Wonderful posts about starting to spin with a spindle

posted in: Spinning | 4

Knitterguy has been posting terrific information on beginning to work with handspindles. If you have even an inkling of interest in spindle spinning, whether you are coming from a no-spinning perspective or from wheel-spinning experience, check out his approachable introduction.

He’s got two parts, one here and one here. In the second one, Knitterguy says: "I get odd looks for saying this, but really, really try not to think of your spindle as a ‘Drop Spindle’. Think of it as a ‘Suspended Spindle’, a term I
first read in Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ ‘High Whorling’, recently re-issued as ‘Spinning in the Old Way‘. It makes a lot of sense. How
you think of your tool has a huge influence on your attitude and
relationship with it: what you expect it to do, how you will use it.
(The same applies to people, I’ve found.)"

Ah, yes. No odd looks from me about changing from drop spindle to supported spindle or high-whorl spindle or top-whorl spindle or bottom-whorl spindle, depending on the specific tool under discussion.

However, I can’t ever think of a hand-powered spindle without hearing Priscilla’s voice admonishing people to call the tool a HAND-spindle, with her great extended Texas A making the first syllable at least three times the length of the second and third combined.

Handspindle, of course, can refer to either a suspended spindle (the kind referred to as a "drop spindle") or a supported spindle (already resting and rotating on a surface, therefore not as prone to "dropping"). So suspended spindle is the more specific term to use in this context.

Regardless, the name drop spindle needs to be banished. Except when used in jest.

And thanks to Knitterguy for his observations on the importance of thoughts and associated language on relationships and experiences of all kinds.

Strong bias warning, plus context information: I spent most of last year getting Spinning in the Old Way into print. The book is a completely new presentation of the material in Priscilla’s earlier book on working with a high-whorl spindle, High Whorling. People who have High Whorling and have mastered the content don’t need Spinning in the Old Way. The new edition has been completely re-done—text rewritten, illustrations re-drawn, layout started over from the ground up, everything. Plus it’s a paperback. I happen to think it was a beneficial way to spend a large chunk of a year: I love the results. I feel good when I pick it up and look at it. Even after having seen it so much. Kind of like an 8 stitch/inch sweater you spend a year on and when you get done, it fits and looks good.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Deb– Thanks for the mention; wow: this is an honour. I didn’t know you had a blog, so I’ll be dropping by to read about your fibre-workings.

    And what a fantastically appropriate name for your dog! Look at the colours in that coat!

  2. Glad to see you’re back! Missed your posts.

  3. I, too, learned “hand spindle” from PGR, and I also often use just “spindle” without an adjective. Yes. Let’s drop “drop”. And while we’re at it, can we please lose, “And that’s why they call it a drop spindle, har har har” upon the dropping of the spindle. Please? 😀

  4. Thanks to all for your comments! Ted, you are the first person to have commented on Tussah’s name and why she has it. She’s actually a bit closer to the reddish color of eri silk, but our other pup (now twelve) is Ari, and Eri and Ari would have just been too confusing. Ari stands for “Tempest’s Ariel Miranda,” because she was rescued from a storm. Tussah’s belly fur is, however, very nicely tussah-colored.

    I’m glad to know I was missed! I am still loading software onto the computer again.

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