My Treasure; The Russian Spindle

The subject of this post is the lovely and ever-so-graceful Russian Spindle. I never thought that something so simple could be so… enjoyable. I find the Russian Spindle to be very comfortable to use while sitting on the couch (or in a moving vehicle, on a friend’s porch… virtually anywhere,) spinning in a little bowl in my lap.

I love how easy it is to spin very thin and even laceweight. I ordered mine from Tina’s Angoras, a shop on Etsy. It is quite light – only 1 oz.

At first, I felt like I had about 6 left thumbs. You will drop it and it will feel like it just won’t really spin when you first try it. The trick is to LET GO of it once you spin it. Simple concept, but easier said than done when you are learning. Once you get the hang of the “flick” and “spin” it is a lot of fun.

Here is a video of the famous Fleegle spinning on her Russian supported spindle.
Ahh, she makes it look so easy, doesn’t she? She is a very graceful spinner, and I will admit it was she who first inspired me to try the Russian supported spindle. Thank you, Fleegle!
I am currently spinning up a BFL/silk blend that drafts smoothly and easily. This is one attribute you should look for in your fiber when spinning on a small supported spindle like the Russian Spindle. You are basically doing long-draw spinning. As you can see in the above video, you need the fiber to draft easily and smoothly. It needs to be well-prepared, and it needs to slip easily (no tangles!).
Here is the result of my Russian Spindle adventures so far:

When spinning, I pull off a length from the combed top – about a 6-inch length. I split that in half down the middle and take each half and I kind of fluff them up just a tiny bit. At that point it drafts pretty well.

It’s just pure joy all plied up and wound into a skein.

I don’t know yet what I will do with it – I am waiting to be inspired by a delicate knitted lace pattern. (Keeping my eyes peeled on Ravelry.)

That’s about it for now. ‘Till next time, Happy Spinning!

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