Today I share a close-up video of how I spin my spindle.
I have heard grasped spinning called many other things, including in-hand, in-the-hand, twiddling, suspended and supported. (yes, some people say it is suspended and others call it supported!) I’ve always called it grasped as I learnt that from Norman Kennedy who uses this technique. I was accused on ravelry of making up the term simply to confuse people, but sadly I can’t claim the term, it’s just what I use. I’ve have seen grasped spinning mentioned in a book from 1930—well before I was born!
Forgive the spinning is a little clumsy in this video, I was trying to move my fingers out of the way for the camera and was leaning at an odd angle to get my hand in view of the camera. Also, that’s not dirt under my nails, it’s cocoa. I was baking in between takes and cleaned my hands but missed my nails. Oops.
I thought I’d start out the month with something a little lighthearted, my first wool skein I spun with medieval technique on a distff and spindle. I was told that grasped spinning wouldn’t put enough twist in my yarn, by someone who had never done it.
This is a full 1.5 metre skein. And below I am making fun of it.
A short clip of me drafting using a distaff.
Today I share a short clip of me fixing a broken thread while spinning. The key tip is I don’t. I always take my spun thread attached to my spindle back to the distaff and keep spinning.
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.
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!
Today I share a video of a lady spinning from a sit-on distaff with a suspended spindle.
Today I share another long video. Spinning startes 2m44s in, right after the lady being videoed shows off some of her knitting. You mainly see her distaff hand but it shows really clearly how the distaff is ‘used’, she pulls the wool away from the distaff to draft it out.
It would be lovley to know what she is saying in this video!
Today I share a new (to me) video of spinning. Some lovley distaff spinning here, close-ups of distaffs (eastern European kind) and a shot of winding a plying ball! Just over eight minutes so lots to see, enjoy!
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.