OK, not toward freedom, but toward yarn. My little high-whorl drop spindle has been whirling frequently. I finished off the bright pink wool singles you saw in progress on a park bench in December. The very next thing I did, before plying it even, was grab the 10-yard 2-ply skein I spun a few years ago from a mix of wool and silk I made on my friend’s drum carder,



and I made a wrist distaff with it:


If you’re a spindler, I recommend the wrist distaff! It made my spinning life so much easier. I found the instructions for making it in Connie Delaney’s book “Spindle Spinning from Novice to Expert.” Its purpose is to hold your fiber supply. You put the loop around your wrist and wrap your fiber around the fringe at the bottom. This holds the fiber completely out of the way of the spinning spindle, even when the wind blows.

To start plying, I wrapped the singles from the spindle loosely around my hand (also detailed in Delaney’s book as a Peruvian trick):


Then I pulled my middle finger out of that wrapped yarn to make a loose bracelet of singles around my wrist, from which I plied with one inner strand and one outer strand:


This was the easiest plying on a drop spindle I have ever done. Here is my first little skein:


Fiber: presumed Corriedale
Quantity: .75 ounces
Finished yarn: 2-ply, 69 yards, 15 wpi
Started 12/10 and finished 12/18/2010

I have made a lot more since then, more about which in a later post. Spindling is great for when I’m on the phone or at the Laundromat. Ever since my wet laundry was stolen from the dryer this past summer, I stand around in front of my washers and dryers when they’re running (because sitting in the chairs you can’t see your machine so you have no idea if someone has opened it up to browse your closet), and since you get lots more spinning length while standing than sitting this time is perfect for that. The next time Urban Fauna Studio offers its intermediate drop spindle class I’m going to take it; it’s supposed to help with ergonomics. Right now I’m getting a crick in my neck when I spin for more than an hour and I’m guessing my posture is the cause; I need to learn to draft horizontally instead of vertically so I’m not reaching up above my head so much.

today’s post title courtesy of Kang