Monday, November 03, 2008

Drop Spindle, the new Kiddie Gateway Drug?

Peeper-Lou and Her New Drop Spindle
Enthusiasm for hobbies runs in my family. My dad (pre-Alzheimer's) turned almost every one of his hobbies into some sort of career: fooling around with typefaces and ink and printing a neighborhood newspaper called 'News in a Nutshell' (St. Louis, c.1934) gradually led to owning a print shop on the side during the 1970s and 1980s where my brother and I did more collating and stapling than most Kinkos trolls will ever see in their lifetimes; collecting oddball medical devices quickly turned in to founding a museum devoted to quackery; and collecting old cars like Studebakers, Rovers and Mercedes...was really expensive and didn't exactly turn a profit, but it sure was fun!

Luckily the newest hobby in the McCoy family isn't mine, as I am currently maxed out at the moment (although Babs thinks it's hysterical to remind me of my brief time as a stamper, complete with ink pads and rubber stamps of leaves and stars. What can I say, sometimes AC Moore just calls my name). No, Peeper-Lou has finally actualized her dream of becoming a spinner. She took a private spinning class from Shelly (a super talented spinner, knitter, dyer and all-around fiber maniac) at a local yarn shop and she is now a bona fide drop spindle FREAK!

Yeah, she's way, way into it. Her birthday is later this week and just guess what she asked for? Yup, that's right...a wheel. Well that's so not happening unless there is some sort of Easy Bake Oven spinning wheel equivalent out there. Is there?
Selbu Modern in Shelridge Farm Ultrasoft
While she has been spinning away I have been working away on my Selbu Modern. I just love this thing! I'm finally using some Shelridge Farm from my stash, and while it might not seem like a thrilling yarn in the skein, it is way soft and has a certain 'x' appeal while knitted up. Stay tuned. I'm not quite sure that this project will be appropriate for election return watching, maybe something more mindless might be in order. In any case, I will see you all on the other side...

22 comments:

WonderMike said...

Words cannot express how gleeful I am that Peeper-Lou has joined us on the dark side.

Now, in terms of affordable wheels, I so feel your pain. Your cheapest bet is to check Craig's list. We get a steady stream of folks selling their wheels after the initial glow of spinning fades.

I think the cheapest wheel I have ever seen is the Pinkie from Babe's Fiber Garden (http://tinyurl.com/5dkt2u). It's only $165 and it's not the prettiest thing at the dance, but it's serviceable. I tried a double treadle and I was a little iffy about how flimsy it seemed to be.

Next up, we have the Ashford Kiwi (which is a super cute name), but it's a mere $300 (which is cheap).

And after that, I'm suspecting that it's too pricey.

editrix said...

Oh, those colors and that texture! I nearly licked my laptop just now.

Michelle said...

Cool! I will for sure look at the questionable medical devices at the Science Museum a little differently the next time I am there!

I'm going to start Selbu Modern soon...I figure if I put it in writing maybe it will happen. Love the colors of yours.

Meema said...

I'm with Michelle - your color choices for the Selbu made me gasp in, ooh out!

James said...

Dude. Get her to spin you yarn. It's like having your own sweatshop. I love your selbu modern. It makes me long for stranded knitting.

Kirsten said...

Wow! Peeper Lou looks like she is spinning a pretty nice single on that CD drop spindle. Very impressive!

I have the same problem at AC Moore. I have purchased more crap at that store just sure that it will lead to something great!

weezalana said...

LOL, Peeper-Lou looks mesmerized! And I think James is onto something there...

nicole said...

Smart, very smart! Getting your youngin' addicted to producing yarn that you can then knit! Who cares about child labour laws anyway!

Good luck finding an affordable wheel. I got my Ashford classic at a flea market for $40 bucks, but I suppose I found the needle in the haystack.

Love the Selbu colours.

SJ said...

Welcome to the dark side, Peeper-Lou!

I think the "Easy Bake Oven" equivalent in wheels would be a Babe, but frankly I'm not too fond of them. I think they're good for starting out, but if she thinks she'll be spinning for years to come, I'd say it's better to start saving for a more traditional wheel. They are pricey, but they're also more solidly built and have more capabilities than something made from PVC. I personally adore my Lendrum and wouldn't give it up for anything. It was a great wheel to learn on and I know it will last me forever.

knitthehellout said...

Sounds like you've got a real addict on your hands. Next she'll be wanting the sheep to go with it...

Angelika said...

Here you think you found something simple to keep a kid interested and it turns out to cost mucho money again. Now is the question, is it going to last long enough to justify the expense, right?

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Any time a kid gets serious about something... it turns expensive... fast... think about it, music lessons, figure skating, snow boarding, hockey, dance... look at it as an opportunity to have an endless supply of handspun.

cutthecord said...

what a beautiful child you have! she's gorgeous!

and that is SO cool that she's into spinning. i would love to learn how to do that... but i dont think i have the patience!

Yarnhog said...

I gave my eight-year-old a drop spindle (at his insistence) and he's been coveting my wheel ever since.

a friend to knit with said...

hahahaha. i had a brief love affair with stamping too.
oh, why am i saying brief.......i still love when libby wants to get out the stamps. :)

nice hobby, peeper-lou!

peaknits said...

How nice to hav e a crafty kid:) And the Selbu is gorgeous!

Esoteric Knitter said...

heheheh it's like crack!! You just want more and more. ;)

tiennie said...

So cool that she's getting into it! Love the colors for your Selbu!

kim said...

I think it's so awesome that she is attempting something that I find so daunting. What a great kid! Your Selbu colors are completely fab. And I loved the story about your dad's "hobbies."

Diana said...

I can't believe you have a youngin' that's spinning. Definitely should get her a wheel, just be thankful she's not asking for a bong for her birthday! And where was the printshop in St. Louis? On the Southside?

Shell said...

So very glad she enjoyed the lesson, she is such a quick study!
As for wheels, if she can hold out till Md S&W they have an auction that usually has several wheels at 1 pm on Sat. I can help her pick a good one.
I hope to have her other spindle done soon!
Give her a Happy Birthday hug from me!

Knittymuggins said...

Cool! You know what? Her spinning looks better than mine already! Yay Peeper-Lou!!

knittymuggins