• Little Knits has had some great sales for sock yarn. I love those self patterning sock yarns. It’s such fun to watch the pattern appear. So I have a fair amount of sock yarn and have been doing socks on a regular basis. To show you that an old dog can learn new tricks, I have been doing magic loop with German short row heels and toes.  I’ve done another pair for me:

    A pair for Quinn’s birthday:

    And am working on another pair for Lon:

    When I first moved here, I had about ten pairs of hand knit socks. Then I stopped knitting them for some reason. I did a few fancy pairs, but I just don’t like wearing them as much as I like these simpler socks. For less than $8 a pair, I have socks that will last for years and keep my feet warm and comfortable in cold wet weather.


    I managed to make it to OFFF, but didn’t get to see much. I just got too winded. I managed to pick up a new Jenkins spindle, a lilac Finch:


    I really love the little thing and I’ve put it to work all ready.

  • Back in the day, there were no dedicated places to talk about spindles. If you discussed them on the spinning lists, wheel spinners would complain that they weren’t interested. It seemed that we needed our own place to discuss them, so that we could share the excitement of the new spindles we’d found. And back then, there were a lot of new spindle makers and new designs. I decided to start a list just for us. I’d have people send me their posts and I would manually put them together into a post that I emailed to the folks that were interested. Responses would show up in the next day’s post. It was work, but it was fun. Eventually, I found some software that would create the posts for me and used that for awhile. Then someone on the list offered a place on their own server, so we tried that. Then companies came out with email groups. They kept getting bought out by Yahoo, so eventually we wound up there. I never liked Yahoo. I hated dealing with it, but it was convenient for folks, so we stayed.

    I have noticed that people are not using email as much as before. A lot of that traffic went to social media and sites like Ravelry. Participation on the list dropped off. I had a monthly reminder for people to talk about their projects, but that didn’t seem to help. And I didn’t spend as much time as before participating. I talked about closing the list last year, but people wanted to keep it going awhile longer. After almost a year of no traffic, I closed it this week. Thank you to all that participated! I hope you continue to spin and enjoy your spindles.

  • First up, the Go To Cardigan by Churchmouse yarns. I had to redo the sleeve caps but it’s finally done. I’m happy with the fit and love Rowan Felted Tweed!
    Go To Cardigan

    Next is my second Wingspan. This is done in Knit Picks Kettle dyed yarns. It works well in this pattern.
    Second Wingspan

    Still working on this wine colored fiber from Wintry Flower by Design. I thought I’d finished it, but found another chunk of the braid.
    Midge and wine colored fiber

    This is the new Lark, with a BaaBaa Huey Pine Gradient in BFL. It’s lovely fiber.
    Lark and green gradient

    Ongoing is the Southdown/Tussah from Inglenook. I was heavily into knitting and this went on the back burner. I’m trying to pick it back up.
    Midge and Southdown/Tussah

    I am very close to finishing the Eileen Mary sweater. I had some fitting issues with it too, but that seems to be resolved. I just need to do the finish work and block the collar again.

  • Spindles 24.02.2015 No Comments

    This is a 27g/.95oz Jenkins Marblewood Lark on a walnut shaft. It’s my latest addition!

    Marblewood Lark front

    Marblewood Lark side

    Marblewood Lark back

    in the sun

    And the first project is 4oz of BaaBaa Huey BFL in Pine gradient.
    First project

  • Spindles 08.10.2014 No Comments

    Okay, time for a new spindle! This is my new Enid Ashcroft Mindi in Olivewood with a Walnut shaft. Weight is 25 grams.

    Mindi in Olivewood

    EA Mindi

    I’ve really wanted an Olivewood spindle. We even have a chunk of it in our collection of pretty wood. I am very pleased with it. I don’t have a project for it yet, but have ordered a TB small yarn stuff sack in Iberian for this larger spindle. I am still giving the Mini and Midges a good work out. I am finally starting to feel like I have a Turkish spindle for any project. I stiil think that I need another Midge and I’d like a Midi and Maxi to round out my collection. I also like Enid’s high whorl spindles, so maybe I’ll find a need for that too. Mostly, I need to get busy knitting up some of this!

  • Spindles 20.09.2014 No Comments

    I am a fan of my Enid Ashcroft spindles. I have two Midges. They spin well and she has a nice eye for wood grain. I like the way the wood of the shaft compliments the spindle whorl. The shapes are not as elegant as my Jenkins’ turks, but I’m okay with that. I can buy Enid’s spindles and know that they are her own designs.

    Front of the mini

    So this is my new Mini and the first I’ve bought directly from Enid.

    Back of the mini

    This is Ovangkol with a Burmese Teak shaft. I hadn’t heard of Ovangkol, which seems to be used in making guitars. It’s beautiful wood. It’s 18 grams, 3 5/8″ whorl with a 4 5/8″ shaft. It’s very similar in size to my Jenkins’ Lark.

    Ebony Lark on top of Mini

    Mini under my Ebony Lark

    Ebony Lark on top of Mini

    The Mini is lighter than the Ebony Lark but does have a similar spin. I like them both, of course! I try to keep all my turkish spindles busy, so I have too many project going right now. And I picked up another of the #1 Tom Bihn travel stuff sacks in Ultraviolet, to have a place for this new project and spindle.

