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Main
Help needed: Using a kick spindle
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Jun 27, 2012 15:31:34   #
Hazel Blumberg - McKee (a regular here)
 
Is there anybody out there who uses a kick spindle?? I need help!

DH bought me a Little Meggie Kick Spindle from the Woolery (no affiliation; just a satisfied customer) for my birthday. Today, I finally got around to practicing with it. I can ply with it--and it holds a lot of yarn, so plying with it is great. However, I'm having a very difficult time trying to spin on it.

I'm left-handed, which may be the problem.

When I plyed with the kick spindle, I had the hook end to my right. I then could pull the wheel toward me to get the spindle going in a counterclockwise direction. I hold my fiber in my right hand, I draft with my left hand, and I used my left foot to pull the wheel.

When I tried to spin with the kick spindle, I found that I had to pull the fiber off to the right. Otherwise, I'd have to turn the spindle around and literally kick the wheel, which doesn't work anywhere near as well as pull the wheel toward one.

Is this clear as mud?

Anyway, if anyone has a kick spindle and can give me some advice, I'd be very grateful. I hope I'll be able to spin with this spindle and not just ply with it. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Hazel
 
Jun 28, 2012 12:56:47   #
denisejh
 
Hazel-I had never heard of a kick spindle and am now fasinated. I did a Google/Yahoo search for kick spindles and found a YouTube video available=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKXca210RPo . There were some other things listed under the search results. Give a look. Denise
Jun 28, 2012 13:36:23   #
Hazel Blumberg - McKee (a regular here)
 
denisejh wrote:
Hazel-I had never heard of a kick spindle and am now fasinated. I did a Google/Yahoo search for kick spindles and found a YouTube video available=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKXca210RPo . There were some other things listed under the search results. Give a look. Denise


I clicked on your link and got a message that the video is currently not available. ;-( I'll try again later. Thank you for hunting this down for me!

Hazel
Jun 28, 2012 14:56:25   #
denisejh
 
Hazel-Well darn! I did another Google/Yahoo search as youtube kick spindle videos and got a pretty good list of the different videos they have (don't know why I made it so difficult the first time!!). Just look them up that way and you should get enough to provide you with what you need. Let us know how you are doing with your kick spindle, Hazel. Like I said before, I'm really fasinated by this. Best, Denise
Jun 28, 2012 15:07:56   #
Hazel Blumberg - McKee (a regular here)
 
denisejh wrote:
Hazel-Well darn! I did another Google/Yahoo search as youtube kick spindle videos and got a pretty good list of the different videos they have (don't know why I made it so difficult the first time!!). Just look them up that way and you should get enough to provide you with what you need. Let us know how you are doing with your kick spindle, Hazel. Like I said before, I'm really fasinated by this. Best, Denise


Thanks, Denise! I'm fascinated by all different kinds of spindles, so that's why I asked DH for a kick spindle for my birthday. I'd watched the video that the Woolery has done on the kick spindle, and I know I need to go back and watch it again.

It looks so easy, but then again, it's a right-handed person who's operating the kick spindle. If I can just change my fiber-holding hand from my right hand to my left hand and my drafting hand from my left hand to my right hand, I'd probably have an easier time spinning with the kick spindle.

So that makes me wonder: If it's easy for me to ply on the kick spindle but difficult for me to spin, is it just the opposite for right-handed people??

BTW, I dropped the Woolery a note, too, to ask if they had any suggestions for me.

If it turns out that I can only ply on the kick spindle, that's not so bad, either, really. It holds a LOT more yarn than do my other spindles, after all, and I can make bigger plyed (plied?) balls of yarn.

If/When I learn more, I'll be back in touch.

Hazel the Left-Handed Spindler, who thanks you for all your efforts to find more info on the kick spindle
Jun 28, 2012 15:33:27   #
IndigoSpinner (a regular here)
 
Some spindles, like drop spindles are very un-handed.

When I spin on a Navajo spindle (I'm right handed), I place the spindle on the right side and hold the fiber and draft with my left hand, and spin the spindle with my right hand.

When I ply, though, I put the spindle on the left side and use my left hand to spin it and guide the plys with right hand.

That way, I always pull the hand that's turning the spindle toward me.

I was beginning to think that I didn't have anything to say about this because I've never used a kick spindle, but I would imagine that it's very similar to a Navajo spindle, and that's what I learned on.

Also, I learned to hold the fiber and draft (by pulling the fiber out) with one hand, in my case with my left. It might be easier for you if you learned to hold the fiber and draft with the same hand.
 
Jun 28, 2012 15:42:27   #
Hazel Blumberg - McKee (a regular here)
 
lostarts wrote:
Some spindles, like drop spindles are very un-handed.

When I spin on a Navajo spindle (I'm right handed), I place the spindle on the right side and hold the fiber and draft with my left hand, and spin the spindle with my right hand.

When I ply, though, I put the spindle on the left side and use my left hand to spin it and guide the plys with right hand.

That way, I always pull the hand that's turning the spindle toward me.

I was beginning to think that I didn't have anything to say about this because I've never used a kick spindle, but I would imagine that it's very similar to a Navajo spindle, and that's what I learned on.

