Tag Archives: spinning

Wordspinning, or the sixteen minute sonnet

A comment on Making Light, at 5:41pm:

All I have ever spun is merino and silk, so my spinning instincts are not finely developed.

The closest comparable silk to merino was my rovings. I found them about the same level of stickiness (with, of course, completely different hands). They were certainly about the same difficulty to spin to an absolute beginner.

The tussah was much slicker, but I actually found that easier to draft than a stickier fibre.

In the end, you’re just going to have to try it. Have you got a good source for rovings nearby? If not, do you want me to send you some, just to get a feel for it? Since I’m thread spinning, and since I use less than a meter to headband a single book, I can certainly spare a few grams here and there…

Email me at abi at my domain name if you’d like some and I’ll pop it in the post over the next week or two. It’ll get caught in the Christmas flurry, no doubt, but then you’ll have something to do when the presents are unwrapped.

– o0o –

And at 5:57 pm:

Although I mainly spin in roving silk
(And rove it did, the time the spindle dropped!)
I tried merino and its woolly ilk
A little bit, before my wool phase stopped.
I found them much the same, at least in stick
(Each fibre has its own distinctive hand.)
The reasons I chose silk when I could pick
Were not from ease of use, you understand.
But words cannot convey the turn of thread
Nor writing substitute for spinning wood.
You’ll have to try, not reading what I’ve said
But learning for yourself what feels good.
So if you haven’t got the silk to try
Then email me. I’ll send it by and by.

Drop Spindle

One of the painkillers I’m taking for my sore shoulder contains coedine, which makes me mildly spacy. Since I’m not the most graceful person at the best of times, I’ve decided to hold off on any sharp-knives areas of bookbinding unless I go off the medication for an evening.

Unfortunately, that leaves me with idle hands, which drives me nuts.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of taking up spinning for some time. Drop spindles aren’t that expesive, and I’d love to get good enough at it to spin my own headbanding silks. My friend EJ sent me some handspun silk that I’ve enjoyed working with.

But I like instant gratification, and ordering a drop spindle from ebay or the local spinning place has a time delay that has kept me off of it. Of course, there were those instructions on how to make one from a dowel and a CD…

So I did. My bad.


An old hair stick + a mini driver CD + a hook from some beading wire + leather to wrap the hair stick so the CD fits on it = 15g spindle. It’s perfect for spinning thick thread/thin yarn from cotton balls.

(Of course, it’s all wrong. One shouldn’t start with a lightweight spindle, because they’re too difficult to control. One shouldn’t start with cotton, which doesn’t draft and spin as well as wool. But then, one shouldn’t start binding with leather either…)

I don’t think this is going to be the obsession binding is, but it’s an interesting piece of skill acquisition. I may even order some proper fibres today. If that’s not too orthodox.