Spinning Show & Tell: On the cheap

I used to have a reputation as one of those people who would start something new and have to acquire everything to do with that obsession hobby, before really knowing what I was doing. The common term is "all the gear, no idea". Part of my fascination with spinning is that it can be done with rudimentary tools - not significantly different to the tools that have been used for this craft for centuries. Incidentally, if  this sort of thing interests you and you didn't see the Kate Humble Wild Shepherdess programmes, you can catch them on BBC iPlayer in the UK and on YouTube elsewhere - well worth a watch.

So, until this week I have been managing with a couple of basic £5 spindles and just one nicer rainbow spindle. I already had a notepinne for winding yarn, and I've borrowed everything else from a friend but I don't have any bobbins to wind the singles on before plying, and no Lazy Kate to ply them from either. A little bit of improvisation was necessary to start plying this finer weight yarn and having seen these used elsewhere it seemed a great way to repurpose cardboard tubes:
Spinning needn't be expensive
Little Miss was concerned about the use of toilet rolls "toilets have germs, you know" and was relieved to know that the yarn will be washed once it's plied. With the singles on their new bobbins, I used some extra long knitting needles and a plastic basket to construct this which came from an idea in the Craftsy Spindling Class where a cardboard box is used... 
Spinning needn't be expensive
It's not perfect - the weightlessness of the cardboard bobbins means it unwinds quite quickly and caution is necessary to prevent the singles from plying with themselves (let's not talk about that, sore point) - but it's certainly workable before investing in the real thing.

In contrast to these basic tools, my  Trindle finally arrived this week. It has the MicroXL shaft made of carbon fiber and weighs almost nothing - I think the official weight is around 4g but I had to try it out before checking and now it is laden.
Being so light, it's possible to spin really fine singles - in fact I have to remind myself not to spin it too fine! It's photographed next to my very first handspun which shows the progress made with drafting over the two months of daily regular spinning practice. I suspect that it may have also improved the tone of my arms, but the jury is still out.

That's it from me today - here's the linky for anyone who would like to 'Show & Tell' your  recent spinning posts. I'm really enjoying visiting all your blogs, thank you for participating and please link back here so your readers can find the other posts too.


  1. I love the basket lazy kate. My cardboard box version is getting very battered. Yours will definitely last longer. I have been using my nicsknots bag to ply and that has worked well. Oh by the way, I got my supported spindle in the post today - I can't wait to get started, but I think I should finish my current project first, or it will never get finished.

  2. So funny. Just yesterday, I was chatting on Rav about my shoe box lazy kate. I managed to get the toilet paper roll to stay on my ball winder. I felt like a genius!
    Thanks for the tip about how fast the plys will unwind. I think I might have the same issue when I go to do mine.
    Those pink singles are gorgeous!

  3. Wow! You have come that far in two months? That gives me such hope.

  4. My tip for the lazy kate is to get two baskets - one for each side of you! I'd like one of the Ashford Competition Lazy Kates that have a tension wire so the bobbins don't spin too fast. One day.....

  5. I've used the cardboard box method lots- it's much more convenient than winding two balls that roll all over the place!
    Thanks for the linky! I love these posts :)

  6. I love how you wind your cops! I'm still practicing to get that lovely bulbous middle you've got on your Trindle! Lovely to see your first yarn and your newest yarn next to each other, very inspiring indeed :)

  7. Love your bobbins and Lazy Kate. That's still how I roll when I'm spindling (although, sometimes I just put the entire spindle into the "Lazy Kate" and ply it right off).

  8. Great how you MacGuyvered your situation. Why not? The extra saved can go to more rocking, LOL!


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