Category Archives: drop-spindle

Spindlicity Returns

For anyone who’s into spinning with a drop-spindle, check this out!

Spindlicity Banner

Spindlicity is an online magazine just for spindle-spinning, which was on hiatus for a while… But it’s back! Yay!

There are lots of useful and interesting articles in the archive issues, and the new revamped format seems like they’re up for some great things. Let’s show them support and hope they stick around this time!



Filed under crafting, drop-spindle, spinning, yarn

Good Mail; Busy Week

What a week!
Fortunately it was perked up by the arrival of not one…
fiber package

…not two…
knitivity package

…but three packages of ‘good mail’! (and all within 2 days!)

The first little surprise had a lovely set of stitch markers (package & makers both photographed terribly, so no pic yet) sent to me by Vicki. I entered some suggestions in her “What can I make with…” contest, and if you’ve got odd balls or small skeins lying about and are looking for stash-busting ideas, you should definitely check out her amazingly long list of free patterns for small yardages.

Next up was a fantastically fibre-laden package from Allena (of Spindle and Wheel) — seriously, that photo above does not give a good indication of the scale of it!

Here’s a peek inside:
fiber package goods
From left to right, there’s a large grocery bag of lovely red/bugrundy (hand-dyed, I’m sure) roving, another large bag full of small twists of brightly coloured roving, one full bag of soft, crimpy unwashed fleece (my guess is Shetland), three handmade cotton washcloths, and that little orange case contains two needle-felting needles! I am so thrilled by her generosity!

(I think that needle-felting is going to quickly get a place on the list of crafts I do obsessively — I’ve only made two little cat toys so far, but wow is it ever fun to stab at fibre with sharp things!)

And last, but certainly not least, there was a gorgeous skein of sock yarn from the Knitterman Ray (of
knitivity sock yarn close-up

Ray’s a one-man hand-dyeing wonder, and this skein was given in trade for one of my spindles. Who says “barter and trade” economy doesn’t work anymore?

knitivity yarn  - from swap
As you can see, this skein is a one-of-a-kind, but if you’re wanting some of your own it’s close to his “Cygnus” colourway.

It was really nice to have these goodies waiting for me, as I’ve really been keeping on my toes lately. Beyond the usual office business and household chores, I taught two classes at the Purl this past week!

On Wednesday I taught my first knitting class, an introduction to stranded knitting. I’d made up little swatch-charts (that could be easily seamed an tuned into little coin purses), let my students mix-and match their front design and background pattern (like you’d have in a mitten), and then showed them the one-yarn-in-each-hand trick (basically teaching Continental style to English knitters and vice versa). I think that it went over well — there were several moments of happy-dancing in their seats, and a couple of “I thought this was going to be awful, but it’s really easy!” comments. I hope they all go forth and knit with many colours for here on!

On Sunday I taught my beginner drop-spindle spinning class again. It seems like this is becoming a once-a-month regular class! I’m really please with that: it’s so much fun to watch people turn fluff into real live yarn for the first time, and the students are always so different! This time around one of them had been given several bags of fiber already, so we even had some “show-and-tell” time, and she even had collected some qiviut (musk-ox down), fresh from the rocks, in Greenland (what a lucky new spinner!). I’m really please to be able to hook in more people to hand-spinning, and think that I should probably start working on a “Beyond the Basics” spindle class for the future…

So, while I have accomplished practically no spinning or knitting of my own recently, there has certainly been a lot of two-way enabling going on!


Filed under crafting, drop-spindle, fibre, good mail, spinning, teaching, yarn

Scattered and Spinning

I’ve been feeling very scattered lately; overtired, unfocused and distractable. It seems like there’s been no progress on anything! Intellectually I know that I’ve “produced” things (the shawl, Nate’s hat, many spindles…) but creatively I feel unaccomplished. (Guitar Hero hasn’t exactly helped either, save to rock.)

I’m uninspired at the knitting end of things. I have more languishing socks-in-progress than I want to count, a pair of Icewines for myself that have lost all momentum, and a shawl, and… I just can’t seem to find a project that addicts me. Any suggestions??

I have, however, tried to take a bit more “calm-time” and give myself space to sit and spin. While spinning is another thing I feel horribly under-accomplished in lately (having produced not a single full bobbin from the Joy, nor a spindle’s-full, in a very long time), I’m trying not to let that get me down. Dru pointed out last night that in the summer I was spinning on a borrowed wheel — I knew that it would go away, that I had to get as much experience from it as I could before it left — and now there isn’t that kind of pressure or drive. I can relax about spinning-time, and I should relax over it!

spinning nook

Me in my spinning corner, at the Joy wheel: Ikea lamp and large windows behind, Fortuna and the Joy carry-bagin the background..

