Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spindolyn Capacity and flooding

A spinner (thank you Deborah!) recently asked me exactly how much fiber the spindolyn will hold. I had intended to write her back immediately and tell her that the spindolyn is "built for comfort, not for speed" and it holds about half as much as a regular drop spindle, but then, that isn’t exactly the truth, the truth is, as with a lot of things is “it depends”.

Because it is a support spindle, as it fills, the accumulating weight slows it down, so you do have to wind off much sooner than a high whorl drop spindle, the flip side of that is that it is so easy to use, wind on and wind off, that it is not a real big hardship to loose in capacity what you gain in convenience and control.

The actual quantity an individual can spin and wind on to the spindolyn depends on the type of fiber, and the technique for winding on. I have a lot of experience (well, that sounds silly) but I tend to mindfully wind tight and evenly balanced, which keeps the center of gravity, well, centered, and I can get a lot more fiber on than someone who is just learning to use a spindolyn, but you will still reach a weight limit point.

But then her question got me curious, and I decided that I would hold off on writing her until I could do some experiments and weighing of actual amounts. I currently have some heavier worsted weight targhee singles going on a tenor spindolyn, some sock weight jacob on a mezzo, and some organic cotton on a soprano spindle ..thinking that a rainy day was coming up and maybe I could finish these, spin up a second spindle for each one, ply them and weigh them up and give actual amounts.


Here is a spindolyn full of worsted weight targhee singles (sloppily wound on, btw) about an ounce.

And below the above spindle-full and another wound off and then plied back onto a spindolyn, to make a soft and squishy, bouncy targhee weighing in at approximately 2 oz.


Boy, a leisurely weekend of spindolyn spinning and making spindolyns was not how the weekend went down.

As you may be aware, the Middle Tennessee area experienced record rains, torrential downpours and severe flooding over the weekend. Between the power outages and the creek flooding the farm, moving the animals to higher ground, moving stuff out of the way of landslides, hiking out to get to a vehicle and so fourth, I have had little spinning time...Then when the water went down, there was so much clean up work to do, and repair of my driveway and incoming road (by hand) there just has not been much time.

I do hope to finish this project and get the numbers up when the clean up is over. If you are curious about my creek (you can see a video and some pictures here.)

One thing I don’t understand is why the media has not really mentioned much about the serious and widespread nature of this flood. Yes, Nashville was hit hard, but there are so many counties (50 something) in the entire middle Tennessee area where people lost homes and businesses, the roads have become impassable, people are stranded with bridges out. It will be months and months before many roads will be made passable, and the economic impact in the rural areas is being ignored, but it is just as devastating for all of middle Tennessee as it is for Nashville. I am so lucky that my house and barn both sit on little rises, and that I was able to dig my way out and build a water crossing.


  1. SO glad you and yours, including all critters are OK. Do you need any $ help yourself, or do you know of how people can donate to flood relief in YOUR county, which is on the whole very poor?

  2. Hello Anonymous!
    Thank you for asking, I will be posting a list of relief organizations that I am aware of, if I find sources that I am sure will go straight to rural areas, will post those, too.
    And thanks to everyone who has written and asked about this!


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