One of the things I got about a year and a half ago to sell at the store, was beautiful glass hand spindles made by Michael Ernst, in Oregon. They are truly lovely. Delicate, shiny, and functional. I figured they would be a hit at the SPA and would be sold quickly. I took them to the 2008 SPA and not one of them sold. They got lots of attention, but no one was adventurous enough to buy one.
I hung them up in the window at the store so people could see how lovely they are. In addition to being beautiful, functioning spinning equipment, they are pretty snazzy suncatchers hanging in a window too. People ooh'd and ahhh'd over them, appreciating them for their beauty, even if they didn't know how to spin. Late in the summer, the small blue spindle sold to a spinner who was thrilled to get it. It went to a good home! I was glad, and I thought, maybe some of the SPA attendees have been thinking about the glass spindles they saw in February, and are wishing they had bought one. So I planned to take them to SPA again and surely, they would sell.
But no, poor little spindles, no one wanted them for two years in a row. So I said heck, (or something like "heck"), I am gonna take one of these lovelies to have for myself! So I took the green one. Pictures:
Isn't it pretty?
I got that Panda bamboo blend fiber from Spunky Eclectic at the SPA, and I decided to spin it on the glass spindle. Little did I know that it would be one of the best spindles I have ever spun on!
It spins like a dream, and it is so pretty too. It spins true and long. It is a marvel of craftmanship and engineering. All the "pretty" little features are there for a reason. See the little balls of glass decorating the outside of the whorl? They provide weight to keep the spindle spinning, and also each little ball acts as a notch would on a wooden whorl. It is always easy to place my yarn to start the next spin. And the yarn really holds there, too. See the pretty little ornament at the bottom of the spindle shaft? The tiny knobs keep the yarn from falling off the end, and the shaped tip is perfect for giving the spindle a whirl with my fingertips. It is like the spindle was designed just for my hand. It is 1.75 oz. of pure glassy spinning heaven.
So, I took this fiber, and started spinning.
In no time, it seemed, I had a good amount of yarn on the spindle. I kept spinning and spinning and then I plied it back on itself, making a two ply yarn, a rather heavy sock weight. You don't get too many yards of plied yarn from one spindle full, and I was anxious to see what the yarn looked like knit up, so I stopped before the spindle was completely full. I set the twist on the small amount of yarn I had created, and I started a pair of socks.
I love this yarn that I created. It feels so great, and these socks are going to be amazing. Every time I wear them I will feel so warm, wearing the sun itself on my feet :)
Today I spun a larger amount on my glass spindle and plied it and set the twist; it is drying now. And you can see, I found another use for the little balls on the spindle whorl. I hope the yarn dries overnight, because I can't wait to knit a little further on my sock!
I must say, it is usually hard for me to stick with spindle spinning, because I always fill one spindle full of yarn and get bored with it and then it sits there unfinished forever. But now I think I have found the answer: as soon as the spindle is full, ply it immediately, set the twist and start your project with the resulting yarn right away! I have started the socks, and I want to finish them, so now I will definitely keep spindling until they are done. It also helps that I joined the Ravelry group "Ten Minutes A Day", a group to encourage spinning at least ten minutes a day every day. So far I have done it, at least ten minutes a day, for a week. Usually I do more than ten minutes a day, some days I just do the ten minutes, but I never don't do it. I am obviously seeing progress in terms of my socks, and if I hadn't started knitting them, all I would see would be yarn on a spindle, or maybe plied yarn, but I don't think it would keep me going like seeing a pair of socks growing bit by bit as I spindle along.
And speaking of socks, I have finished one sock already since the SPA, using yarn from Spunky Eclectic, but more about that later.
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