Urban Spinning

When you hear the phrase, “I am spinning…”

Do you think I am exercising?

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or do you think I am sitting on my front porch spinning sheep’s fleece into wool?

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Actually, I am spinning fibre with a drop spindle…

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As of today, I am now calling myself an urban spinner.

What is urban spinning, you ask? Well, here is my personal definition:

A fiberista who handspins commercially prepared fibre into roving or slivers and is usually hand dyed or painted by an indie dyer.

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I’ve declared myself an urban spinner because I am a city slicker at heart. I do not like the smell or texture of raw fleece. I have a history of developing allergic reactions to manually processing alpaca and sheep fleece.

This is why I exclusively spin with fibre that has been processed and dyed into roving. It lessens the amount of times I need to use a salbutamol inhaler and take an anti-histamine tablet.

Also, I like the convenience of having fleece and fibre commercially prepared into roving.

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The drop spindle is an ancient spinning tool, however, there are modern and traditional versions of this portable spinning tool for the urban spinner like myself.

I can toss it in my handbag and take it just about anywhere.

Just like knitworking,, I love the social aspect of spin-ins. The Eastern Region (ER) Section of the IGSWD Meet monthly where like minded fiberistas can socialise over a spinning or weaving project.

At one ER Meets in Dublin, as chatty as I am, I remained quiet when the discussion focused on bobbins, lazy kates and ratios. I’m totally clueless when it comes to naming the parts of a spinning wheel. Nor do I have the hand-foot coordination to operate a spinning wheel. As a drop spindle spinner I feel small and insignificant to the wheel spinner who can produce 100g skeins of plyed 400m fingerweight.

Some people may read thus far and say, “she has a bad case of wheel envy.” That may have been that case up until last month’s ER Meet when, Cathy showed off her new birthday present, a Golding Drop Spindle….

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copyright Cathy

Now I have Golding spindle envy (big milestone birthday coming up ; )

Follow the Urban Spinner as I unleash the urban spinning movement in Dublin.

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4 Comments to “Urban Spinning”

  1. Urban Spinner you rock!

  2. I dye my own yarn and recently bought some luscious roving at the knitting and stitching show, really looking forward to dyeing it and having a go at drop spindle spinning 🙂 I have envy for all spinners!

  3. Love ‘Urban Spinner’, great name for the city slicker who gets hives when the street lights and road marking disappear and are replaced with greenery! Prefer to use my wheel but can still appreciate the drop spindle. And having done battle with fleece over many years, have come to the conclusion that pre-dyed ‘oven ready’ is the way to go.

  4. Oh I love the term urban spinner! Nice one!

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