By Amelia © October 9, 2012
Getting more yarn on your spindle requires great skill. Luckily, itis a skill we all possess: recognize natural beauty. A balancedspindle-full of yarn looks nice. It's naturally appealing in itstidiness, order, and symmetry.
Okay, I hear some of you groaning. You didn't like to tidy your room,and you still don't like housecleaning. But this isn't that. It'swinding yarn on the spindle, which is a celebration. Each time youwind on, you have created a new length of yarn.
For the past year, I have lived with wood stove heat. I like beingwarm, so I chop wood. I have a choice I can make -- I can throw thewood in an untidy pile that falls and expands when new wood hits it,or I can stack the wood in an organized wall that leans on itself andstays put. The organized pile looks better. Beauty of the woodpiletranslates to compactness, keeping more wood dry, and giving easyaccess to wood. With summer arriving July 5th here, we've workedthrough several cords of alder this spring, all chopped by me. I feelquite accomplished, taking my messy piles and putting them neatly inthe woodpile for use in keeping my family warm.
How far can you take this? The most I've put on a spindle is 4 ouncesof singles and 4 ounces of plied yarn. I've seen flickr entries with 7ounces of singles on a spindle, and Andean womens' spindles seem quitea bit fuller than my 4-ouncers.
Practical advice to achieve beauty in your spindle-full:
Wind on tightly, maintaining tension between the newly formed yarn andthe yarn already on the spindle shaft. If you wind on in a closelyarranged series of rounds on the shaft, every once in a while switchover to an X-wind on to hold down the rounds and keep the rows fromcollapsing into each other. You can look for artistry in your cop likethe Turkish spindle windings that appear on flickr, or you can strivefor a balanced shape and surface of the yarn on the spindle withoutlaying bands of color on the spindle shaft.
I like to put 2 ounces on spindles as singles, and then ply thattogether into a 4-ounce spindle-full. If I'm spinning thinner, I mayput less on the spindle. Consider the final spindle weight. I spinfine yarn on a 1/2- ounce spindle, and I don't want it to get muchover an ounce in total weight, so I only put 1/2 ounce on it. I spinthicker yarns (DK singles and thicker) on a 1.5 -ounce spindle; afterthere's an ounce on it, it's 2.5 ounces, which starts to feel heavy.At 3.5 ounces it's heavy enough that I'm done, even if the spindleisn't wobbling.
You may be able to tolerate a heavier spindle - or you may want tostop at a lighter final weight. It's a matter of preference, part ofyour spinning personality.
Plying goes so quickly that I don't mind doubling two 2-ouncespindle-fulls of singles and piling on 4 ounces of plied yarn. It'ssatisfying to see how closely I can match the length of each half ofthe fiber, a bit like trying to see how few blows it takes to chop around into burnable logs for my woodstove. And it's really satisfyingto see that huge cop of yarn on the spindle!
Yes, I have been posting less. That's because this past year has been full of studio building! It's done and workshops are underway. I post schedules to my email list (contact me to be added), on Ravelry's Spinning Workshops forum, and on Ask The Bellwether's Facebook page.
© October 9, 2012 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at http://askthebellwether.com/blog