Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Since I started attending a spinning class at my awesome LYS Golden Willow, I've become much more comfortable spinning on my spindles. Because I am a mostly self-taught spinner, I never learned to appreciate what great little tools they are. Now I love to park-and-draft when watching TV. So I've been playing around with various ways of plying from the spindle for the first time in my life.

First, I'll show you a neat little gadget that my spinning instructor shared with us. It's an inexpensive little plastic clamp from Canadian Tire with little holes in the handle. Then you put a fishing line swivel in the hole. The only reason there are two swivels on mine is because they came two to a package and I figured I wouldn't lose the extra one if I just put it on the clamp too.
You can hook the spindle in the swivel and it rotates freely to allow you to wind off the yarn. A close-up...
Cool, huh? And all for under $5.

I decided to Andean ply my singles. This technique allows you to ply from both ends of the same single. You can use your hand for this but then you have to finish all the winding before you can use your hand for anything else that might come up in the meantime. You also have to be very careful not to cut off your circulation while you're doing it. Or you can get this nifty little Handy Andy tool from Nancy's Knit Knacks instead.
Here is the paddle all filled up.
Then you pop the peg out of the top of the paddle and let the yarn fall into a 'bracelet' at its base. Both ends of yarn are available to begin plying. The paddle fits into a sturdy base that stays put so its easy to ply from it. No tangles.

Once I had it all plied I decided to slide the copp of yarn onto a straw.
I have a Katie-a-go-go where I could use the storage straws as bobbins to ply from if I wanted to use separate singles i.e. plying from different copps rather than from both ends of the same one like the Andean plying. I lent my Katie-a-go-go to my sister so used this yarn holder (also from Nancy's Knit Knacks) instead. I used this holder when I had the knitting machine but it's also great for skeining off of spinning wheel bobbins when I'm using the tensioned yarn meter. (Can you tell that I like gadgets?) The metal post fits into the straw.
I used the mini niddy noddy to skein it off.

And the finished little skein of practice yarn.

In a totally unrelated topic, we woke up to snow this morning. I decided it was too depressing to take a picture.


Jody said...

What a pretty spindle..looks like a Golding.
Ugh snow! Looks like the long weekend will be equally chilly and rainy here in Ontario too.

Monica aka Gloria Patre said...

I'm learning so much from your methods! I can see myself using my spindles more often after this!! Thanks for sharing!
Oh, and I love your spindle - how beautiful!!