  • Spindles 31.08.2014 No Comments

    Feeling much better about online spindle buying today. I managed to get a Mini from the Enid Ashcroft update today. I had problems with checkout and still managed to get it! I’m looking forward to getting this (and I may need to pick up some special fiber!)

  • Spindles 07.04.2014 No Comments

    This is a reminder for new spindle spinners. When you’ve decided that your first spindle is too heavy and moved on to a new spindle, keep the old one. It will likely be perfect for plying. I very seldom ply on the spindle I used for the singles. The capacity will be too limited. Instead, I use an old, heavy spindle to ply. I can combine turtles or cops for longer yardage. The spindle might be too heavy for singles, but will work fine on multiply yarns.

    Here’s my no name turk in action on a three ply sock yarn. The singles were spun on the Enid Ashcroft Midge, weighing 15gr.

    Twilight plied

    I really stalled out on this project. It will be completed because I bought that TB travel stuff sack for the Midge. I stick that in my purse and it’s always handy. If I don’t want to knit or work on my other spinning project, I work on this one. I think I’ll continue to carry around a lightweight project like this.

  • Spindles 27.02.2014 2 Comments

    Jenkins spindles

    More Jenkins spindles

    Lilac Delight

    I admit these have become my favorite spindles. I still use my high whorls. What I have found is that these turks put less twist into the fiber than my high whorls. That is nice when you like to spin the longer wools that I enjoy. I also enjoy the craftsmanship. They are nice tools and interesting to use.

    I still have not sorted out the differences in these spindles. The two Delights are slightly different weights, yet spin similar yarns. I find that some folks don’t care for the Delights, as they find them slow. I don’t have the Jay shaft yet for my Lark, and I suspect it does make for a faster spin.

    We can vary the way we spin, to create different types of yarn. An experienced spinner will have a certain comfortable style that will be preferred. It is very useful to have a spindle that can give you a totally different type of yarn, without having to change the way that you spin.

    But what I wanted to talk about is the difference in the Jenkins spindles. Some things still hold true. Lighter spindles will give you a faster, less sustained spin. Heavier ones are slower and spin for a longer time. My Egret feels like a lightweight spindle and I suspect it is due to the Pacific Yew that it’s made from. It’s not a dense wood. I like to use the Egret for plying and for low twist singles. It works well for chain plying too. The arms are longer and flatter than my other turks, so I have to have more room around it when I spin. It also has a longer, heavier shaft than my other turks. It is a mid-shaft spindle. My Aegean is also a mid shaft spindle. It’s quarter sawn oak and feels heavier than the Egret, even though it weighs a bit less. I continue to puzzle over the way these two spindles spin.

    I like my Delights for most jobs. They are sturdy little guys. They can be used in tight spaces and make great travel spindles. They are not elegant like the Lark, but work very well for me. I find that some folks with Jenkins spindles don’t care for the Delights. More of them for me!

    I think the best thing about my new turkish spindles is that it has me spinning again, almost daily. Anything that motivates more spinning is a good thing. I’ll keep playing around with the spindles and see what I can learn. I’m going to do some chain plying soon and that will be good experience.

  • Spindles 30.09.2013 1 Comment

    I’ve been excited about going to OF&F for several months now. I wanted to go, not just to see all the vendors and stuff, but because I wanted to get a couple more Jenkins turkish spindles. They are difficult to get right now, because they sold out so much stock at Black Sheep.  So I got some not-Jenkins spindles, an Enid Ashcroft Midge in a trade and a Riley petite:


    EAandRiley1 EAandRiley2

    I was thinking about getting another Lark, maybe a Kuchulu or a Swan for plying. For several months, all my discretionary spending was put on hold to build up my spindle fund. (Except for buying a bit of fiber–I do have priorities!) But I was disappointed to learn that they would not be at OF&F.  I planned to go anyway, and put my spindle buying on hold. And then, I found out they would be at an alpaca farm for an open house. AND, there would be spindles! So Lon and I headed out on Saturday, in a pretty bad wind/rain storm, for the alpaca place.  And I did get my spindles. In fact, I got exactly the types that I’d decided that I wouldn’t get, an Aegean and Egret. I will leave the Swan and Kuchulu for another day, maybe Black Sheep next year.

    Here’s the family portrait:

    Jenkins1 Jenkins2

    I did make a blitz visit to OF&F and purchased a nice braid from Dicentra. I tried doing a low twist single on the new Egret, which looks something like this:

    Dicentra singles

    It is interesting to spin that Egret. It’s Pacific Yew and very light for its size. I tried some finer singles, and it did not work well for that. It seems to do a nice job of plying. I really was starting to think I’d made a mistake buying it.  That’s why I started the project on it. My lap spindle is very heavy and I don’t really like using it these days. But I do like low twist singles. If this knits up okay, then I’ll have a replacement for the lap spindle.  The oak aegean, by contrast, feels much heavier. It’s actually 10 grams lighter. My thinking has been that the width of the arms would affect the amount of twist put into the fiber. That seems to be true.