Spinning Peevish

Peeve the First

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people, whith more experience with a drop-spindle than I have by far, who identify themselves as “spindlers”. I infer that this is to provide a separate designation for those who handspin on an drop-spindle from those who spin their yarn on a spinning wheel.

This term really bugs me, though. I mean, how many thousands of years have people been spinning fibre with spindles? And how many hundreds of years have they been spinning with wheels? I’m pretty sure that the answer to both is “3-4”. Shouldn’t the drop-spindle spinners get “dibs” on the name “spinner”, as they had held for so many, many generations? I know it’d be ridiculous to call the others “wheelers”, so why is “spindlers” alright?

Arrgh. I just want to spin. Am I not a spinner? Or maybe that makes me a spinster? (No, wait, I’m married, so that can’t be right either…)

Peeve the Second

Why are there no resources for the drop spindle spinner beyond the most basic of basics?

I borrowed Lee Raven’s Spin It: Making Yarn From Scratch from my local library, and I’m certainly glad I didn’t but it. Though I haven’t read it fully yet, from a flip-through it appears to contain nothing that I haven’t already found on the internet (making a CD spindle; the basics of spinning; a few really easy knitting & weaving patterns for homespun).

I don’t know if the few other books are maybe better (P. G-R.; the Interweave “Spindle Tresury”; etc.); I’m certainly hoping they are! I can “get” the basics. (I bet pretty much anyone could figure out how to start, given a bit of roving and a spindle.) What I’d like is resource to help take me from beginner to intermediate. Why is this such an extreme request? I know that the wheel-spinnners get tons of books and such on various hand positions, how to prep the fibre, add/detract twist, etc. Surely, even if spindle-spinning is a more personal and intuitive endeavour, there must be more information that could be passed on?



Filed under drop-spindle, ranting, spinning

4 responses to “Spinning Peevish

  1. It makes me mental that people can’t just do what they do without having to waste their time coming up with a distinct word to describe what they do and set it off from what other people do. Who cares?

    At a printmaking conference I attended last September, a panelist put forward the term “printstallation”. Seriously. Because printmakers are so freaking insecure about what they do that if they feel the urge to make an installation they have to clarify it as something different? Ugh. That word makes me throw up in my mouth a little. And spindler’s no better.

  2. I think you’ve found a great idea and market for a book, I’d certainly be interested.

  3. I know what you mean. When I tell people I spin, it’s like ‘on what kind of wheel?’ In a way it reminds me of the knitting/crochet debate that people tend to have. It’s all fiber, it’s all spinning, but some people need to pidgeon-hole things.

    I unfortunately got the ‘Spin it’ book using a gift certificate and it’s so basic I regret having ordered it (and having waited 2 months for it to arrive!). I found the PGR book in the library and really liked it, but again, it’s pretty basic. There’s also a book by Connie Delaney that I found in the library. It’s basic but addresses different types of spinning (navajo, bead, etc.). Amazon has it for an ungodly amount (it’s out of print) but maybe you can find it in a library or a fiber site somewhere.

    The spindler thing really gets to me too!

  4. Em

    Yay, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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