Thursday, September 19, 2013

loose the whorl

A few months ago I posted about the clay whorls I've been making, and how to spin and wind on directly overtop of the cop. A topic thread in the Spindle Lore Group on Ravelry led to the discussion about the times when the spinner does not want the weight of the whorl any longer.

So, since I'm right at the part if spinning where I want to loose the whorl, I decided to post a photo description on the blog, of how I deal with that issue.

When I picked up this whorl, I didn't have a shaft that was the right size for it, so I selected a dowel that was slightly smaller than the hole in the whorl. I wound some linen (handspun of course!) around the shaft at the point where I wanted the whorl to be. I was careful to leave a little tail and not knot it. Now, I slide the whorl over the top of the linen and begin to spin, building my cop as I go. In this photo, you can see the little linen tail sticking out beneath the whorl.

I've been spinning Icelandic wool, from the distaff, using the spindle in hand and spinning off the point. At the beginning of the process, the whorl gives me the added weight to provide good rotation, or "spin time". This avoids extra flicking...and frustration. After a time, the cop is built up and adds extra weight. The added weight of the spun yarn, plus the whorl, becomes tiresome on my hand, so I decide to loose the whorl.

To remove the whorl, I slide the cop up slightly, and pull on the little linen tail to unwind it ...and then I remove the whorl, and begin to spin again. At this point, I am simply spinning on the shaft. The newly spun yarn is wound onto the shaft in the same direction I would wind yarn onto a nostepinne. The spindle/stick is much lighter now, and easier to spin. Va La!

The whorl that is pictured was hand made by Grace Hatton, made from red clay, and was wheel-thrown with a happy little design added to the top. After the whorl has been removed from the spindle, I tuck it away (with the little piece of linen thread) in its own pouch for safe keeping. Grace also made the pouch.

It was handwoven on an inkle loom, and then four lengths of the band were sewn together and a zipper added to create a pouch.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Love all the handmade items.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great idea!

Judy said...

If you have time to spin you obviously don't have any apples...I can drop some off this week. Think apple sauce, apple butter, apple jelly, spiced apple rings, apple pie filling, apple juice,etc. Let me know!

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