Tag Archives: yarn

A Regular Fleecing

For the last week and a bit, I’ve been participating in the Tour de Fleece, which is an online spinning event that corresponds to the, you know, bike thing.

Sorting out your fluff and spindles: the handspinning equivalent of carbo-loading.

Here are a few glimpses of what I’ve spun so far:

There are no specific objectives for participants, but since I am a person who needs structure, I put together a list of tasks and a calendar for tracking my progress. On any given day, I will do anything spinning-related so long as it’s on the Official List. Side projects need not apply: any fiendish ideas that come along (about, say, building a flax distaff or learning to spin cotton) are on ice until after this event.

Of course, I put enough on the list to keep me busy:

The event takes place largely on Ravelry, which I am finding more or less impossible to keep up with. (It’s like trying to have a conversation around a dinner table with thousand other people: by the time I start to respond to a post, the topic of conversation has already zipped along to something else.) But so far, I’ve spun a few hundred yards and made a couple of little spindles. I’m going to see if I can manage a mile of plied yarn by the end of the Tour on the 22nd. Wish me luck– or join in yourself!

An easy, inexpensive cone holder for all your weaving needs

When winding a warp, it’s very helpful to use a stand to hold your cones or tubes of yarn upright so that you can pull the yarn off the cone smoothly and at an even tension. However, these stands can run fairly steep in price, and even more economical alternatives aren’t always readily accessible.

Solution?

Locate an empty CD spindle.

Or empty a full one, if necessary. This is weaving time! Priorities!

Next, remove the lid and plonk on your yarn.

That’s the stuff.

There are a few disadvantages to the Spindle Solution, but nothing too dire. First, there’s no built-in tensioning device for the thread, but holding it carefully seems to work reasonably well. In a pinch, I imagine that you could feed it through some sort of freestanding hook, but so far I haven’t found it necessary. Second, a CD spindle is very lightweight, and can be dragged around if you’re not feeding the yarn straight upwards. A couple of clamps can take care of this, or (less elegantly) something heavy– like a weaving book–  laid across one side. Of course, if you’re working with more than a couple of cones at a time, further creativity might be called for.

Also, it’s kind of ugly.

Decoupage, anyone?

Update! Update!

Since I posted this entry, I came up with another option:

It’s an expanding mug rack, intended for wall use, just lying flat on the table. I’m considering screwing it into a flat piece of wood for even better stability, but even as it is it’s pretty decent.