As you can see to the left, there are 2 skeins. The one on the left was spun on my small lendrum wheel and the other was spun on the little Hatchtown Kaari.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment of spinning this fiber, which is a combination of Icelandic and angora (from Frelsi Farm), on the drop spindle. The longer fibers of the icelandic made for easy drafting, and watching the little spindle dance as I spun was almost magical. Imagine my disappointment after I plyed it on a little bigger Hatchtown Amelia and saw how kinky tight it came off the niddy noddy. I am pretty sure that the overspinning happened when it was plyed.
One thing that has really jumped out at me thru spindling, is just how lazy I have become as a wheel spinner. Because I have to really pay attention to what I am doing when spindling and carefully watch that draft triangle, I have noticed that my little spindle skeins, even the overspun ones have grist that is consistent for the most part.
If you look at the 2 green skeins, the larger of the 2, which was spun on a wheel is a bit sloppy, where as the smaller one is more consistent. Not perfect by any means, but certainly neater.
When I first started spinning, I was started on an old Penquin Wheel, which is a wheel that has you spinning off of a spindle. My teacher felt that if you could spin on this wheel, then you will be able to spin on any wheel. So for a week or so, I used this little wheel and then she sold me a Schact. It was like going from a Chevy to a Caddy.
I would spin every morning and every night for an hour or so and to help with my treadling, the tune the wheels on the bus, helped to keep me from going to fast. Because I was paying attention and did not really have the ability to spin fast, my skeins were very balanced....in fact, the purple one in the picture to the right, won a first place at the Fryeburg Fair, the first year that I ever entered anything in a fair. It was only the 3rd real skein that I had spun. The judge left comments on how nice the "grist" on the skein was, and that she was very surprised that this was spun by a beginning spinner....I was so excited!
Last night I pulled out the above 3 skeins, as I want to knit a new vest and I was struck by how much better my spinning was then, then it is now, as you can see in the reddish skein to the left. Because I am really trying and paying attention when I am spindling, I could see that my singles were actually better. Where I lose it is on the plying. Because I didn't want to waste the lovely icelandic blend, I finished the rest of the roving on my wheel. This time I went much slower and tried to pay more attention to how it was going on the wheel. The singles are resting right now on the bobbin, so I will take a picture tomorrow after I ply it.
For me, I just love the woods in these little spindles and I love how they dance as they spin. It truly is the process that I enjoy. Perhaps because it is new? I'm not sure, but they seem to posses a little magic for me. Having said that though, I will still look at my wheel as the work horse. When I sit behind my wheel, I am spinning something for my next project, however when I am spinning on a spindle, I feel more like I am playing :-). Perhaps it is because so little fiber can be wound onto those little spindles and how will I ever knit with a bunch of little skeins...........and can I ever learn how to ply without way over spinning it? Time will tell.....but I am enjoying the process :-) One thing for sure though, spindling has made me take a much closer look at my wheel spinning and technique. I need to pay more attention and stop hurrying thru my bag of roving. Perhaps because like so many of us, I am overloaded with fiber, and forget to just take the time to enjoy the current project I am working on.
So....... this spindling has been good in a lot of ways!
Oooohhh, before I forget.....go take a look at this incredible rescue It is the most thrilling thing I have seen in a VERY long time. Make sure your sound is turned on :-)