As an interruption to the coverage of the photo shoot, here's some information on the traveling spindle kit that has worked out best for me, thanks to those who have asked.
Here's my spindle kit in the middle of a set-up for a picture of, oh, let's see: Rambouillet.
Here's what's inside the container, which I got at a hardware store. It's intended for storing miscellaneous tools and parts:
- A black spinning cloth (more useful with a wheel, but I find it helpful to have one around; I could leave it out and have more room for fiber).
- A clip-on reading light. This could also be replaced by fiber.
- Spindle: essential. This is a Magpie Woodworks Magpie small top-whorl spindle, although I have a number of simple spindles that fit into this case so I can choose the tool to fit the fiber I'm carrying. The length of the shaft and diameter of the whorl are the dimensions that need to be taken into account.
- Niddy noddy. I improvise ball winders out of empty t.p. rolls all the time, but prefer to have a real (if small) niddy handy. This one makes a 24-inch skein.
- Fiber: I can fit an amazing amount of fiber around the tools. What's shown here are just scraps that I was spinning samples from (Targhee wool, both roving and top).
- Container, with lid off. It's a Crown Bolt clear can storage container, 2.75 x 8 inches. I got it at Home Depot. This size is available in our local store, although it's not listed on the web site. There's a slit in the lid that can be used to put things in and out of the tube without opening the whole thing if you're using it for its intended purpose (as I'm not). When the tube is used for a spindle, that slit means if the spindle's a tad too long it can still fit adequately.
Here are the contents, ready to be loaded:
The niddy noddy has been disassembled and the reading light and the black cloth have been folded up.
Loading sequence is important. The spindle tip goes in early, but is not put all the way in right away.
The light and the niddy get tucked in under the whorl. I also stuff in as much fiber as I want at this point. If I have different types of fibers, I wrap them in small pieces of well-worn scrap fabric. If keeping the fibers separated isn't important, I just arrange them neatly in any open spaces and push the spindle down after them.
Then I put the spindle in place.
There's a whole lot more room for fiber in there . . . especially if the black cloth and reading light are eliminated or packed elsewhere.
I love the niddy noddy, although I don't know where to get one exactly like this today. If I were looking now, I'd check out a Magpie Woodworks sampler-size niddy or David Reed Smith's currently available adjustable niddy.
What's most interesting to me about this combination is the number of corners of my luggage or backpack into which it can be tucked at the last minute, even when I am packed to capacity. It's rigid enough to fully protect the contents, and exceptionally lightweight. It's not sweetly handcrafted, and it is plastic. But it's see-through, which is very handy and not something I could arrange for with other practical materials.