Video Wednesday – Spinning in Italy

Today I share this fantastif video of Luca Costigliolo spinning with a distaff and a suspended spindle. He explains that as the spindle needs to be continiously turned that the drafting is done with only one hand, the left. This keeps the left hand at the distaff and the right hand at the spindle.

Later he talkes about suspended vs grasped spindles. He mentions that his spindle has a bulb on top for holding the half hitch so it should be used as suspended and that spindles with points like that of a great wheel should be used grasped.

Also of interest is the sling around his neck to hold the distaff, rather than relying on having it in the crock of his arm like I do.

Video Wednesday – A Room of Fibre Crafts

Today I bring you a long video showing many different febre crafts. Of interest (ans perhaps an epposode of mythbusting monday) is the lady using a distaff for wool at the spinning wheel. One Myth I often hear is that they only used distaffs for short fibres in the middle ages to make their spinning portable.
While sometimes this lady uses a second hand to assist drafting, most of the time she uses one just as with the spindle method. Norman Kennedy shows this in one of his videos, and he spinds with both hands making two threads at once. Double the thread from one spinner!

Hershey Fiber Arts Spindle

 

Today I thought I’d share a video of me spinning with a Hershey Fiber Arts Spindle

I love these spindles, they have really nice fine tips and she can do them with a spiral notch.  She does quite a few other types of spindles and other fibre equipment, such as whorls and distaffs, so make sure to have a look at the rest of her goodies.

Video Wednesday- How to Spin a Spindle

Today I share a video of Lisa Chan teaching how to spin a russian spindle. This just happens to be the same technique I use for spinning my spndles so I thought I’d share it.

I find practicing to spin supported is a good way of learning how to spin grasped (or semi-suspended or suspended), a bit like training wheels on a bike.

Mythbusting Monday

Myth:
Grasped spinning is slow, therefore it would never have been used when production spinning was needed, such as in the middle ages.
Fact:
If grasped spinning is slow or not is objective. People learned how to spin grasped from a very young age, they would have found it faster than a modern person who has spun using a different style for, say, ten years, pick up grasped spinning, try it once and find it slow.

Many people say Continental knitting is faster than English, however some of the world’s fastest knitters knit English style and English style knitting has been used for many years. All my cardigans as a small child were knit English style and my mother had to knitt them or I went cold. If only the fastest method was used in situations where people had to produce or go cold then why did my mother not use Continental or my Nana’s knitting machine?

If speed was the only factor, why was the wheel not embraced more readily? The wheel was considered to produce thread of poorer quality and it was hundreds of years after it’s introduction before it really gained hold.

Tribute to Spinning Around the World– Supported Spinning

And now for the last instalment in the spinning around the world tribute, supported spinning. I really enjoyed sharing all the spinning videos and loved the comments people shared with me.

To start our supported spinning week I shared a video of Support spinning on the go from the Hills of Himachal, this isn’t the first video I’ve seen of a women using a spinning spoon tucked into her belt for support sIpnning on the go, but it is the most recent. See, support spinning isn’t always a sit-in-one-spot type spinning!

Next I share some supported spinning from the Himalayan Mountains

This is a longer video featuring the Navajo spinning, which starts about 1:30 in. This spinning is done with a long spindle that is supported on the ground next to the seated spinner and spun by rolling on their leg.