“Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother.”
–Susan B. Anthony
I’m not sure I would agree with Susan B. Anthony’s assessment of the spinning wheel. I rather agree with the sentiments expressed by Elizabeth Zimmerman.
“I know that spinning sets me in a trance; it soothes me and charges my batteries at the same time. When times are tough I sit down to spin during the news-broadcasts, with therapeutic results.”
― Elizabeth Zimmermann
My adventures in spinning began with a homemade drop spindle, one I made from a dowel rod, a cup hook, and an old CD.
I was getting pretty good on it and decided to step it up by getting a spinning wheel. My spinning wheel is a modern design with a double treadle. I won’t say it’s better than the traditional style wheel; I just liked the looks of it.
As I peddle the wheel, I pull back on the roving with my left hand to thin it out even more. This is called drafting. At the same time, I hold the fiber that is already twisted with my right hand. I pinch the fiber at the point where twist meets the untwisted fiber. When the fiber is drafted enough, I release my pinched fingers and allow the twist to travel up the untwisted fiber to my left hand. There are many different styles of spinning and I’m sure every spinner does it slightly different.
Stay tuned for part two: plying.