiful, though! I’d been lusting after both of these spindles for awhile before buying them. I didn’t think I had any interest in supported spindling, but I’ve discovered that if it’s spinning, I’m interested, the same as weaving. Besides, there are so many spindles out there that are absolutely gorgeous, and they’re small enough to collect. Wheels are gorgeous too, but they’re considerably bigger, and significantly more expensive! Still, there’s a Majacraft Aura wheel I’d like to have one day…And don’t get me started on Golding’s! I’ll never be able to afford one of their wheels or looms on my own, but hey, if one of my followers is independently wealthy, my birthday is this week, and if you’re feeling generous… 🙂

The new stitches for loom knitting are interesting. One is called a bobble, and it’s essentially a knot of e-wrapped stitches done on one peg, one right after another, resulting in a raised knot on your knitting, which can be used to make a pattern. I’m going to need to swatch it, because I didn’t when I first tried it, and I don’t have any idea if I did it right because I didn’t swatch. Duh.

The other stitch is called the crown stitch, which came from Purlingsprite, and I did swatch that one last night while following her video tutorial. Awesome looking stitch, but takes some work to do.

Crown stitch

Crown stitch

There’s a slouchy hat pattern that includes the stitch that I might actually try. I’ve got the right loom for it, so we’ll see. I still have another sleeve to do for hubby, the scarf to finish for my friend, another sock on the sock loom, Bryony’s throw blanket to finish, more Sibe fur to spin…maybe I’ll get to the hat sometime next year!




3 comments on “Of Spindles and Knitting Looms

  1. Those spindles are beautiful! I can see how they inspire spinning. Have fun.


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