What is Andean Spindling? That's what I wanted to know, so I signed up for Kaye Collins' class on the topic at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival.
The Andeans use very simple bottom whorl spindles -- by USA standards, they seem pretty crude. But the weaving and knitting Kaye brought with her bespoke the marvels produced with these most basic of tools. The strap in the photo is handspun, dyed, plied, and woven (in that order -- they dye their singles, then ply them!)
The biggest relevation for me was their drafting method; it's a double drafting similar to what you see in this wheel-spinning youTube video. July2010 Update: and here's a good video of a Peruvian spindler double-drafting!
And the real shock was how much twist is in their singles -- Kaye had several spindles with Andean handspun on them, and the twist, well -- let's just say that corkscrews were fairly regularly present. There is a reason; the Andeans spin tightly, weave tightly, and knit tightly to give their fabrics water repellancy.
The little bit of white wool on the spindle is some of what I spun in class -- I had to take it off and add more twist, and really, it still doesn't have enough to match what I saw. Amazing!
Interested in Andean spindles? I couldn't find a website for Kaye, but she had some for purchase in class. The Spinning Loft may also have some.
There are several books available on Andean Textiles:
Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands
Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals
Andean Folk Knits
Now, I'm off to go and add some more twist to put an Andean spin on my yarn!
© February 16, 2010 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at http://askthebellwether.com/blog