Now that the garden has mostly been put to sleep for the winter, I have time to do the various fiber crafts that I enjoy.
- spinning on a drop spindle
- pretending the spinning wheel in the corner of the living room is something useful that I'm going to learn any minute now
- naalbinding, which is often referred to as 'single needle knitting' but I find it more like a combination of crotcheting and handsewing
- pretending that I'm working on the warp-weighted loom
And on rare occassion, I've been known to embroider, cross stitch, knit and handsew.
So, okay, I have a few flaws in my hobbies.
The project on the loom is just irritating me. It's dusty and it sticks such that opening each new shed is painfully annoying. It's dusty because it's sticky. But let's move on past that for now. See that avoidance in full action? Isn't it cool?
The spinning wheel? On loan from a friend who will no doubt read this and tsk at me. I have trouble co-ordinating all of my body parts, and find it so annoying that I've been avoiding it. I don't handle a slow learning curve very well. I'm used to picking up new things very easily. Anti-V will no doubt tsk at me because she's made suggestions about the process to go about learning the wheel. And she is right... but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Naalbinding came easily, but I grew up knitting and crotcheting all of my life. A different needle art is just different - not at all hard.
Spinning on a drop spindle! This is the one that I wanted to get to from the start of this post. I get it!
It's only taken me more then a year!
There are quite a few methods of spinning - one is called park and draft. I think of it as a beginner's technique and it's where I've been stuck for quite a while now.
You start the spindle whorl spinning, and then when it's reached it's slow-down point, you park it between body parts (knees, underarm, etc) and then use both hands to draft and spin the fiber.
A more advanced method, that is much more efficient and faster, is to spin the whorl while drafting and spinning at the same time the whorl continues to spin. I've watched more experienced (or more determined, or just more damnably co-ordinated) spinners do this with some jealousy.
And last night, I finally got it! Just somehow, completely inexplicity, my hands finally figured out what to do. All by themselves. :)