Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Full Spindle and Empty Arms,

Have you ever had a moment when you realize you are going to be somewhere where some spindle spinning is possible? You excitedly grab a spindle and some fiber, thinking that having a spindle and a bag of fiber in you bag is better than not. During my "small purse" phase I would stick to light spindles and fine fibers, possibly a silk and cashmere blend in a forest green with a haunting fall russet running..................excuse me, fiber porn. The one thing more frustrating than not being able to spin, was a spindle, fiber, time on your hands and a full cop. My more adventurous spinning friends would simply wind the ply into a ball or do that Andean plying thing (suckers) and keep going. Being slightly OCD I would tidily set aside my spindle and reach for another one, for of course I had a project planned, number of spindles needed and one of my very nifty Lizzy Kate's. Yes, I AM THAT Lizzy. I can brag here, cause, I can. I am not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of spinner. Oh I would love to be, but it would keep me awake at night, torment my pleasure of spinning and totally disarrange my spinning plans. Yes Connie, I can not be a free and easy spindle spinner. But honestly, aren't you glad that I am more of a planner? If I were easy there would not be a Bare Bones, Katherine's Cup, Damsel Monique, Ethan Jakob, OK you get it.
So I set about fixing my dilemma. I wanted a fine spindle with lots of cop room. Engineered to have a light bottom, but a firm rim, still light and fast. I came up with the Damsel Monique, named after my eldest girl. Fortuitously I might add. I was getting the snake eye for all the other spindles were named after everyone and their dog, but not one named for my most demanding girl. Paradoxically once I broke that large whorl barrier, I did find ways to make more than one spindle that offers lots of cop room, but coming up with the Damsel Monique was the astounding moment when I wanted something very specific (for little ocd me) and came up with the idea. It was not easy. When I first started making them, I hated it. They were difficult, moody, temperamental, beautiful, and very frustrating. Hey, they really are like my daughter Monique! Over time I found ways to correct the difficulties, tame the moodiness, and now they are fun to run on the lathe. Perhaps I should be writing a book on the fundamentals of child rearing? You heard it here folks! A first rate spinning analogy!
However being a spindlemaker does have it good points. When I went to work the other morning, turning on the lights and all the equipment, I found this rose on my lathe that Monique left for me. Talk about starting the day off right!


  1. Wonderful! Welcome to the blogging world, Elizabeth! I'm so glad that I can catch up with you again here. Hugs, Vicki

  2. That sounds like a dare to me! Just you wait--when you show up in Boulder, I'm going to do my best to get you spinning all crazy like with no plan or purpose! Read that again: No Plan or Purpose! Bwahaha! And yes, we'll be talking in exclamation points the entire time! Woohoo!