Spiners: What to Take with You
Have you ever gone to spin at a workshop or at a friend's and discovered that you were missing ...
Over the years I developed a checklist.
I use my grandmother's picnic basket and keep it loaded with:
- Extra Bobbins.
I would take at least three (including the one on your wheel).
- Ball Winder.
I know, I know.
You don't ply as evenly, but it is so darned convenient.
- Hand Cards or Combs.
Depends on the nature of the class, but probably hand cards.
Then you have to decide whether to take the regular (wool) or fine (cotton).
- Little Bits & Pieces.
This is a sealable plastic bag that holds a motley collection of double-point knitting needles, crochet hooks, pencils, and eraser.
If your wheel has the footman attached to the crank with a cotter pin, I would get an extra one to carry around.
- Extra Drive Band material.
There is a variant of the Peter Principal that says if you don't have this, your drive band will break.
- Threading Hook.
This is an extra hook unless you are willing to be constantly borrowing one from your neighbor or jury-rigging one out of a paper clip.
I've done both and I have found that it is easier to take an extra hook.
If your wheel comes with extra whorls, bring them.
- File Cards and Scotch Tape.
These are wonderful for winding your samples on.
Tack one end down on the back of a file card using the Scotch tape, put a second card behind it, and wrap your sample.
When you get to the end of your sample, simply tuck the end under the wrapped part.
The cards will be heavy enough (probably) that they won't bend.
Add your notes about the fiber source (Pollwarth), how it was prepared (hand carded), how it was spun (worsted), and any other notes that strike your fancy.
If this is from a workshop, add a note about who the instructor was and the date.
Do not trust your memory.
- Notebook or Tablet.
Something to write detailed notes on.
- Plastic Bags.
These are useful for collecting your samples as you go.
- Sharpie Pen.
Or any other indelible pen that can be used to write on the sandwich bags.
- Hairbrush cleaner.
I have a wonderful little device that a friend gave me for cleaning out hair brushes.
Just the tool for getting the last little bit of unwanted fiber out of your cards.
It's a fan-shaped collection of little bent wires in a short plastic handle.
Sort of like a little tiny leaf rake; the whole thing is only about 3 inches long.
- Cough drops.
Particularly in a class it is very disruptive to be coughing.
If you don't use them, someone else will.
Most workshops have the most miserable chairs.
Think about taking a pillow.
While traveling to SOAR several years ago, I realized that I didn't have a pillow.
I checked with the flight attendant who gave me permission to take one of the little pillows they give you.
Turns out that they are filled with cotton batting and just the right size to help save your back.
- Lazy Kate.
You need a Lazy Kate for your plying.
Proving that necessity is the mother of invention, I came up with an alternative that works quite well.
While demonstrating at a county fair, I discovered that I didn't have a Kate.
Can't swear in front of the kiddies, so I removed the #2 long needles from a knitting project, ran them through the sides of my Grandmother's basket, supporting the bobbin inbetween.
They were fine.
So that is now one less thing that I have to take.
If you have comments, please send email to: Rosemary Brock.
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