Also, I learned to hold the fiber and draft (by pulling the fiber out) with one hand, in my case with my left. It might be easier for you if you learned to hold the fiber and draft with the same hand.
Some spindles, like drop spindles are very un-hand... (show quote)


Thank you so much for writing in about "handedness"! This is a really big help to me, and you've done a lot of demystifying of the kick spindle for me by comparing it to a Navajo spindle. I've never used a Navajo spindle, but I've seen plenty of photos of them and read articles about using them.

You're right: If I could learn to hold the fiber AND draft with the same hand, that would free me up immensely. I'm slowly learning to spin cotton, and the way to do that, as far as I can understand from what I've read, is to hold the fiber source AND draft with one hand. I'm making some progress with cotton, but I need to practice more.

Or I can teach myself to hold the fiber source in my left hand and draft with my right hand. That way, I could spin with the kick spindle more easily. Right now, plying is working out well with the kick spindle, but spinning is frustrating.

Off to get my kick spindle and give all this new knowledge a try. . . .

Hazel, who has some time off from freelance projects--the next one won't arrive until Monday--and who promised DH she'd make granola or bread today but who never got to making either ;-}
Jun 28, 2012 16:06:14   #
IndigoSpinner (a regular here)
 
If you want to learn to hold the fiber and draft with one hand, I would think it would be much easier to learn with a nice, crimpy wool with a medium staple.

Once you get the hang of that, you can adapt it to other fibers, but at least with the wool, you'll be able to learn it quickly, and THEN adapt, rather than picking the hardest fiber to learn on.
Jun 28, 2012 18:56:32   #
denisejh
 
Hazel-In reading about kick spindles today, I read from several people who said they loved their kick spindle for plying. One woman commented that she bought her kick spindle just for plying. She said she preferred to spin her singles with a drop spindle and to ply with her kick spindle. She also said she didn't own a wheel and didn't want on-she was very happy with what she has (I can't comment on that as I have never spun on a wheel). The more i'm reading about this, the more I think I'm seeing a kick spindle in my very near future! Thanks for bring up the subject today. Denise
Jun 28, 2012 19:40:47   #
IndigoSpinner (a regular here)
 
If you're thinking about buying a kick spindle, I'd recommend looking at, and, if you get a chance, trying a Navajo spindle first.

They're a lot cheaper, very versatile, and easy to use. If you look around, you can find one that's very special. For instance, I have one that has a purpleheart whorl. It's very pretty.

You can spin very fine lace yarn, bulky yarn, or anything in between. It's easy to spin with and great for plying.

It's also lighter and easier to carry and store.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
Jun 28, 2012 19:46:47   #
denisejh
 
Jo-You always give such great info and advice. Will most definitely look around and check out the Navajo spindle. Thanks so much! Denise
 
Jun 28, 2012 19:56:36   #
IndigoSpinner (a regular here)
 
It'll be best if you can actually try both a kick spindle and a Navajo spindle in person. Then you'll KNOW you're getting something you'll be happy with.

Check around for fiber fests. There will still be some happening before Winter, and you can probably find one of each there to try.
Jun 29, 2012 09:42:14   #
Hazel Blumberg - McKee (a regular here)
 
denisejh wrote:
Hazel-In reading about kick spindles today, I read from several people who said they loved their kick spindle for plying. One woman commented that she bought her kick spindle just for plying. She said she preferred to spin her singles with a drop spindle and to ply with her kick spindle. She also said she didn't own a wheel and didn't want on-she was very happy with what she has (I can't comment on that as I have never spun on a wheel). The more i'm reading about this, the more I think I'm seeing a kick spindle in my very near future! Thanks for bring up the subject today. Denise
Hazel-In reading about kick spindles today, I read... (show quote)


Y'know, this may be the answer: Kick spindles may be great for plying but not as great for spinning.

I'm trying to draft with one hand, as Jo suggested. So far, not so great. I've also tried switching hands: holding the fiber with my left hand, instead of with my right hand and drafting with my right hand, instead of with my left hand. That's going slowly, as well. As a left-hander, who's REALLY left-handed, switching hands is slow going.

So, maybe what I'll really use the kick spindle for is plying. It has SO much more room on it than do any of my hand spindles. I can make a nice, big ball of yarn with it and not have to split it into several smaller balls.

I'd love to be able to try out a Navajo spindle, too. No fiber stores in the area. However, in January, there's a Spin In in Destin, Florida, about three hours' drive west of where I live. Maybe I'll get to try one out there.

It'd also be really cool to meet some of the spinners on KP at the Spin In!

Anyway, we shall see how this all goes. The world of spindles is just fascinating.

Hazel
Jun 29, 2012 11:19:31   #
IndigoSpinner (a regular here)
 
You can get a Schacht Navajo spindle online at several different stores. Check at Yarn Paradise, and The Woolery. Look up and call Morgaine at Carolina Homespun (which is in California). I think she has the basic Schacht Navajo spindle, but that's where I got my purpleheart one. Or Susan at Susan's Fiber Shop. I've dealt with both Susan and Morgaine. If you talk to them, they'll find something that's just right for you. Both of them know how to spin and would rather lose a sale than sell you something you won't like. And if they don't have the perfect thing on hand, they can get it for you.

Look the stores up online, get the phone numbers and call and talk to either one.
Jun 29, 2012 13:07:31   #
denisejh
 
Thanks, Jo. Bookedmarked both. Denise
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