I’ve been working with this lovely fluff from Copperpot Woolies that Krista gave me for my birthday:
Wild Siberian Iris -  fiber blend
“Wild Siberian Iris” 100% merino

It’s an even balance of indigo-purple, teal blue, and a melon orange, which I find very intriguing. It’s also the first time I’ve had the chance to spin from a more batt-style fiber preparation (it’s in a very wide “roving”, about maybe 6″ across). Here’s how it’s spinning up so far:
Wild Siberian Iris - singles on bobbin

I haven’t fully decided on how I’ll ply it (probably just plain vanilla 2-ply). But I can say that I ‘heart’ my WooLee Winder!

When I can’t handle/get to/be bothered to sit at the wheel, I’ve been picking up my new spindle. It’s a Hound Designs ‘laceweight’ top-whorl in rosewood (I think?) and comes in at a teensy 16g. It is also the first spindle I’ve ever had that I haven’t made myself!
hound designs spindle whorl hound designs spindle

I’ve been spinning away with little pieces of a Pat’s Colours merino/silk batt. (Both were picked up from the Purple Purl). I must be in a batt mood… or maybe I’m just going “batty”?
purple merino-silk batt
A small batt-bit. Soft and shiny!

More crafts keep intruding themselves into my mind, as well. In particular, I’d really like to try my hand at some nuno felting and ATCs (not necessarily at the same time!).

What about you? Are you focused lately, or being distracted from/by/with various crafts?


Filed under drop-spindle, fibre, rambling, spinning, spinning-wheel

This and that

A sign I just might be a little bit preoccupied with this whole fibre thing:
I was writing an email to my department’s business manager today, and instead of typing “please let me know… ” I wrote “please let me knit…”. Obsessed? Me? Never.

* * * * *

I think I’ve come to a spindlemaking decision. The name I’m going with is….

FolkLore Fiberarts!

Thank you to everyone who helped me out from my wiffle-waffling. I really appreciate it! I know there were a lot of votes for the foxie-names, so don’t worry, I’m already thinking of ways to use them…

The spindle will go out to Mary, because she both succinctly framed good reasons to go with it in her comment, and because she de-lurked! (Got to encourage more comments somehow, right?!) Mary will be getting one of my little ‘signature’ spindles that look like this:

…only not right away, because my whorls are on backorder (grr). Which is super-annoying, because they seem to be in some demand these days! I’ve got to get more in to the Purple Purl, have had a blog-reader place an ‘order’ via email, and am going to do a swap with Ray (of Knitivity yarns!). These are exciting times!

An shop in in the works… Anybody out there happen to he handy with graphic design want to trade your skills for a spindle? Drop me a line!

I have already had to promise Dru that the whole spindleworks thing is under control, that I am not taking on too much and know exactly what I’m up to. I hope I am right…

* * * * *

I made a hat! It’s pretty damn boring, other than I used 1 skein of that great “autumno” merino yarn I just received. I followed in Lady O‘s footsteps and pretty much just riffed off of my tea cozy pattern (I didn’t include the spout hole, of course!)

autmno hat
I think I’ll make a little one just for me next.

I’m hoping it will keep my “little” brother’s head nice and toasty when he’s back in the Yukon. It sure was nice to see him over the weekend, though, and I’m glad I was able to send him home with something I knit — last I saw him, I gave his girlfriend a warm pair of merino-silk socks, and apparently she’s been making inroads teaching herself to knit now!

* * * * *

I’ve been knitting some new Monkey socks, but I’m not sure if I’m liking the way the yarn’s pooling/striping…
monkey socks
Indigo Moon sock yarn, “Moonlight on the Mountains”

I’ve knit a few more repeats, and now instead of doing the little swirl/stripes as it did in the ribbing, it’s pretty much doing large vertical “stripes”. They’re just not doing it for me now. I may just rip it out and try with a slightly looser gauge. What do you think?

