So Just a quick update to bring you all a new spinning video. My friend took this of me at a living history event.
Many of you have asked how much spin I get from each turn of the spindle when I’m holding it in my fingers. Is it just one turn? Up to now I’ve been trying to describe in words, but now you can see for yourself.
So for a brief moment, the spindle hangs and rotates with its weight upon the new thread. I’d been wondering about that. Thanks for this footage, it’s very valuable!
Yup. I’m glad you found the footage useful!
i would like to know : which hand (or handling) is decisive for the thickness of the yarn. i spin in some different way: i turn the spindle, then stop turning and i pull on the thread with my right hand and so i decide on the thickness of the thread. i do very less with my left hand (close to the distaff). it seems that you turn continuously with the spindle, is that right?
My left hand is determining the thickness of the thread. The right turns the spindle and is always at the spindle, either turning it or hovering above it. The distaff holds the fibre and acts as another hand to tension the fibre and give you something to pull against. It’s quite efficient as you have one hand constantly controlling the twist entering the thread and one constantly controling the amount of fibres entering into the thread and how they are being drafted.
Think of it this way, if you’re familiar with drop spindle spinning then the left hand holds the fibre and the right hand spins and drafts the fibre, but in this method your rght hand needs to be either on the spindle or at least holding the thread out to the right side of the body. This is why you MUST use a distaff for these methods because otherwise you only have one hand to do the drafting and fibre holding. Your distaff now takes on the role of the drop spindler’s left hand and the left hand takes on the drafting part of the role of the drop spindler’s right hand. In this method the distaff plays an intrinsic part in the method but in drop spindle spinning you can use a distaff but don’t need to, either way it just stores unspin fibre.
Does that make sense?
yes, it makes sense. although i spin wool without a distaff and in fact i use only one hand to the drafting and the turns the spindle (my left hand is only of minor help, i just keep a small amount of fibre in my left hand, mostly fold over my finger, and all the rest is done by the right hand – and it works fine. i have spun about 16 spindles of about 20 gr wool, very fine thread for a lace shawl. i spun some flax is in this way, but only commercially hackled flax. The flax which is prepared by myself with simple instruments, this flax i need to spin with the distaff and the spinningwheel, i don’t manage to spin it with the mediaval-type spindle (not yet) – here i think i should do it in the way you descibe.
thanks for all your information.
It looks like per flick, you add about 7-9 revolutions of the spindle itself. I’ve been using this system for about 4 months or so, I started with a Russian lace spindle, and then with a fixed whorl spindle that is much lighter overall. The distaff makes such a tremendous difference in consistency of the threads, and the lighter spindles make for finer threads.
I’ve tried to count my revolutions per flick while spinning, but it happens so quickly, it’s hard to measure the tempo, so the video was very helpful!