The Palette Box:
even if the photos
high whorl spindle
1. It won't roll of the table
2. It doesn't need a notch (those facets do the job)
3. It is fast-- a quick roll up a leg and then it flies
4. It goes and goes and goes
6. The Shaft is buttery to the touch but with enough friction to really get going.
7. It is sturdy and short enough to spin while sitting in a chair
8. It turns the previous-pair-of-spindles-I-use into a group of three
This simple object might be as self-explanatory as a Palette box,
but I'm going to blather a bit nonetheless because mine, at first, looked more like a fragment of a Ponderosa Pine struck by lightning than an essential and life changing tool.
But first, I have to back up a few steps.
Though a spindle spinner long before I touched a wheel,
plying was always a pain in the neck:
two ended balls (or separate balls), endless eyelashes,
too much to juggle and everything twirling in a different direction.
Then I met Ed Franquemont * and ever after
have followed his simple advice:
wind your singles together into a ball-- parallel but not twisted--
THEN add twist in a second step.
The reasons this works are many but I will spare you my diatribe and say only that doing this one "extra" thing has turned plying frustration and eyelash hell
into another pleasant part of the soul-satisfying process of making yarn with a spindle.
*There are endless wonderful things to say about Ed Franquemont and all he shared with the textile community. To learn more, google him, spend time with his marvelous daughter Abby Franquemont and read her book Respect The Spindle
Back to the stick thing.
Winding the parallel strands of singles into a ball works pretty well for a two ply yarn, but a few years ago I wanted a spin-ply-knit-as-you-go project for some upcoming travel and decided a three strand chain ply yarn would be perfect. The stick (pictured below on the left), onto which I wound the chained (but untwisted) singles turned out to be the answer to an unasked question, and has become my go-to tool for all spindle plying no matter the number of strands.
Both the winding and the subsequent unwinding, are easier than ever.
a stick for holding yarn while you ply.
Almost silly to say all this stuff about it, except I want to rave about Alexandra Iosub's version
which takes my simple chunk of unburned firewood to a whole new level of plying pleasure. Alex's sticks
-are balanced and lovely to hold while winding
-keep the strands in place
(no accidental sliding off one side)
-unroll in the hand with smooth and sensual pleasure as the spindle twirls toward the ground
-are available in her Etsy store!
Using the singles straight off of your spindle:
1. fold the end of the singles into a loop,
2. pull another loop of singles through that loop
(length can vary -- I like to make my loops 12 - 18 inches long unless I'm adjusting for color)
3. stick a finger through the new loop and hold the 3 strands taught (two strands of loop + the singles going to the spindle) and wind onto the stick.
4. When your finger holding the loop gets close to teh stick, pull another loop through it.
5. When your spindle is empty and your stick full, start adding twist with the spindle.
I think it must be what Elizabeth Zimmerman called an 'unvention.'
Descriptions will be up soon, and Registration Opens 1 March.
See you next week!