Spinning, now that I’m somewhat decent at it, is meditative. The drop spindle has a different sort of meditative feel to it than the wheel. On the wheel, there’s a longer rhythm as you treadle and spin, draft and let the yarn take up. With the spindle, you have to stop more often to wind on, to re-flick, to keep your fiber supply out of the way. Still, it’s easy to get into the zone where you’re not thinking, you’re just doing. The fiber flows, the spindle spins closer to the floor, the yarn winds on, the spindle starts up again.
When I’m spinning on the wheel, I hold the fiber supply in my right hand and control the twist with my left. I tried it the other way and it just felt wrong, though with practice I’m sure it would be just fine. When I’m using a drop spindle, it feels more natural to me to hold the fiber supply in my left hand! This is most likely because my right hand is a lot more coordinated at flicking the spindle to get it going again. I started out by rolling the spindle down my thigh, but I found that I was getting a wobblier spin that way. Flicking helps keep the thing straight, not to mention that I don’t feel as if I’m fuzzing up my yarn by rolling it on my leg. It’s only a half-ounce spindle; I’m sure that has something to do with it.
I’ve been working my way through this half-ounce sample of merino from Sheepish Creations, and loving it. It drafts smoothly and the colors are just beautiful. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to make with the finished yarn; I guess that depends on what kind of yardage I get. Half an ounce isn’t a lot, but a little bit of laceweight goes a long way!