Screw Spinning

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to spend the day helping my friends Allie and Phil at their annual Alpaca Shearing Day.

As the alpacas are shorn, their fleeces are sorted into bags - the main fleece, the neck, and the trash. In slow times, I'd poke around in the trash barrel and oooohhhh and ahhhhhh at what was being thrown away!   I wanted to spin that stuff so badly!  Allie and Phil have such gorgeous alpacas that their refuse is stunning, lol.  So, being the rude person that I am and all, I poked around in the storage room, hoping to find something that I could use as a spindle, because I just couldn't stand looking at that lovely fiber and not spinning it.  I'm sure that you understand.

Voila! I found this long screw. Excellent! Actually, it spun very nicely. My friend, Peggy, snapped the photo, above, using a flash - the screw is actually spinning, and I am actually making yarn. WOOT. The only problem is this - I'd spin a length,

and then wind on, and I put a hitch, then spun another length. Then, I'd have to pick out the previous hitch, wind on, and put in another hitch. This was a royal PITA with the screw because of how the yarn would bury itself in the threads.

Back into the storage room.

Sorry Phil.... you were really busy.... I should have asked.....

Anyway, I found a bite block, which was a stick about an inch in diameter and about 6 inches long, and covered in Alpaca Puke (ICK), and I thought that I'd try this.

It worked very well. After a while, I gave up picking out the previous hitch, and would just wind on top of it, thinking that I'd deal with the problem later.

Truth be told, I never dealt with it. I never got to do enough spinning for it to be much of an issue. We were kind of busy.

I showed this photo to my son, and he exclaimed, "OH! Alpaca poi!"

Silly boy.


So, take a look at this photo!

(The photo is of such high quality that if you click on the link above, you can enlarge your view numerous times and still have a clear idea of what's going on.)

Look at where his yarn meets his yarn ball - there's a little stick there. *facepalm. Of course. Why didn't I think of that. So simple. It would be such an easy thing to just pin that stick in there and no need for picking-out-of-hitches.

I wonder if his apindle-stick was coated in Alpaca puke? Take a look at the size of that ball of yarn, will ya? I wonder what he's spinning? His fiber looks sort of stringy/hairy. I wonder if this is the end of his supply - or, maybe he has a basket of fiber behind his right leg? I want to know more about this man and his spinning....

If I had poked around in that storage room, just one more time, I bet that I could have found a small nail.


fleegle said...

Ahem. You have a screw loose... but you must have anticipated bad puns coming from that blog post.

Yarnspider said...

Looks like you have had a brilliant time. Deeply envious.

Romi said...

This is so cool! I must say, the title of your post certainly caught my eye. :)

a wren's nest said...

I don't know what's more exciting: watching you yank that Alpaca onto his butt, or seeing that guy spin that yarn into a ball. How does that work??! And where can I get one?
So much to learn!

Rosemary said...

Hey Tammy!

Now, I didn't yank that alpaca on his butt, I was hoping that he didn't yank ME onto MY butt (as others did, throughout the day...)

Where can you get one what - an alpaca, an old guy spinning onto a stick, or...ummm... a screw? heh.


a wren's nest said...

So the old guy is actually just spinning onto a stick? I have a stick! What's the trick to make it work I wonder?
I plied my first ball of yarn recently, by the way. (!) Thanks!

Rosemary said...

Yup, just a stick. Actually, the old guy is using a large stick, and a tiny stick. If you enlarge his photo, you can see a tiny, needle-like little stick. I can show you how - it's actually very easy, just not nearly as fast as drop spindles, but I'm loving the simplicity of it.