walk with me
walk with me wednesday

splitting straws

It's no secret that I think that of all the spindles I've used, the Turkish style makes the most sense.  This is for one reason only.  When you finish spinning, there on the spindle is a center pull ball ready to ply.  The problem is that I have other beautiful spindles that I absolutely love to spin on.  With my top whirls, I usually use my feet to set them twirling.  I love this method.  They spin quickly and I can keep the spin going without having to stop until the limits of my reach determine that I must.  After a while I've spun a lovely copse and then... then the problem with spindling hits me.  It is inefficient (and a pain in the butt) to stop and wind off the yarn.  There has to be a better way.  For months I've played with ideas for plying boxes, boxes to use for winding bobbins of yarn from the spindle, modular spindles, and things..   Then last week I read the article in the Spring 2007 Spin Off about Peter Teal's spindle and plying box "kit".   It was all there.  Except, I have many spindles  that I love.  I said that before, didn't I?  There must be an easy way, a good way, to get the yarn off the spindle without tangling it, without winding a ball.  Some good way to transfer it to a plying station.  I'm thinking about it.  Anyone have a good solution.


There is a lot of yardage in that little silk ball.  It took a long time, and C holding the spindle between his fingers while I wound the ball ( I had played with it trying too many things and had disturbed the copse a bit too much for it to come off easily).

I stopped at a fast food place yesterday and picked up a few large straws along with a burger.  I split one and fashioned a plastic quill.  But a red plastic straw, on my beautiful Forrester???


For another spindle I rolled a bit of wax paper around the spindle before starting to spin. 


So what do you do?  Any ideas? 


Oh yeah. I've got no advice on this one. Marcy?

I spin on a wheel. Barely kidding.

I think if you set up a shoebox with two holes big enough to poke the longer end through so it fits, and spins freely, then use the ball winder for a center pull ball, it should work. The box only holds the spindle, so you would need to make the holes big enough for free movement.

The way I've 'done it' is similar to what Laurie says. I have a Lizzy Kate and spin up two spindles. That means you need to similar spindles. The straw, or something like it, have been suggested to me so you're on the right track.

Sounds like you need to "acquire" a Golding 3-ply Lazy Kate in Cummington like Terri's :-). It's a beautiful and highly functional piece (with adapters for other spindles) eliminating the need to use "other" methods that might mar your beautiful spindles. Wasn't Peter Teal's box great?

I always end up doing the Andean plying bracelet thing, but that has obvious limitations... you can only 2-ply with it, you can't ply different colors or fibers, etc. But if what you want is just a regular old 2-ply, it can't be beat!

The J. Mac book also shows someone Navajo plying with a spindle, something I didn't think was possible, but apparently is.

Just saw a blog where a woman was using a great wheel and I think she used a corn husk as a quill for her yarn so she could slip it off without having to wind off. The corn husks should be easy to get in the Mexican food section of the grocery store. And cheap. Don't know if it will work, but it would be relatively cheap to try?
I have a basket that is a strange shape and has two handles parallel to each other about the width of my drop spindles and I slip them in there and use that.

All the stopping and starting has me hesitant to try spindle spinning. If you find a solution, I'm interested.

This dilemma has me stumped and looking for solutions from all kinds of angles. So far nothing satisfactory. What I do with singles from a top spindle, and the Ladakhi, is to lightly hold the spindle so it freely revolves in my hand then wind off onto my warping board. It goes quite fast, and I get the yardage. I tried the swift but for some reason the pegs aren't spaced so one can get an exact yard. (Very annoying - the only complaint I have about it.) Then I use the ball winder. I want to try winding onto a felt ball next time.

What do I do...hmmm...I suppose my asnwer has the potential to be really annoying. LOL. Bottom line is, I have learned to love the whole ridiculous process! If at home, I toss the loaded spindle into a grocery bag and hook the single into my ball winder, and away we go. If not at home, I use my Nostepinne. In either case, once I have a center pull ball, I line up the the ends. If at home, I wind the 2 plies together on the ball winder for a center pull ball, and THEN I take those lined-up but not plied piles and wrap the yarn around a felted ball. This ball then goes into any handy holding container and I ply the yarn. And what to do with all these infintessimal balls? Well, I join them all together with a good ol' spit splice. And yes, when I've spun and plied it all and tied it off in a skein, I wash it in good, hot water and Eucalan. Time-consuming? Yeah. Kind of a pain in the arse? Yeah. But when I turn to my spindles the resulting yarn is intended for ME. It has nothing to do with producing mass quantities, as it is when I sit down and my wheel(s). It is one of the few nice things I do for myself, so the cumbersome parts of the process do not get me down in the least. Maybe someday I'll want to streamline the process, but for now it ain't broke, so I ain't fixin' it. :-)

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend! I'm on the way to Maine, myself, as of tomorrow morning.

I use one of Tom and Linda Diak's spindle barns. It's great for three-ply.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)