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 Spinner Central
 Just Getting Started - Beginning to Spin
 Wheel or spindle?
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hotzcatz
New Pal

22 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  3:52:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit hotzcatz's Homepage Send hotzcatz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Has anyone here started spinning by going directly to a wheel or has everyone started with a spindle? It would seem that starting with a spindle teaches a lot about fibers and spinning in a nice easy to handle small slow way?

Is there a good way to get other folks interested in spinning? I'm thinking of giving folks who buy an angora rabbit from me a spindle to go along with the rabbit.

Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2046 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  4:49:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started with my wheel. Since then I've tried a spindle but just can't get the hang of it! My hands just refuse to cooperate with a spindle.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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hotzcatz
New Pal

22 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2012 :  7:38:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit hotzcatz's Homepage Send hotzcatz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spindles are really slow if you are used to a wheel now, so you probably really wouldn't want to do much with spindles. I've been trying to teach a few folks how to spin on the wheel and they just aren't getting it real easily. (Of course, it is most likely that I'm not that good of a teacher. What seems easy to me is difficult for them and I'm not sure how to explain it.) With the spindle, the weight of the spindle pulling down on the fiber seems to help them learn.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2012 :  07:23:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of course spindles are not slow - a well-made light-weight top-whorl inserts twist faster than most wheels out there. But it's maybe easier to use a spindle slowly, if you are learning - with wheels, especially single-treadles, most people seem to need a certain treadling speed at first to stop the wheel from stopping.

That said, for angora rabbit, which I spin uncarded, I prefer to have both hands free for teasing out the locks as I spin. And for angora rabbit I'd want a really light-weight (half an ounce), well-balanced spindle - do you have a source for reasonably priced ones? The idea of getting rabbit owners to spin is a brilliant one and should hopefully reduce the amount of neglected rabbits with matted fleeces...

By the way, the best introduction to spinning I have seen is in Raven's Hands On Spinning (disclaimer: I don't have seen Maggie Casey's book) - it explains how twist works and shows how to experience that for oneself.

Happy spinning and rabbit grooming! Klara



http://www.lahottee.info
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ClimberKnits
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
559 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2012 :  4:26:11 PM  Show Profile Send ClimberKnits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tried to learn to spin on a spindle. Let's just say that I was not successful. Bought a wheel and jumped right in, now I love it! I have thought of going back to a spindle so that I can spin out of the house, especially on vacation, but I gave my spindle away. Who knew?
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purlewe
Permanent Resident

1916 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  10:44:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit purlewe's Homepage Send purlewe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tried learning by spindle and didn't have luck. I learned on a wheel and went backwards. I have successfully taught people on both, but if someone doesn't get it one way i suggest the other if they are still interested in trying.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. ~Myrna Loy
http://purlewe.typepad.com/
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dothead
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
539 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  1:21:50 PM  Show Profile Send dothead a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned on a spindle and did okay. Now I just got a kick spindle which is awesome.

It is like a spindle with a little wheel that is mounted on a block of wood. You kick the wheel with your foot which turns the spindle leaving both hands free for drafting.

I hope to get a wheel one day. I guess I am just taking baby steps to get there.

Vicki, the Constant Lurker(who sometimes stops lurking and actually posts)
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ClimberKnits
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
559 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  6:36:40 PM  Show Profile Send ClimberKnits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooooo! A kick spindle sounds like something that I may NEED. Keeping both hands free to draw and hold the fiber makes sense to me. How portable is it?
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hotzcatz
New Pal

22 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  01:55:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit hotzcatz's Homepage Send hotzcatz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kick spindles look more portable than a wheel but not as portable as a spindle, if that helps any.

To get a light weight spindle for angora, I usually use a large 2-1/2" or 3" hole cutting drill bit to cut out a circle in a quarter inch thick piece of wood. Koa, mango, ohia, whatever sort I have a thin piece of. Sand it smooth, a bit of shellac, then a round chopstick fits nicely in the center hole. Add a bit of stainless wire for a hook and it's done. Haven't a clue where you'd buy one, but nowhere on this island, I'd guess. I think there are some heavy thick pine ones at one of the two yarn shops, but they aren't really light weight enough for angora. If I knew how to put pictures in here, I'd add one.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  06:14:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think pictures are wanted in this forum. But I can imagine the spindle - I tried the same technique for making them. Only I disliked that with a large drill bit I also got a large hole in the middle of the disk, and I like my shafts 6 mm thin.

http://www.lahottee.info
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dothead
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
539 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  06:31:05 AM  Show Profile Send dothead a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Climber - Hotcatz is right. The kick spindle is not quite portable like a drop spindle. The block that it is on is a bit heavy. It does come apart making it more packable. I would guess that it weighs about 5 pounds.

I got mine at Heavenly Handspinning if you want to see a picture of it.

Vicki, the Constant Lurker(who sometimes stops lurking and actually posts)
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Katheroni
Permanent Resident

USA
1407 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2012 :  9:04:54 PM  Show Profile Send Katheroni a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I spin on both -- a lot. I probably spin on spindles more because they are so portable. If I had to give up one, I'd give up wheel-spinning before spindle-spinning. I adore the simplicity of it.
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La galloise
Chatty Knitter

France
162 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2012 :  2:24:17 PM  Show Profile Send La galloise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started with a wheel because I couldn't use a spindle.Now that I have been spinning for some years I have retried a spindle and it works! It's useful when you can't take a wheel.
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hotzcatz
New Pal

22 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2012 :  12:32:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit hotzcatz's Homepage Send hotzcatz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A friend of mine has a wheel and a spindle, he usually uses the spindle when he's riding on the bus. I'm not sure if it's because he wants to spin or just amaze the rest of the folks on the bus.

The sell the rabbit with a spindle plan seems to be working. Several new rabbit owners have now gone out and ordered spinning wheels, whoohoo! Pretty soon we will have some spinner's gatherings. Maybe a rabbit and spinner meeting since all the spinner's have rabbits as well as spindles and wheels. We will have to get more sources of fibers, too, though or there will be naked rabbits running around.
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