After waiting impatiently for almost two weeks, I now have my Turkish spindle. It’s not as pretty as the ones I’ve seen around, but it didn’t cost the earth (about £16 including shipping), spins excellently, and I love it. That’s more than enough in my books. Anyway, a couple of months ago, I ordered 400g of Corriedale sliver from World of Wool after seeing it on an episode of Tiny Fibre Studio on YouTube. She had many good things to say about it, and that was it. I never stopped to think of how I’d go about spinning it.
I gathered from her that the fibre preparation require these to be spun woolen (giving a fluffy and warm yarn, good for cold months) as against worsted (gives a smoother and denser yarn and not as warm). I was encouraged to give it a try immediately, but since I’d only been spinning worsted ever since this adventure of mine began, all I had were top-whorl drop spindles and my newly-delivered Turkish spindle.
I attempted to spin Sunflower (below) with a drop spindle, but soon met with frustration because I couldn’t manage spinning and drafting simultaneously for it even though I could for spinning worsted. Why not use park and draft method some might ask? It’s because my brain seems to have taken to spinning and drafting simultaneously for the worsted method. That however failed me for the woolen method which is appropriate for these fibre. I couldn’t even put enough twist and the yarn kept breaking and the spindle dropping, so I gaveup.
A quick research pointed me in the direction of supported spinning, but I didn’t have a supported spindle. Then I remembered seeing a video on Instagram where the spinner was using a Turkish spindle in a bowl as a support spindle, here we are.
I just flick the shaft as you would for a support spindle. My spinning method currently is spin and draft, a somewhat modified park and draft, because I don’t quite get spinning and drafting simultaneously with this method and it’s working quite well. The picture above is the result of my first attempt at spinning woolen (also known as long draw). It’s very inconsistent and there’s hardly any twist in the 2-ply.
Then I started again, and I’ve seen some improvements. My Turkish spindle, and the inside of a strawberry mug cover as a spinning bowl work well for supported spindling. I guess that’s proof that crafting can be achieved with minimal tools. That set-up will have to do until I get a supported spindle.
Above are my tools; I sit my mug cover on a cellotape, and the divot at the bottom is perfect for the pointy bottom of my spindle shaft.
After spinning, comes winding the spun yarn. I’d seen them beautifully-wound on Instagram, but my first attempt didn’t look anything like them, and my singles were threatening to fall off the arms, so I went on YouTube and found a tutorial by SpinningSara.
Below is where I am currently, with about three-quarters spun. I’ve started winding underneath the shaft as well as above (wish I’d known about that from the beginning, well…), but I’m not sure I can fit much more on.
I started plying my first hand-spun during the week, a process I’m finding not as enjoyable as spinning as the singles tend to want to tangle, but I hope to finish that this weekend and hopefully have a hank of yarn for knitting.
Have a good weekend and happy crafting!