Necessary Spinning

(This is a live recording, and not the greatest, but I ❤ this song! Nice to see the band is still together, or at least they were a couple years ago.)

So, I’m doing a dissertation for Nerd Wars. A dissertation is a project that will take about the whole three months of the tournament. I’m going to learn to spin with a drop spindle for mine, and I’m going to write up the experience here. At least, that’s the plan.

I have a homemade spindle, with a dowel, cup hook, and a toy wheel for the whorl. I’ve already read most of Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont. I made a few abortive efforts in December to start spinning, but I had so much other stuff going on with holiday knitting that I set it aside and decided I’d get back to it some day.

My plan is to start just spinning the fiber with a stick, a more basic method than using a spindle, and one that’s described in Respect the Spindle. I know that one problem I have is drafting. I pull the fibers too far apart, and instead of a nice length of fiber that can be twisted into yarn, I get a clump of fiber in either hand. My hope is that I can practice drafting with just the stick, and at least be able to get somewhere with that before adding on the spindle use.

I spent about fifteen minutes trying to do that this afternoon, and failing miserably. Just miserably. So I got some of my fellow Epic Warriors to point me towards some helpful videos and other resources. I’ve joined the Spindlers group on Ravelry, and watched a couple of Abby Franquemont’s videos (“Abby’s Drop Spindle Basics” and “Introduction to Spinning, Part 1“). I want to re-watch those (without a baby on my lap), and then try my stick again.

I intend to spend about fifteen minutes per day working on this, until I get more confidence and can handle going for longer periods. I doubt I’ll write about it every day, but I’d like to do progress reports about once a week, unless something noteworthy happens in between times.


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