Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You spin me right, round baby right round

Last Saturday was a continuation of fiber madness. It was World Wide Spin in Public Day. I hung out with Brian, Kent, 2 of the guys I met at the Men's Fall Knitting retreat, and a bunch of other spinners down in Kent, WA (not to be confused with Kent the person). The outing was hosted by Renaissance Yarns which is located in Kent Station. Kent Station reminds me of a small downtown Walnut Creek, CA. There are several of these California-style outdoor shopping centers in the Seattle area. Admittedly I grew up in the NJ Mall Generation, spending many hours of my teenage years hanging out with friends in the store filled indoor shopping wings. I can almost smell the mix of new clothes and chain store restaurant aromas that was so common in those enclosed commerce meccas. The outdoor shopping centers are definitely a lot more appealing than their predecessors (strip or indoor).

Brian & Kay

Kent from Kent using a drop spindle

It amazed me to see so many different types of spinning wheels and drop spindles. The Turkish spindle, which caught my eye, uses a bottom whorl that enables the spinner to wind a neat ball of yarn as the yarn is produced. The finished ball slips off very easily ready for knitting or plying. As with other spindles they are sold in a variety of different beautiful woods. From what I can tell, the spindles spins what seems like forever. And because the yarn is wound neatly around the whorl it remains very balanced as more yarn is produced. Check out this great video on YouTube demonstrating how to spin on one (it doesn't hurt that the woman in the video has a very pleasant English accent).

My drop spindle spinning techniques still need some polishing. I tried using different fibers as well as another top whorl spindle graciously given to me by "wonderMike" (that's his Ravelry name). It definitely spins a bit longer than the Tilt-a-Whorl beauty I bought at the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat. But I still haven't gotten the hang of actually spinning the yarn while the spindle hangs by the yarn. The "park & draft" method is still my current spinning mode. It was fun to experiment with different fibers and colors.

My growing collection. The new one one is on the right (Schacht).

I definitely have a way to go with mastering the drop spindle. But there's fun in that challenge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking these amazing pictures and recording the first ever ‘spin in public day’ Keith!

I had a great time and can't wait to do it again next year :)