Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Basic Akha Spindling

I'm just back from Woolfest where I was selling our Pure Tinctoria range of natural dye extracts. While there I did some basic spinning teaching for customers of Michael Williams. As a thank you he gave me the pick of any of his spindle! Wow, I chose his lovely Ahka for spinning fine short fibres, such as cotton or guanaco. Here is a video I found of Amelia Garripolli spinning on her Ahka.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Knockando Woolmill - Speyside, Scotland

This gem was on a BBC programme, a couple of years ago, I think. Does anyone know what's happened to the project?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Diz from Michael Williams

A couple of weeks ago a got a new diz from Michael Williams.  I wanted a diz for my hackle and had asked Michael to make me on that was small, but still be able to have three holes of different sizes.

Here are the results of my trials:

I loaded my hackle with a layer of red tops from the Ashford Corridale range.

Then onto this I put a layer of blue and white Corridale, about 1/2 and 1/2.

This was followed by a top layer of red Corridale, giving me a sandwich of red, white and blue.

Taking the new diz, I began to pull the tops, working from right to left, then left to right and so on.

I started by using the small hope first, then after reloading the hackle I used the large  hole to pull the tops.  After another identical  reload of the hackle I finally used the medium hole to pull the tops.

The diz felt very nice in my hand, was much less fiddly than the rectangular button I'd been previously using and, surprisingly, I was able to pull all the long fibres only leaving the short noil fibres which was much better than with the button.

You can see the pulled tops on the left.  From left to right - tops pulled through the small hole, large hole, medium hole.

At the front is the new diz from Michael Williams and the threading loop with lovely turned wood handle.

I spindle spun all three trials on my Michael Williams top whorl spindle.

Although there looks very little difference between the three spun yarns, the one on the left, pulled through the small hole, is much more blended.  The centre yarn has more definition between the colours and was pulled through the large hole, while the right hand yarn, my favourite has a good balance of the colours, being pulled through the medium hole.

I understand that Michael will be selling these new diz at Woolfest, at Cockermouth, in Cumbria, on Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 June 2010.
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