Today I thought I’d share how Jane dresses her distaff after she kindly posted step-by-step photos on the Historic Spinning facebook group. Many thanks to Jane Hunt for allowing me to share!
I hand comb the fibres with my mini combs.
Then I draw off the fibres by hand, not having a clamp means I can’t use a diz, but maybe one day.
Next I plank the sliver, a fancy term for breaking it into suitable lengths for my distaff.
Then I spread out each length into a thin layer about 10″ wide.
I pile up the layers, one on top of the other, to form a batt.
Then I lay my distaff along the long edge (the same direction that the fibres are going in) As you can see, this is my deluxe ‘from the hedgerow’ distaff!
I then roll the distaff up in the batt fairly snugly.
Finally I criss cross my linen tape down the distaff and tie in a bow at the bottom. I tie it tight enough for there to be some resistance to pull against, but not so tight I can’t draught the fibres comfortably. Hope this helps!
How do you dress your distaff? Please do share your methods, and let me know if you’d like me to post your method on my blog for another Sharing Saturday.
You can read about some other distaff dressing methods here.
This week I bring you the first review of my five new NiddyNoddy Spindles. This was the spindle I tried first but turned out to be my last favourite spindle (of the ones I bought from NiddyNoddy, it is far from being my least favourite spindle I own!). That said, it is still beautifully made and works well. I struggled on it with my 20 micron merino but did better spinning a bit thicker with the coarser wool that came as the packaging. A spindle choice is a very personal thing, and influenced by the spinner, their technique as well as the fibre they’re spinning and the end product they’re creating. I’ve only spun a short time on this spindle, I’d like to sit down and do a spindle full of fibre then review it at that point also, but that would be some time away, so keep in mind these are my first thoughts with an empty- or almost empty spindle.
A few additional notes and information that I didn’t have for the video:
The wool in the packaging that I spun is Lleyn which is a welsh meat breed.
This spindle weighs 16 g which is a lot heavier than I am used to.
How many spindles does a medieval lady need?
Answer, five more than she has!
Yes, I ordered a few (ok five) spindles from Niddy Noddy
When I first started spinning I couldn’t find many places selling medieval style spindles or spindle shafts, now I can find a lot. I think there is a lot more opportunity for small sellers to set up shop online these days. Maybe there are more people interested in spinning with appropriate tools at re-enactment events too? Whatever the reason, there are spindles out there that I don’t have and I thought I should change that.
I have a few other spindles on my wish list, but if you see anything you think I should buy… enable me!
One thing I find with my current spindles is that I buy the spindles and whorls separately (though both sellers sell whorls to match their spindles) and many of my whorls don’t fit my spindles as low as I would like. Nothing wrong with the spindles, they are fantastic, but I do love my whorls too. So I talked to Neil first about my needs and he came up with a few ideas.
I bought two medieval spindle sticks (one with a spiral notch, one without), two medieval style spindle sticks which Neil shaped to my specifications (one with a spiral notch, one without) and a Dealgan just because I wanted to.
I’ve done a series of videos covering each spindle, but the below is just me chatting about the spindles I got and talking about what I got and why and how they fit my whorls.
I tried to upload this yesterday, but the internet was too slow, so I had to finish uploading it today, hence why video ‘Wednesday’ is on Thursday.
Things started slow on Sunday morning. While I got to bed at a reasonable hour some of our group got to bed at 4am! It’s not unusual for people to be getting UP at about 4:30am. And no, it wasn’t just the young ones! Lol.
I had a little more time on Sunday as we didn’t have the tournament and I was feeling a little better.
I managed to visit the 14th century encampment where I took a few videos.
Here is my friend tablet weaving:
The other videos I’m yet to edit, but I took some in the fantastic Historia encampment where they had a lot of artefacts on display. You can see some snippets of these videos in my highlights video here:
I also had time to watch (and video) my group running the Tournament of Strength and Skill, which I’m still editing the individual videos for but you can see the overview here.
Once again I had my fingerloop and spinning demos.
I was also really happy to see my first ever medieval dress worn again. This dress is about 13 years old and still has a lot of life left in it:
Actually, a few of my dresses were worn by people other than me. The tally over the weekend also included:
My green and gold silk cioppa (you may have spotted it on my friend in the first photo of this post.
My gold silk sleeves
My green sleeves
My jaffa dress (orange gironea)
My pink wool kirtle
I have a friend who has borrowed my brown giornea for the past few events but she had a new kirtle of her own for this event
I was really planning on doing some videos of me spinning, but unfortunately I was too sick on Thursday and Friday (also it was raining on Friday) to get them done. At my demo on Sunday I did manage to give and film an impromptu spinning lesson.
Now things are finally settling down from Abbey. Taking the shop is a lot of work. I had the event itself off from helping on the shop, but am still involved of course in the pre and post work which is significant. But I hope really truly to do some more videos soon. My husband bought me a bunch of spindles from a new (to me) shop so I hope to do a video review of each of them.
Once again I’ll be at Abbey, so if you’re in QLD, Australia, come and visit on the 8th and 9th of July! The official program isn’t out yet but I should be on at 3:45pm each day. I’ll also be doing fingerloop braiding around 1:15pm each day.
Once the official program is out I’ll link it and show you on the map where I’ll be.
I really hope to be able to get some more vidos of me spinning at the event, with any luck I will actually have some time on Friday after we’re set up and I also hope to get some during the event. I’ve had a request to do one on different types of grasped spinning and I’ll try to get a friend to video my shows, but if there’s anything else you’d like me to do a video on, please ask.