I brought back to China three portable looms–actively deciding against bringing the 32” Mirrix Joni–and a home made drop spindle. It’s the drop spindle I want to talk about.
First, how to make it. Easy. Buy a very 1/4″ dowel at Michael’s or any craft store, a wooden toy wheel, a metal hook. You might want to sand one end of the dowel to a rounded point, and for that an emery board will do nicely, but you don’t have to. You might also want to use carpenter’s glue to fasten the dowel to the wheel, but, again, you don’t have to. Just make sure the wheel is one quarter down the length of the dowel. You might also want to use a Sharpie to mark a clockwise arrow on the top of the wheel, as a memory aid only. Decide if you want a top or a bottom spindle. If you want a top spindle, you might also want to cut a little groove into the wheel so that your lead string rides comfortably in it. Attach your lead string and you’re good to go.
Anyway, why am I talking about drop spindles? I am because I’m thinking about weaving and spinning my own yarn when I have downtime in the classroom or am just hanging out. Moreover, I am thinking of purchasing a few 20 kg bags of rolag for sale over at Simply Warped.
Today, I put the little drop spindle to good use with three 5 cm swathes of white, light pink, and green rolag of Oz/NZ wool for felting. Since I’m not much of a fiber artist beyond tapestry weaving, I didn’t really know if felting rolags could be spun. Elementary, my dear newbie, you more experienced spinners would laughingly say. To be sure. Since I’m a bit of an empiricist, I like hard evidence. So, I put the little drop spindle to good use today.
The green was a bit stiff, the white was soft and flexible, and the pink felt like the white. By the time I transitioned from the green to the white, my technique had gone from non-existent to not bad. The thickness of the yarn being made was now much thinner. The twist, I dunno, maybe it might be a bit over twisted.
What I do know is I am going to buy a bag of the white Oz/NZ rolag, spin some and sell some. After all, I am a capitalist.