I want to start by mentioning a really neat article I read about keeping your handspinning resolutions: by Interweave Press. I can tell you right now, I have already invested in a new spinning too, a Portuguese Spindle I obtained from Mielkes Fiber Arts and I absolutely LOVE IT! However I told myself that since I got the hang of it a bit I would just leave it alone rather than spin all of that lovely merino silk on it so that I had a pre-made piece to show my students….but now that I am thinking about it…that’s downright stupid!
The more I practice with it the better I will get. The more likely I will remember what I am doing with it. Frankly I’m not doing much with my yarn right now anyway so if the skein winds up really little, who cares? I’m going to master the Portuguese Spindle, which is a modified support spindle since you are supposed to have it in your hand the entire time, before I start teaching my classes in April. I am also going to buy several other types of spindles and do my best with them in the next couple of months, including but not limited to a Russian Spindle, Navajo Spindle, and Tibetan Spindle (all three of these are support spindles). I hope to get another Turkish Spindle and a Delegan (Scottish Style Drop Spindle) so that I have a very wide variety of spindles to show my students.
My next work project is to start typing out mini-lectures on different aspects of spinning for my classes. I would like them to go away with not only a basic knowledge of How to spin but a basic appreciation Of Spinning, as a craft, history, way of life, building block that civilization was created from.
The mini-lectures are on the following topics: History of yarn, types of wool, trusting your twist, exploring fiber preps, prepping your fiber, plying your singles and why, And Finally Creating your own spindle and whorl.
For the History of Yarn I plan on emphasizing how important yarn and spinning really is, every culture around the world does some form of spinning, and many have modified their own version of appropriate tools to do so. Spinning can require amazing tools or just fiber and your leg. It really is as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. I will give a wide variety of demonstrations as we go through the lecture, at the end all of my students will be using a top whorl drop spindle to learn how to create yarn.
You get the idea, there really is a lot to spinning and I am very excited to begin to share this amazing craft with my students. My group from last year seemed to be very excited, and I am using the gift certificate they provided me with to buy three of my spindles for this year! As for creative things I have done, well I used a tissue box and some printed paper to make a donation box at the suggestion of my library board.