I almost always have some fiber and something to twist it with in my van. The van has become my traveling fiber studio. Having ready access to spinning gear is a great way to both pass the time while waiting for appointments or people and to get more spinning done. Sometimes I have my spinning wheel with me, but most of the time I use a drop spindle because of its portability. On this particular day late last summer, I was at one of the Marshall County Parks on Lake Guntersville for a couple of hours and decided to blend some pink, blue, and gold wool to see what the outcome would be.
The traveling studio. Left to right: large Ziploc bag of assorted fibers; basket with some of my spun yarns from a recent craft show, a few drop spindles, a mini niddy noddy for skeining yarn; another Ziploc bag with more fiber and yarn; a birch bark basket for holding whatever needs to be contained, also good for display purposes; shoebox with sundry spinning tools, wool combs, and other supplies; clear plastic bin with carders, pens, paper, bags for storing fiber or yarn, and miscellaneous stuff; a rug that serves as a ground cover for my spinning wheel when I spin with it outside, to keep it from sliding on slick surfaces, or to mark my space when spinning at gatherings, shows, or demos; two things that aren't really part of the spinning studio--a plastic bag of books to go to the Friends of the Library bookstore and a critter carrier left over from taking one of the cats to the vet, but good for transporting wooler-type bunnies if I happen to be enticed to buy one at a fiber festival (generally, I'm pretty good at resisting temptation, but it is becoming increasingly difficult; I almost came home from the Tennessee Fiber Festival last May with a beautiful grey Angora bunny). Not shown: folding lawn chair and folding TV tray/table, essential for a variety of uses besides spinning.
Another shot of the studio.
What a great place to sit and spin.
Closer view of some of the sailboats
Partial contents of my spinning emergency kit: twine--especially handy when a drive band breaks; drop spindle parts including small bag of paper clips and cup hooks for spindle hook repairs; hand lotion; snacks; and a bottle of musical instrument oil for spinning wheel lubrication. In the upper part of the photo is the bag containing the fibers I blended during my visit to the park and the birch bark basket with a little bit of wool I blended before making the photo. Not shown: assortment of small jewelry pliers and wire cutter, emery boards, small pieces of cloth, pocket knife, rubber bands.
The drop spindle I used for that day's spinning session. I make these spindles using wooden toy truck wheels, wooden dowels, and small cup hooks or large paper clips worked into a hook shape. I like to have spindle parts with me in case someone wants to learn to spin. Rather than starting prospective spinners on one of my many other purchased spindles that I often have with me, I make them their own spindles that they can take with them. I sometimes make up starter kits that contain a spindle and a small amount of fiber for purchase when I attend craft shows or demonstrations because of the frequency of requests for on-the-spot lessons.
A carder loaded with the pink, blue, and gold wool. I had these various colors of wool with me and decided to have some fun blending them rather than spinning the colors separately.
After a few passes to blend the colors.
A roll of blended, carded wool, commonly known as a rolag, ready to spin.
Some of the spun fiber. Single-strand, unplied yarn, known as "singles". The lighting made it difficult to capture the colors properly.
Finished two-ply (two-strand) yarn on the niddy noddy (skein winder).
Skein of completed sample of blended two-ply yarn ready to be wound into a ball for knitting.
Finished swatch of blended yarn, stockinette stitch with garter stitch border. I only blended enough fiber to spin a few yards of yarn, so the color distribution would be somewhat different in a larger swatch. I think I like it. I'll need to dye more yarn if I want to make more of this particular blend.
One of the things that I enjoy about having spinning as a hobby is that it is so portable. I can stuff a few essential items in a backpack or a large purse and be ready to spin just about anywhere. Here around Lake Guntersville is of my favorite spinning spots.
FROM THE PRINCESS ...
4 years ago