I don’t have any impressive knitting photos to show today, so you get spinning photos instead. My True Blood Faery sweater is coming along, though slowly. I’ve finished the bottom hem cable, and am almost done with the stocking stitch hem. Then I get to pick up another gazillion stitches on the opposite edge of the cable, and knitting up the body will proceed. Just imagine what it looks like, OK?

I’ve been spinning quite a bit lately, and have several projects going. The wheel project is a whack of golden yellow Cormo that I bought on Etsy. I have one bobbin full as of yesterday.



This stuff is really fun to spin. It’s definitely different than what I’ve been working with, which is what makes spinning so much fun. Every fiber is different, and I’m having a blast learning different techniques to get the result I want. This will be approximately fingering weight once it’s plied. It’s dreamy-soft. Click on those pictures to embiggen.

Then there are the spindles. I have three nice spindles, as well as the “student” boat anchor that I started with. That will be a sturdy spindle for plying heavier yarns, I suspect, but I really like my other spindles, and have a project going on each. Here’s what’s spinning on the Cascade Spindle Company St. Helens:


This is Ashland Bay merino/silk blend (70/30), purchased from Paradise Fibers, in the color Lilac. You can get yours here. They have lots of pretty colors available. This is spinning up into a silvery grey-lilac fiber, and will probably be a light fingering or heavy lace when I’m done with it, but we’ll see.

I managed to get the spindle filled this morning to the point where it was getting a little weird and wobbly, so figured it was time to wind off. I’ve been dithering around, trying to figure out the best way to deal with this, and with the help of Fleegle and Ravelry, came up with this method. She posted these boxes on her blog a few weeks ago, and I went online and bought one for each spindle. These are quite clever spinning gadgets, even though they are made for the purpose of shower caddies. They are just the right size to corral a spindle and fiber, with a neat carrying handle. And when it comes time to wind off, it works as a Lazy Kate.



If you had two spindles full, you could just ply directly from this either onto a third spindle, or a wheel. I’ve tried winding directly into a ball, but the mess in the middle was a bit spectacular. Thus, the suggestion I found on one of the forums on Ravelry to use a tennis ball as the center. I just bought a pack of new tennis balls*, and wound from the spindle directly onto that. Once I have two tennis balls worth, I can ply it into yarn. Clever, eh? I got mine from Amazon, though it looks like the spinners have bought them out. If you google Zia boxes, you’ll get other online vendors. These are the small size.

Fleegle slides her cops off the spindle onto straws, then does her plying from those. I like having the singles wound firmly into a plying ball, as it tensions the fiber nicely so I don’t get so many of those squiggly corkscrews in my finished yarn. I suppose as I get better at plying, her method might be faster.


Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers for the four murdered police officers from Lakewood. It’s been sort of a difficult week around here for the community, but the outpouring of support for the families involved, and for the police department, has been amazing. There is a formal memorial service at the Tacoma Dome next week, though I doubt we’ll even try to get there. Most of the available spots are going to be reserved for regional law enforcement folks to come pay their respects, which is as it should be. Keep them all in your thoughts; they have an incredibly difficult job.

I’m off to enjoy the sunny, if cold, day.

*John, being ever frugal, suggested that we have plenty of tennis balls around here already, and did I really need to buy new ones? I reminded him that our tennis balls are dog toys, and slathered in dog spit. Thanks, I’ll splurge on new ones, dear.

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About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


Spinning — 15 Comments

  1. I was just sitting here going through all of your archives to follow the progress of your spinning. I wanted to see where I hope to be in about 6/7 months. I am very encouraged! I saw a great plying idea in the book “Start Spinning”. Take each of of your tennis balls w/singles and put them under a flower pot (new) turned upside down. Thread the yarn through the hole and voila!

  2. What a cheery color for gloomy weather! Amazing how useful tennis balls are, isn’t it? I use them in the washer when felting & my partner discovered that they work really well in the dryer when you are drying stuff like down comforters or down coats – helps break up the clumps of down so they dry more evenly. The Container Store has those little baskets (I love the Container Store – a treasure trove of storage stuff) & Linens & Things used to – so I suspect that Bed Bath & Beyond does too.

  3. I’m happy every time I look at your site and see Lewey looking up at me. What soulful eyes! But it looks like there might be an impish streak!
    The sweater and spinning are fabulous too.

  4. Ooh – love the spinning updates. I’m glad to hear that you’re making progress with the endless sts. It does end, eventually. BF and I flew to Minneapolis for a wedding this weekend so I managed to make some great progress on the stockinette portion of the jacket. Still need several hours to complete it though. Since I have such problems finishing projects, I’m really trying to stay uber-focused and not get sidetracked. It’s starting to look like a real sweater… and people are no longer asking me if I’m making a scarf! Good luck.

  5. Have you thought about getting tennis balls fron the Dollar Store? They are not really usable for playing tennis or for playing with dogs, as they really are awful tennis balls. I think they would work great for yarn, and then you could have new tennis balls, without undue concern to the budget.

  6. Your spinning looks wonderful, as it always does 😉
    I love Cascade Spindles.. Connie and her husband make incredible products!!!!
    What a totally clever idea about the spindle plying.. and I am totally with you (sorry John) not spit-tenny-balls for us spinners!
    Thank you also for the update about the memorial service. I’ll be sending out healing prayers.

  7. You can also mention that the clean tennis balls can be used to fluff up down jackets in the dryer, and so you’re really getting a lot for your money.

    The orange color is just heavenly.

  8. I just realized, from your last few posts, that you must live near Tacoma. So do you go to the Madrona Winter Retreat? They have great spinning classes and knitting classes and the market (open to the public) hazardous to my bank account. I’ve been going for several years, and it was really helpful when I was begining to spin. A fabulous resource.

  9. Lorette — I think your email thing on the sidebar may be out of order. I wanted to thank you for the kind words when Duke died. I was also just beside myself about the four officers — watched most of the memorial service and was most impressed at the poise of the three children who spoke. And then my dog Babe died suddenly so it’s been a bad week. I wanted to say to give your Riley and Lewey and the cats tummy rubs from me. You are an inspiration with all your craftiness with spinning and all. I love reading your stuff.