I, Robin, don’t like drop spindling.
My apologies to all of those drop spindle spinners but I don’t like it. I do realize that can change over time like when I used to hate Brussel Sprouts but as a thirty-something adult, suddenly liked them. So I keep trying. In fact, it has almost become a quest: I will like to spin on a drop spindle. Right?
I like the promise of a drop spindle. As one of my spinning teachers once said, “It is slow by the hour but fast by the week.” She also used to spin while she was out for a walk. A feat of gymnastics I couldn’t imagine but aspired to one day. I like the historical link to the drop spindle, not to mention its portability. I would never again be stuck with only the option of knitting socks while waiting in line outside the DMV office. If only I liked to spin on a drop spindle.
In my attempts to change my mind, I watched Josefin Waltin and A Soulful Spinner on Youtube. I took notes as the latter went through her spindle collection. I bought the book she recommended, Respect the Spindle, by Abby Franquemont. I asked friends who loved to spin this way what their recommendations were and I slowly acquired different spindles with the hope that one of them would lead me to fulfilling my quest.
Like so many, my first spindle was from Ashford (3rd from the left), eons ago when I first learnt to spin. My next spindle was highly recommended by a chorus of spinning friends, a Golding (2nd from the left). I got one with a beautiful Celtic Cross on the top and it was priced such that it was a Christmas present to myself. It is not one to learn on and it is quite heavy so I need sofa cushions under me when I spin this. Next up was a Canadian maker on Etsy, Fox Mountain Spindles (4th and 5th from the left). I got the left-most one first and liked it so went back for another. The first and last spindles in the photo are Greensleeves Bare Bones spindles.
As you can see, all but one have some handspun on them. I have been using them to see which weights I like the best and to try and make friends with them. I am sure that each weight has a time and a place; a special job to do. The Bare Bones with no handspun on it is a heavier one that I thought I would use to ply.
Are we besties yet? No, but we are past the introductions and small talk. As with friendships in real life, I just need to invest time.
I try to do some exercise weekday mornings. I often walk on the treadmill after riding my exercise bike (in the basement) because that seems to recalibrate my leg muscles so I can walk back up the stairs to the main level. This morning, I felt brave enough to try something new.
And I would walk 500 miles
And I would roll 500 more
Just to be the man who rolled a thousand miles
To fall down at your door
Unlike the Proclaimers, I only walked one mile. However, a single mile felt like five hundred in its sense of accomplishment. I spun and walked. On my treadmill. Did you catch that?? I spun on my Bare Bones Bonsie while walking.
At first, I was only walking 2 mph but I got up to 3.2 mph. I was so proud of myself! Oh, so proud.
And then I got overly confident. I dropped my spindle just as I was taking my next step and ended up drop-kicking it where it struck the bulkhead of the treadmill, rolled onto the moving ‘carpet’, and then flew off the back.