Tuesday, October 13, 2009


There've been some questions...

Yes, that was Rammstein in the background of the one chain-plying video. The song is "Bück Dich" (yes, I know what the translated lyrics say, thank you). Those of you asking, no, you aren't the only ones who spin or do other fiber stuff to German Metal. Though I've got fewer pyrotechnics going. Sorry. The in-laws don't like me breathing fire in their house.

Though no one asked, the other video has "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis playing. Which I thought of as a match for the first - Jerry Lee Lewis once set a piano on fire while playing that song, and his attitude certainly matched Rammstein's. He was born in the wrong era.


I'm not a drop-spindle user (my hand problems make it impossible), but I know chain plying was first done by the Navajo, and they used spindles. However, they didn't use drop spindles, they used supported spindles leaned against their legs. So I guess my answer to "Can chain-plying be done with a spindle" is "Sorta." Any drop spindlers out there do chain-plying?


Yes, once you 'get' chain plying, it's really easy. You saw how fast I was going, before I slowed it down for the camera. At first it's awkward and you'll snarl up a couple dozen yards of singles, but after that, it's like walking and chewing gum at the same time.

My index finger sticks out rather awkwardly in all these videos, and after I watched them I realized, I don't use that finger much in spinning, or knitting either. The knuckle (the one where the finger joins the palm of the hand, the medial one) was damaged in my accident, it hurts most of the time, and now I realize I avoid using it for all kinds of stuff, not just the fiber.

The rest of you might want to consider shooting video of yourselves, spinning and knitting. Then watch it. You learn the damnedest things.


"Pigsbird" is now the official name for where we're moving. It's going to be added to the family slang terms, along with "hunormous", and "henno" (for hello on the phone), and Mumum and Dadad. The husbeast called his own father Dadad the other day, and my mother-in-law used the term "hunormous". Very cute.


Am considering, seriously, another round or two of Ohio history. It's not like I have much else to blog right now.


The husbeast officially starts his new job on November 2. We do not yet have the apartment locked in. These next few weeks are going to be... interesting. I was just thinking the other night, the one thing the Navy did for me was make me move so many times (this next move will be number eight), that I've become rather blase about the whole thing. And thank goodness, because otherwise I'd be a wreck. Upon thought, I'm not sure if I'm thankful or not, but it's nice to not be spazzing out.


Thanks to everyone who has chimed in with encouragement, information, glee at the idea of me moving closer to them, and offers of help, friendship, and book stores. That's the glorious thing I love most about the knitting community on the internet: you guys are everywhere, and when I get there, you're helpful and nice. I'm looking forward to meeting more of you in person.


Louiz said...

Yep, can chain ply with a drop spindle. Just the same, I think. I got the technique from wheel spinning you tube vids, I don't think I found any spindle spinning vids to demonstrate it to me.

And good luck with the move to Pigsbird. Is that some kind of flying pig? And why does the idea that you and your family are moving to a flying pig amuse me so much...:)

Regenia said...

I Navajo plied a self-striping merino on my drop spindle last year at Christmas. I'm self-taught too, so it may not be quite possible, but I made it so. I really like how the yarn felt nice and round instead of flat. I guess it's the third ply that changes the feel so much. Now I'm trying to get some singles complete so I can give it a go on my antique wheel (made by P.B.W. in 1873). I'd love to know more about it, but for now, I'm happy just getting to know it.

TinkingBell said...

Still working on ordinary plying with a wheel thanks

and as to kids terms entering family slang - My daughters best was 'stupideous'

think about it - it's actually a really good, descriptive portmanteau word!

Alwen said...

I think my favorite kid-word evah is dinghoot.

A dinghoot is someone who behaves with such idiocy you incredulously question their membership in the human race. (Tone of voice is important here.)

Kate said...

Oh hey, Pigsbird! I live down in Northern Virginia, which is not that far away (about 4 hours, depending on how heavy my accelerator foot is that day).

NeedleTart said...

Just spoke to the Younger Son. He was talking about his plans for Grad school (in Pigsbird) and I told him there would be another door to turn to for help. He asked, "Is she as crazy as your friend from the old home town?" I told him about your run-in with the Army Captain/Doctor and he was strangely reassured.

KG from FB said...

I did Navaho plying on a drop spindle, but it was a serious stop-and-go operation, not a smooth flow. I'm also self-taught and inexperienced on a wheel, so consider the source.

Best kid word: "der-blah" used in describing a boring or obligatory speech. "My teacher did the usual der-blah about homework." "I had to do a der-blah on frogs." Sometimes used in conjunction with "boomley" as in pompous or grandiose. "He started on this big boomley der-blah about his car and I got bored."

Caroline said...

Chain-plying on a drop spindle is actually quite easy once you get the hang of it. The best way (I think) is the technique called "ply on the fly": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eunrqj97lLU

Donna Lee said...

The adding to the family slang does not stop when they grow up. My kids use words they pick up and personalize and they become part of our conversations.

Roxie said...

English is a live language, constantly growing and changing. I love these creative new words budding out.

And anything a woman wants to do, she will figure a way to get it done. Do you want to chain-ply on a drop spindle? If you want to badly enough, you'll figure it out.

Amy Lane said...

Awww... I love that your family adopts her slang. Everytime I try w/my kids, my husband makes me correct the kid. *sniff* How are we supposed to remember it forever that way?

Arianne said...

You can definitely chain ply on a drop spindle (it's easier on a top whorl by far) and there are loads of videos on you tube. :)

P.S.- My dad lives in PA. Yay!

bobbins said...

Another chain plyer on the drop spindle. I'm doing the "ply on the fly" method where you spin a length then chain ply before winding on the cop. Then you spin the next single, chain ply and continue. Interesting but not as relaxing and mesmerizing as just spinning.

Verification word: cacka