Sunday, January 27, 2013

Drop Spindle

I have always been amazed at the process of taking fibers and turning them into yarn. I did have a chance to try using  a drop spindle when I was working on a project in Mexico many, many years ago.  There was a women on the project who was working with the spindle whorls that were found at the site. They were really beautiful.
 I wish I had some pictures of them.  The pictures above are from a different Aztec site but look  similar. They are made out of clay and came in all different sizes the smallest for cotton and the large ones were for maguey fibers which come from a cactus. We were so interested in how they worked. The women ( I can't remember her name :( but she was very nice) gave us a demonstration and then let us all try.  Some of the ladies took to it right away. I was not one of them. The cotton kept breaking and I couldn't get a good spin going. I figured it was just not my thing and moved on.

Now many, many, years later I've decided to give it another try. For Christmas I got a drop spindle and some wool fiber. I think wool is much more forgiving than cotton. I also got the book Respect the Spindle   . I thought it was a very good book for a begginer, I was able to start spinning the same day.

At the top of the blog you can see my very first single ply yarn. I did end up double plying it in the Andean style. Here it is after it has been washed and set.
I still need to work on getting it even and it turned out chunkier than I thought it would but it's usable and that makes me happy :) !

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