Thursday, March 18, 2010

The last five miles were agony..........

Finished! The pretty blue-green merino etc mix fibre all spun up on to the two spindles.

As I said before, this was not a true comparison as the two spindles were from different makers. They were of a very similar weight and a slightly less similar size. In completing this exercise, I have pushed the capacity of each of them way beyond the point where I would have stopped in normal circumstances. With both spindles, it ceased to be a pleasure, although for different reasons!

With the Woodchuck bottom whorl, I started out enjoying the process, and finding the spindle effortless to use. But as it filled up, it became harder and harder to get sufficient momentum and I ended up having to twirl more than once before stopping to wind on. The yarn became harder to keep fixed in use as well - I had to wind spun yarn round the shaft several times to avoid slippage.

With the IST top whorl, I managed to continue being able to flick the shaft on my knee to get it turning for the greater part of the process, but eventually the cop grew so long that there was not sufficient free shaft left to do this. At this point, spinning became much harder work, although I did not usually have to finger-twirl as often as with the other spindle. Winding on became an issue as well, although slightly easier to resolve - as long as I took the yarn from the bottom of the cop straight up into one of the grooves in the whorl, there was no slippage.

I was spinning a fairly fine yarn, so as the spindles grew heavier, there was some breakage going on - I would have probably stopped at that point with each of them, but wanted to see if I could get all the fibre on. (I had originally thought that if I finished the blue-green, I would continue with white to cram as much on as possible, but the spinning had become less than pleasant long before I reached that point, so I was glad to stop!)

I had no serious problems with either spindle becoming unstable as it loaded - the bottom whorl did so slightly more often, but that was probably operator error!

In the end, I managed to cram around 20 grammes more yarn on to the bottom whorl, some of which can probably be accounted for by the shaft being a bit longer.

So - absolutely nothing proved!! But actually, an interesting first step. I'm merrily spinning the cormo on the Goldings, both still functioning fine, and me enjoying the process. Another report, then, at a later date.

A nice week so far - reasonable weather up until this afternoon, when it has been raining a bit. An excellent discussion at Book Group on Tuesday, where we had been reading "A Book of Silence" (at least, I think that is the title) by Sara Maitland. We had issues with it, but found a lot to discuss on the topic of silence - or rather, solitude or peace.

I've also been reading "Thursbitch" by Alan Garner, a long time favourite of mine. Beautifully written - but I didn't understand it!

Then yesterday to Leeds, for a long and most enjoyable lunch with the coven and its Australian member, obviously a rare treat these days. Good job the train fare, courtesy of the finally-acquired bus pass, was cheap, as the lunch was exorbitantly expensive for what it was. Still, worth it - the company was grand, and so nice to be off the leash for a time.....

1 comment:

beadlizard said...

Ever read The Solace of Open Spaces? IIRC it's a good one for thinking about silence.