Coals to Newcastle, or a spinning kit for Maryland

So I’m about to leave for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, where there will be an abundance of tools and fiber, and I need to pack . . . some tools and fiber. I’ll be leaving home a good 50 hours before the festival opens, and my budget also is both slim and dedicated to specific items that I need to locate, not including materials to work with during this weekend.

Here’s my minimal travel spinning kit:


It’s not much of a photo because the sun’s not up yet.

The kit includes:

  • a plastic tool container from the hardware store, just right to fit
  • a specific Magpie spindle
  • a comb from the pet supplies store, which is the smallest fiber prep tool I’ve got right now
  • a sample-sized niddy-noddy that also comes apart into pieces and can fit in the tube
  • a packet of Polwarth wool
  • a packet of Borderdale wool

I have no projects in mind for the wools; they’re just a couple of New Zealand-origin fibers I’d like to play with en route. I’d rather card the Polwarth than use the grooming comb on it, but even a small pair of carders exceeds what I want to carry.

  • Polwarth: Merino X Lincoln origins, ending up 3 parts Merino to 1 part Lincoln
  • Borderdale: Border Leicester X Corriedale origins

There’s a bandanna that gets wrapped around the spindle in the tube. I can also fold prepared-but-unspun fiber into it to keep the locks in order until they get spun. The comb doesn’t fit into the tube or my kit would be even more compact. It’s that handle. And I don’t have time to find something smaller.

In addition, for times when spinning doesn’t fit the mood, I have two small packets of knitting:

  • the final swatches for the upcoming Nomad Press book
  • the sleeves for my Aran-style cardigan, plus paper to start designing the body

That should hold me through the flights and other waiting times.


2 thoughts on “Coals to Newcastle, or a spinning kit for Maryland”

  1. I’m surprised that you’d rather card Polworth than use your comb. My favorite thing to do with Polworth is flick and spin from the lock. Maybe I should try the carding again.
    Always new things to think about.

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