Back at the beginning of the year, I promised to make some videos of lace spinning. And today, Roy and I managed to produce the first in the series. My personal comfort zone is a grist that, when two-plied, makes a laceweight yarn and when three-plied, makes a fingering yarn. Needless to say, all the techniques shown can be used to spin other weights of yarn.
I particularly enjoy supported spindles because:
- You don't have to stand up, lean over or perch on a chair. Spinning can proceed easily in the space allotted for an airplane seat.
- Supported spindling puts no strain on your wrist, neck, or shoulder.
- Unlike the pendulum action of drop spindles, which is sensitive to car movement, supported spindles act like gyroscopes and can be easily used in a moving vehicle.
- You don't have to worry about dropping your spindle and watching the beautiful wood chip, splinter, snap off, or roll underneath the refrigerator.
- Yarns spun supported are pouffier. Gravity doesn't yank on the fibers, which can squeeze out the air, producing a less elastic yarn.
- You can fit a whopping amount of fiber on a supported spindle. I've crammed four ounces on my Spanish Peacock Tibetan. Even better, the more fiber you have on the spindle, the longer it spins.
- For me, supported spindling is about five times faster than drop spindling. I don't have to stop and wind on after a length, as you will see in the video. Every half-hour or so, I butterfly off the temporary cop at the tip and whirl it onto the lower part of the spindle--a big time-saver.
- The whirring sound is hypnotizing.
- Because I am spinning in my lap, I can read a book at the same time, doubling my happiness quotient.
I used two different Tibetans in the movie. The first one, with the red merino/firestar yarn, was crafted by The Spanish Peacock. The second, smaller Tibetan Lite was crafted by Grizzly Mountain Arts. Weight is not a big factor with Tibetans, so I never bothered to put them on a scale. The Spanish Peacock spindle is 13" from stem to stern. The Tibetan Lite is only 10". Both are perfectly balanced and a delight to both the eye and the hand.
So, make some popcorn and watch the video. I hope you find it worthwhile!