June 13, 2011

Another Saturday, Another Market

I was at an outdoor market on Saturday, hanging out with friends, and I took along my drop spindle to occupy my hands and (hopefully) attract shoppers to my friends' booth.  We were on pavement so I picked this colour of BFL to spin: it was easily visible against the dark surface.  Though picked is probably overstating the case.  What I actually did was open up a bucket of fibre and grab the first thing off the top that was pre-measured and ready to go out the door with me.

I like to weigh out an amount to spin, rather than spinning until there's too much crammed on the spindle for it to turn.  Sort of like putting potato chips into a bowl rather than eating out of the bag.  I can see how much I've gone through.

I also like to tear strips off the side of multi-coloured roving, strips about the width of a pencil, and spin them one after the other.  That way you go from one colour to the next rapidly and there's less chance of colour pooling in one area later in the fabric.  This fibre was already torn into strips which was good because the procedure is best done indoors over a clean floor that won't add bits to the fibre as you move it around.

This piece of roving was kettle-dyed, not handpainted so the colour is very blotchy.  I don't know if spinning it in strips will make all that much difference the way it would to something done on a gradient or done with multiple, distinct colours.  Still, I find drafting from a thin strip is easier for me to do.  With the whole piece of roving, I somehow always manage to draft from only one side of the full width and leave the rest of the working end untouched.  Makes me feel inept.  Thin strips make me feel capable.  They also make me feel quick because I get to the end of one so much faster than I get through whole roving.

Back to the market.  The weather was hot enough to be uncomfortable, so I didn't spin all that much.  There were only a few people who were curious.  One woman said she had never seen anything like it.  I could tell she was pleased to run across something so novel.  I sensed someone looking over my shoulder and found a tall, dark young man in an Ecuador soccer jersey trying to see how the drop spindle worked.  I got out the spare and let him try, talking him through it.

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