Friday, February 24, 2012

Video: Introduction to spinning with a drop spindle

Here is part one of a tutorial on how to use a drop spindle like the ones I sell on Etsy.

Drop spindles are what women used for eons to spin fiber. Often, they would spin as they walked into town during market day, tuck the spindle and fiber away in their bag while they stocked up on provisions, and then would spin some more as they walked home. For most families, that was how all yarn for all their fabric was made.

I taught myself to spin using a drop spindle and alpaca fiber. When I have a booth at an alpaca show or a farmer's market, whenever I am not talking to a customer, I am spinning with my drop spindle. My spinning wheel takes up way too much room in my car to ever leave my house, and the yarn I make on the drop spindle is so much more interesting.

Let me know if you find this informative!


p.s. just in case you were wondering, no, it's not me in the video. This is something I am re-posting from YouTube.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Video: How to Card Alpaca with Hand Carders

I am actually looking to replace my hand carders, but I found this video instead. I like how she demonstrates how to make cute little roving bats out of the carded fiber, too. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Some homespun yarn pictures

Who knew that my best selling items on would be the lumpy homespun I make on my drop spindle? I get the lumpiness by using raw fiber and just flicking the tips with a carder (which is actually a dog brush from the pet store). This makes for an inconsistent draw, which results in lumpy, slubby yarn that is full of "character."

These were all mini-skeins of about 50 yards or less each, and I sold them for $5 a pop because I wasn't sure the yarn was strong enough to hold together.

Good news! People loved them.
Bad news! Now I'm out.

I have to decide if I want to make more. I made these as a time-killer while I sat in my Farmer's Market booth. I don't really have time to kill during the school year when I teach. We'll see.

For now, I don't have any more of these little gems.