Friday, October 26, 2007

Spindling Splendour!

Mr. Hisey, Grandma Hopkins, Theresa and Cousin Wendy at the trail head to Mt. Pilchuck, ca 1980. Look at my "big hair"! I didn't have to try to have big hair in the 80s, God just gave it to me. I was forever trying to tame it, as in this picture where it is pretty brushed down so that my hair would feather! LOL I see I'm also wearing my snazzy Appaloosa jeans. (When I was this size, my perception of myself was that I weighed 300#! It makes me a little sad to see the difference between my perception of myself and my actual body.) You'll see the connection to the picture in a minute!
Let me introduce you to my new spindle, a Mt. Pilchuck spindle from Cascade Spindle Company in Kent, Washington.
Here is a closeup showing what I have spun and some of the beautiful fiber it came wrapped in courtesy of Kendig Cottage's eBay store. The fiber is very luscious and reminds me a lot of Cary's Comfort Wool. It is very sproingy and is in a color I would not naturally be drawn to, but is so lovely in all it's naturalness. Cary, does Corriedale come in this color?
This is what Cascade has to say about their spindle: This is the spindle you've been awaiting to spin designer yarns and also the ultimate plying spindle. Engineered for an easily-controlled, fast, long and consistent spin. Maple, rim-weighted, long shaft, weight under 1-7/8 oz.

I knew I wanted a Cascade spindle. Not only are they beautiful, but they come from my homestate where I grew up at the base of the Cascade Mountains. I have spent many happy hours there...when I wasn't playing at the ocean! But I couldn't choose which one. I narrowed it down to the Pilchuck and the Mt. St. Helen's. I have a feeling that Mt. St. Helen's and the "wristaff" are going to sneak their way into my collection in the future! :o)

I settled on the Pilchuck because I already have a great Bosworth Purpleheart Maxi spindle and I have been slowly spinning some of Cary's wool from her sheep Valerie to make Evelyn Clark's Sheep Shawl. When I used that spindle to ply, I was very frustrated, though some of that may have been my inexperience! The Pilchuck was advertised as being good for plying. A second factor was that, as you can see in the above picture, I climbed Mt. Pilchuck.

I am the third generation in my family to grow up with Mt. Pilchuck in the panoramic vista of my neighborhood. It is considered the easiest and most accessible peak in the Cascade range, with a six mile trail to the top where there is a fire lookout. On a clear day you can see for miles across the Cascades and over the Sound to the Olympic Mountains. I have photos of my grandparents as teens, at the lookout with their families in the early 1920s. None of them were scanned otherwise I would show you. Unfortunately all the pics I took on this hike were from an old 126 film camera and are not very sharp. Mr. and Mrs. Hisey, lifelong neighbors of my Grandma Hopkins in Lake Stevens, WA, took us there. Grandma must have been 74 years young at the time.

Back to spindling... I love it already! :o) It practically spins itself! I would highly recommend it to anyone. I have to admit that I never understood before why people "collected" spindles, though many are beautiful works of art! My favorite are the wood ones because no artist is greater than the Creator! I am not monogamous in my fibery projects. That actually helps me be more productive because then I don't get too bored on any one project. I do like to keep them under control however. But because of this, I think it is fun to have a few different spindles so that I can work on different projects. I think I am beginning a spindle collection too! LOL I will continue to spin Valerie the Corriedale sheep on my Bosworth and will probably try something colorful and fun on my Pilchuck.

Another note on spindling. I started with an inexpensive spindle, basically a stick with an unfinished wood whorl, a gift from an SP exchange. It was a bottom whorl and having never spindle spun before, I knew no different. Then when I tried the Bosworth, a fine piece of workmanship, a gift from Pamela in England, I realized that a "Cadillac" really does drive better! I am finding that my drafting skills have improved greatly since learning how to use the spindle and that I am more consistent on the spindle than on my spinning wheel. I never could walk and chew gum at the same time! :o)

If any of you are spindlers and have any pointers to add, I'm all ears (or eyes as the case may be!).


Tabitha said...

The spindle is lovely. What a nice gift for yourself. Can't wait to see something you spin with it. I have GOT to learn to spin.

Charlotte said...

That is really nice! I think it's cool you have such a connection to the Mountain namesake of your new spindle. I like the wool color also.

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Yes, Theresa, Corriedale does come in that color (my Maxine is close to it) but it is more likely a different moorit sheep because it is a rare color in natural colored Corries ;)

I love the picture of you at the beginning of the post! AND I like your Wellness Wednesday idea...its great!

Breien in Lansingerland said...

I'm just a starter with the spindle, but this looks like a wonderful spindle. You seem to work miracles with it :-)

Warm regards from The Netherlands,

Lynette said...

Okay don't laugh at this non knitters question, but can you felt the yarn before knitting? So you have the softness of the yarn, but the size of the bag before felting.

Fiber addikt said...

Theresa, it's a coopworth cross fleece from a sheep that was owned by a friend of mine. I'd carded up tons of it and spun quite a bit, but I never could find the time to get the rest spun so I began to use it as a little bit of "thank you" padding with a lot of the spindles I mail out. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Vicki at Kendig Cottage