Thursday, February 26, 2009

Well, it's official, I've lost my mind.

All this knitting got me to thinking.

Scary, isn't it? Yes. Yes it is.

I had recently seen some discussion of drop spindles for spinning your own yarn. *blush*

OK, I need to take a break from knitting so I don't hurt myself. Don't forget that my arms are questionable at best and while they have improved to about 80% usefulness if I over use them I may just hurt myself. I'm basically out of gourds right now to work on. The weather is either solid ice or pure mud depending on the time of day. I have a few books to read and a game to play but I feel like doing something that involves MAKING something.

But... I have been scavenging quarters to buy knitting needles. I am trying to get my money together to buy my dream horse. I just can not justify buying a drop spindle and some fiber just to see if I like it.

So..... I decided to make my own spindle and test it. And since i don't have any fiber aside from miniature horse fur (which is too slick to spin by itself, I've tried twisting it, lol) I decided to try spinning together some commercial yarn I had laying around just to get a basic feel of the concept.

First thing I did was go out to the barn and dig through three pans of nuts, bolts, screws, bent nails, shoe taps, old hinges and assorted crap I'd got at garage sales years ago. I found what I needed then I came back in the house and invaded the kid's room. I dug through the piles of detritus she sheds everywhere she goes until I found a pencil that was at least longer than the nubs she normal has on hand. Once I found what I was looking for I beat back the monsters that live in The Abyss (that is what SHE named her room!) so that I could escape. I then found a piece of card board, cut a circle out of it and after some cramming and twisting I rifled through my old bag of yarn odds and ends and had at it.

For your viewing pleasure, WarPony's Poor Woman's Drop Spindle (these pictures are also known as "Still Life With Crappy Drop Spindle and Cat"):




Sooo... yeah. After playing with this thing (and having the cardboard whorl fall off twice) I have decided that 1) I like it bottom whorl best, 2) it is WAY to light to get a good spin going and 3) I think this is something I might actually enjoy doing. So now I am planning to try and make one myself out of some wood my FIL offered to let me use to make some wood knitting needles. Or just wait until after I buy my horse and THEN buy myself a spindle.

Who am I kidding, I want to make my own! I am on a "Make all your own stuff" kick!

I developed my own wild sour dough starter, I am going to be tanning my own hides, I hand sewed my own outfit, I've learned the bare basics of knitting... I'm not progressing though life, I am regressing!

And I LIKE it!!!

Maybe i should consider getting a sheep, or maybe an angora goat. Might as well grow my own fiber too, right?

Yeah. I've lost my mind.


  1. So I am all for the spindle. I have not yet tried it with fiber, I have no idea where to get some outside of a farm... But I have used it to spin my plarn. I'm a dork. But it has made my thread so much finer and more even. And I really do enjoy making it! Doc made me my spindle. He's a machinist and basically machined me a whirl during some free time at work. The diameter is a bit small, but it works. He got me a dowel and a hook and wa-la! I will see if he can whip up another whirl. I don't know how much a dowel is, but I could probably find a cheap one. Granted it won't be the sexiest spindle ever, but mine works really well. I finishes another skein of plarn this morning.

  2. I got it working better as a top spinny now (Replying to your post on Global Family Room lol!!) it just needed more weight, haha! My FIL said he has a bunch of dowels of various sizes in his barn so I should be set for dowels!

    I also have been knitting my plarn, but I twisted it the complicated, time consuming way (Not hand twisting it, but wrapping it onto a broom handle, then rewrapping it onto another broom handle until the wrapping gives it a twist. Kind of hard to describe) so it doesn't have a good tight twist because my arm got tired and I got bored, lol.

  3. I like how top spinning works... I use the outside of my thigh and I think sometimes I bruise myself, but it works for me. I'll have to see how the bottom spinner works. If you let me know what size dowel(s) you get, I will see if Doc can make a whorl to fit it. I know he plans on "upgrading" mine now that he's done it once and has an idea as to how it works and what I need. So if that happens soon, I'll just send you mine... And if you do miraculously come up with some mohair... maybe we can make a bit of a barter there. lol. I will post a pic of my plarn on the GFR. I took what I had done apart and spun it then re-crocheted it (I haven't gotten as daring as to knit with it). I was thinking of making Vio a hammock for her bath toys next out of it.

  4. I found that it is easiest for me to purl the plarn, with the way I hold my yarn in my left hand it is just really easy to do compared to knitting it. But so far I have only tried to knit it with massive needles. I'm making a mat for our shoes out of it. But I can only knit it while Tsu is gone or sleeping because the crinkle sound drives him insane. Since the sound also bugs the crap out of me when I am not the one making it I am very understanding of his reaction, lol, so I only knit it while he is not around. And lately he has been home constantly. hehe.

    I'm going to see what my FIL has out in his barn this weekend and if I can;t find anything to use as a whorl I will get back with you. :-)