I’ve also been spinning on my new Joy wheel (and what a joy it is!), but it’s way to dark to take photos now. So let’s just leave that for next time, shall we?
And stay tuned — I’m hoping to release the Icewine pattern on February 29th!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, FOs, knitting, rambling, Uncategorized

Contests Galore

I’m still trying to come up with a good name for my spindleworks (all the while assuring Dru that no, I’m not letting this spindle-makingthing get out of hand, really!), so I’m keeping my mini-contest open a few days later. (I teach on Sunday, maybe that would be a good day tohave chosen something, y’think?!) Leave me your 2 cents and help me figure out a good name — “Fox Den” Fibersomthingorother is taken; I’m contemplating “FolkLore”…

* * * * *

Anther Emily in the knit-blogosphere is having a contest, for a cause! Go here for more information about the contest (and great prizes!) as she tries to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through selling her neat-looking Pearl’s Diamond Sock pattern! (And who doesn’t love more sock patterns?)

* * * * *

Vicki is hosting a contest to find as many low-yardage free projects as possible: what can I knit with 1 to 285yds? Send her a link to a free pattern and be entered in her draw — and check out the fantastic list she’s compiled!

* * * * *

And over at No More Sweaters! Faith’s having a blogiversary contest — just leave her your favourite joke (and wish her well, of course!) and you could win some fabulous knitswag.

Best of luck, everyone!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, rambling

What’s in a name?

I’ve been making spindles for my own use for a while now, experimenting with many different kinds of materials and construction, finding out what works (and doesn’t) for hand-made — but not lathe-turned — spindles. I’m relatively proud of the things I’ve made.

Lately, I’ve even been selling a few to the Purple Purl, which has gone over better than I’d ever have expected. They might not be as fantastic as the lathed spindles you can find from the professionals online, but my spindles are nice, functionable tools and are very affordable to boot (all the better to rope in new spinners, I say!)

“Purple Purl exclusive” spindles.

It hit me yesterday as I was showing Jennifer some new prototypes (a 20g lace-weight spindle! a 40g ‘student’ one!) that (OMG-WTF-LOL) if I’m actually conducting business with these folks here, maybe, d’y’think I should have a business identity?

Now, anyone that has been reading here for a while, or has looked a my (pathetically small) profile on Ravelry, probably knows by now that self-identificaiton is not one of my strong points. I know who I am, but I can’t describe myself to get me out of a wet paper bag. Heck, I don’t even like my blog title (but I guess I’m stuck with it, eh?). So I’m asking for help — I need a name and have no clue!

Some bits that may help:
* I think “Foxden FibreStudio” would be a great name, if I were a dyer (but I’m not).
* “Amelia” (and all it’s variations) is my inescapable name. I’ve dealt with this, and am willing to work with it.
* I like things Celtic, and folklore and mythology (ambiguous, I know, that’s why I’m asking for help!)
* I’m don’t really like pun-names, but I do appreciate cleverness.
* I’d like a name that alludes to what I’m making here (i.e. spindles/spinning tools).

If you help me figure out a good name (bonus points for ‘logo’ ideas to match), I’ll send you a spindle and something to spin!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, meta-blogging, rambling, spinning, Uncategorized

Nothing to see here

Not much is worse in the blogging world than reading someone’s to-do list, so I’d encourage you to just go read the Yarn Harlot or something today… ’cause I got nothin’ else for you!

To Do
Read on only if you’re actually interesting in me nagging myself. You’ve been warned.

* Make more spindles. The Purple Purl is in need of stock, as well as the fact that I’m teaching again on Feb. 17th. (!) This must happen soon. At least I have the parts ordered! I wonder if I can pick them up tonight…

* Create handout for drop-spindle spinning class. You’re not writing a book here, so stop worrying about total comprehensiveness. At the very least, write up resource list (web/books) & print more Spin-off pamphlets.

* Start proper spinner’s journal. Remember that does not need to be some fantastic, outpouring of creativity and visual spectacle — just notes about yarn.

* Finalize Icewine pattern. Then put it up on blog & Ravelry.
(To achieve this, at least one of the Icewine 2.0 mitts must be completed!)

* Finish drafting charts for Dru’s special project pattern, then start knitting it.

* Create chart for Stranded Knitting class. Do not freak out about teaching a knitting class.

* Spin more. Spindle, and wheel, too.

* Which reminds me: decide whether or not to write pattern(s?) for Spindle and Wheel. If yes, then get it done & sent.

* Do not agonize over that wheel. See if you can test it out. If it is meant to be, it will be.

* Knit obsessively on lace-weight shawl. Take decent photos, write up pattern & share.

Still reading? It seems only fair, then, to ask you, what are you procrastinating about “in the middle of” these days? Do you have any crafty to-dos?


Filed under drop-spindle, knitting, rambling, spinning