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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although I have been knitting for 44 years and crocheting for almost as long, I've really gotten into spinning this past year. I started out with a drop spindle a few years ago (now I have an interesting collection of unique spindles. Does anyone else spin?
 

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I spin on two different wheels. My first love is an Ashford Elizabeth Double Drive which was given to me in kit form. I carefully sanded each part then lovingly applied an oil finish with no stain so the beauty of the natural wood would glow through the finish. I also have a travelling wheel which is a Merlin Tree HitchHiker. It fits in a large tote bag and spins exceptionally well for such a simple little, inexpensive wheel. I find spinning so relaxing and just love knitting with my handspun yarns.
 

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I spin on a Ashford Traviler. I started with 1 bunny and a drop spindle 25 years ago. Who would ever have thought it would have bloomed into such hobby's as knitting, crocheting,felting and weaving. The last few years i have been learning to read patterns and charts.
 

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Welcome sister-spinster! ! ! I spin (not as often as I used to) but I love it. Your results may not always be perfect, but know that you can always use them somewhere. Felted items are a great way to use less than perfect yarn. Shearing time is coming soon. Check with your local yarn shops, ask if they know of spinners. Also, check classified ads, local fairs.
 

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I use a Kromski Sonota folding wheel. It comes with a travel case. I spin a super twist 2 ply bulky weight for just about all of my alpaca fleece lately (while wearing fingergless gloves) Between that and firewood I stayed warm this winter. My yard was full of robins this morning!!!!!!
 

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I bought a drop spindle and nice amount of wool to try and spin and after working on it, for a few days, it seemed as if all I did went wrong. I couldn't get the spin and the tension working together and other times, I couldn't keep the wool from breaking. I live in a small town and no one to help me. I got discouraged and sat it off in a closet a few months ago. I wish I'd met with success.
 

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I don't spin yet, but I really want to learn how to do that. I think it would be so great to spin your own yarn; then knit something beautiful with it. I don't know where to learn this craft though. Anyone on here know? I live in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
 

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I spin on an Ashford traditional that I got almost 40 years ago. I can still get spare parts for it. Also use an Ashford Joy. It is one of the most relaxing things I do. If life is tense spinning calms everything down.
 

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I have a 27-year-old Ashford Traditional that started life as a kit, and a younger Louet S-51. There are spinning (usually spinning/weaving) guilds all over the country--other countries too. You can find many of these listed at www.interweave.com, or in SpinOff. There's probably one close to you--and spinners, like knitters (often we're the same people, aren't we?), are more than willing to help you learn or improve. Local Yarn Shops often have spinning classes too, or can direct you to a teacher or a guild.
 

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I do, though it's been a while since I've spun any yarn. I have an Ashford Elizabeth which is a traditional looking wheel.

My goal is to spin a nice, well balanced yarn that I can use in a knitting project. I subscribe to Spin-Off magazine & looking at some of the beautiful yarns being produced & the garments being knitted with those yarns are an inspiration.
 

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I don't spin, but next time I get some cash, I plan to buy a drop spindle and try my hand at it. I am not sure how well it will work, but I intend to try and spin with old yarns/threads and other materials to try and get a unique sort of mix yarn or just to bring some order to the chaos in some of the cut fabric I have...
 

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I know ^^. I have seen these; a local historical "living" museum also has similar (albeit cheap) kits - for spinning, knitting, weaving and some other historically relevant handicrafts. I was looking at Knit Picks' drop spindle as well.
 

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rokido said:
I know ^^. I have seen these; a local historical "living" museum also has similar (albeit cheap) kits - for spinning, knitting, weaving and some other historically relevant handicrafts. I was looking at Knit Picks' drop spindle as well.
I got mine from an advertisement in a 'spinning magazine' and there was an advertisement for the smaller drop spindle and the wool both, plus my own copy of a magazine that showed the seller showing how to spin the wool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My wheel is just a little Ashford Kiwi. I have found that some drop spindles can be infuriating, particularly when you are trying to learn. I found a really good one on etsy...it has little copper "buttons" that you insert into holes at the outer edge of the whorl. I have a photo of it with all the buttons in place, you don't need to use them all. You can space them out and only use 3 or 4..or none!
 

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In our spinning guild we joked about the drop spindle's name. Named because all we did was drop it! Actually, once you get the hang of it, it works pretty good. A straight stick and a glob of mud makes spindles in the Amazon Basin. A dowel rod, a thing I don't know the name of and 3 or 4 CD's you get in the mail and you have a drop spindle. I sometimes put a hook on the top. The thing I can't remember the name for is made of rubber, orange/red in color, fits tight over the dowel rod, but is larger on one end than the other. I got it at the hardware store and even back 6-7 years ago it cost about 3 dollars. The dowel is cheep and I split it in 3 parts. Instead of the boughten part, you can use rubber bands. Put a pretty side of CD up where you are going to see it. Maybe even a drop of glue evenly spaced and you have a cheep drop spindle. I have an Ashford Traveler and like it real well. Twin Cities lady, you have it made. Look in the yellow pages under Yarn Shops and you will be able to find teachers, supplies, etc without having to go 110 miles like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Joelbears..that's funny because...everyone "drops" a spindle!
I've tried the CD spindle but for some reason I work better with a "heavier" spindle.

Last year I had a man who does woodwork for knitters and spinners build me a very special spindle..it will probably never see roving. I don't know if you have read about the "Pine Bark Beetle"? This is a beetle that is killing off our majestic pines here in Colorado. Once the tree is dead...and if someone can "harvest" the lumber before it is "incinerated"...the wood takes on a "blue" hue in the grain...very lovely and very sought after for furniture, cabinets, etc.. I asked this man to make me a spindle from a piece of "Beetle kill" pine. Oh my it's so lovely. He chose a piece from Breckenridge, CO (one of my most favorite places, but he didn't know that). He even added some "weight" so it would spin just right and said "once you drop it a few times, it will be just great". I asked if he thought I should do that on my hardwood floors, or on the floors that are carpeted!!

I do think that spinning give you a new perspective on what actually goes into the making of yarn. My hope is to spin enough yarn to make a "block" afghan.
 
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