and a quiz that showed (though it embarrasses me) the level of "organization" of my stash.
So, are you an organized spinner? See how you fare with these ...
To start with, you should know where to find these tools (assuming, of course, you own them):
- Spinning wheel or spindle
- Niddy-noddy ("I just use my arm" ... LOL nice try, that!)
- Ball-winder or nostepinne
- Orifice hook (or maybe your wheel doesn't need one)
- Oil bottle (ok, not if you're a spindler)
- Spare bobbins (ditto! but how about spare spindles!)
- Lazy kate - if you DIY when you need one, the basket and sticks that you use
- Your current spinning project
- The Spinner's Companion (or your favorite reference)
Congratulate yourself for being a well-organized spinner if you can also say exactly where you’d find these:
- blank sample cards
- Your current handspun yarn project (knit/weave/crochet...)
- Your needle felting supplies
- Your gram of vicuna (or 1/2 ounce of guanaco)
- Your spindle stand (spindlers)
- Your high-speed head (wheel spinners)
- The manual for your wheel or the tag original to your spindle
- Your books on spinning (they're all on one shelf, right?)
- Project or breed notebook
Gretchen of The Happiness Project says that disorganized people put things in approximate places (somewhere in a room or a set of drawers), and more organized folk have an exact location (a particular shelf in a closet or a particular drawer). I agree with her there! My main challenge is always tidying -- getting things put back away when they get pulled out to be used.
Spinning as a craft and daily practice is not typically something I can pull out for an hour and then put away -- the accoutrement (fiber, books, notecards, tools, inspiration) for the current project are gathered into a tote or basket and stick by the wheel or spindle they are being done on while it's in progress. For me these days, I spin 2-4 ounces in an evening, then finish the plying once all the spinning is done. Rarely have I spun more than 8 ounces in a color, and the fiber used and fineness of spinning dictate how much spinning gets done. My "best" evening recently was 8 oz. of divine BFL/Alpaca top from Ashland Bay -- I did 4 ounces each evening, and was so entranced that I admit I did the plying on the morning of the third day. Lovely stuff! I did my best to long-draw it for speed, but wanted a fair amount of twist in it. It came out at about 12-14 WPI, so not all that thin.
So, a project can take a while. And if something else more exciting or urgent comes up when one is in progress ... well, let's just say, I've found unfinished projects under other projects that get done!
I've taken to organizing my tools in a variety of lidded wicker hampers -- the one in the sitting room for most-used tools has a lazy kate, spare bobbins, skeiner, ball winder, and yarn meter. Sometimes fiber gets popped in there, if it's the fiber that's "next up". But I admit that I've found fiber there and wondered what I was thinking! So it's not a hard-and-fast thing. At present I'm struggling with working through my stash -- it's a struggle because I realized that alot of it got bought to be stash ... choosing to spin it means letting it not be stash any more! Yarn stash is quite a different beast -- once the fiber has a given yarn-WPIness, its future is much more limited. Heck, as fiber, I can still choose to felt it, rather than spin it!
Once a project is done, I can return the items from the tote that I don't need for the next project, and refill my project tote with the next project. The fun part about being a spindler, is that I can have several "current" totes each with their own fiber, spindle(s), and inspiration (knitting pattern, picture, notes, or even a commercial yarn snippet) and snag one on my way out the door. This time of year that is particularly handy -- the lines are growing as the holidays approach, be it the post office, the bank, or the local general store.
There you have it. And my niddy-noddy is actually currently in a project tote, preparing to go with me to Lacey this weekend for a circular sock machine retreat.