Is it really possible I've let nearly a year slip by without a blog entry? Explanation would take many chapters, so I'll bypass that and jump in.
My passion for spindles has led to an expanded collection.
During a fabulous visit with my daughter in Massachusetts two weeks ago, I had the special opportunity to meet Sheila and Jonathan Bosworth at their home, and to browse spindles they had on hand. Oh boy, was it hard to choose. And to limit myself. I took home only three (not the ones in the picture).
Another recent favorite is this tangerine wood spindle, harvested and made in southern California. So beautiful!
With my fondness of the phrase, "whorl peace," of course I had to have this spindle!
Several exquisite support spindles have also been added to the collection this year.
And another Turkish spindle.
What is the appeal of the spindle? Why so many types? Why can't I stop?
It is an ancient tool, as efficient as a spinning wheel, and in many ways more elegant. Each modern spindle maker reveals the intrinsic beauty of the unique wood and applies their study of the physics of spinning to create a work of art.
I love slowing down, to create the geometric pattern of yarn on a Turkish spindle.
There is deep immersion in the heart, nature, and history that happens when I spin using a spindle. By the fire on a winter's day...
...or on a hike in the woods.
And a spiritual connection with my animals.
And there is the dreaming of the next spindle to, maybe, add to the collection...
I'm trying out a new fiber blending tool, the hackle, graciously loaned by my friend, Janet.
With its sharp tines, it is every bit as scary-looking as my other "torture device" fiber tools.
Beginning with some indigo-dyed wool, I lashed some on the tines, filling across with a layer.
Next, I lashed on some slippery, white silk.
Then, some purple-dyed alpaca I've had for years, from West Valley Alpacas in Esparto, California.
I repeated the layers twice more
and then used a diz to take the blended fibers off the hackle, making a lovely roving.
It spins up beautifully and is making a river of color on the bobbin of my Schacht wheel.
Great process! And I thought I didn't need any more fiber tools...
I enjoy displaying my drop spindles, and I also enjoy using them.
I have always found it awkward to wind off from a spindle. There are some beautiful, but expensive spindle lazy kates out there, but I'm always looking for ways to repurpose things and do with what I have.
What about a fishing swivel...
The spindle can still hang, and the swivel allows it to turn effortlessly.
Haven't been able to afford a fishing license for years now, but knew that fishing gear would come in handy!
I don't know why I didn't think of it before. When I take a carded batt off my drum carder,
I usually roll it into a button to store in a basket until I'm ready to spin.
When I'm ready to spin, I either tear off strips of the batt, or attenuate it into a long roving. But why not use a diz??
The diz is usually used when combing fiber, rather than carding, but I was wanting a long roving to wrap around my wrist distaff for spindle spinning, and had this inspiration to use the diz.
I twisted the end of one corner of the batt.
And threaded it through a diz hole.
It's hard to take selfies of fiber work!
Now I'm using a diz for all my spinning, spindle or wheel. I think it will also make it easier for beginners, when I teach a spindle class. I'll prepare their wool this way, too. I'm diz-zy!