Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book review, and some other stuff.

Recently I purchased a copy of "Fleegle Spins Supported", by Susan Glinert Stevens, the woman who runs Fleegles Blog. (She's a wild woman. Latest blog post? It's about spinning grizzly bear fur. No, I'm not joking.)

Fleegle has made a lot of jokes about this being THE BEST SUPPORTED SPINNING BOOK! because it's actually the ONLY supported spinning book that anyone knows of. That said, I think even if there were others, it would hold up very favorably in comparison. She spends a lot of time on different types of fiber, the ways it can be prepared, the different ways to spin it, all relevant to any kind of spinner.

Really, the whole book was worth the money to me, when she gave the suggestion to use tweezers to pull nepps out of spinning fiber. I've been doing that since, and it definitely makes life easier.

Another thing I really REALLY liked about the book? It came to me in the mail like this:
It's a four gig USB thumb drive, with the name of the book printed on it. (That's a nice touch. Now I know for sure which thumb drive it is, no matter what.) All you do is plug it into your computer, and if it has Adobe on it - it should - you just click away on whatever file you want to look at. There is a PDF of the book text with active links, so you can click on through to all sorts of web sites and information. There is another PDF of the book without active links, which for my computer is easier to scroll through for skimming. Then, there are videos. Lots of them. For right and left hand. Those also cover types of fiber, ways it is prepared, all the good stuff.

Really, very much worth the $30 I paid for the book.

Yes, I do intend to try supported spindling. You can do it sitting down, and it's the best way to spin cobweb-weight lace yarns, which I want to make. I've got some silk and angora sitting here for a two-ply Orenburg style yarn, but I want more yardage from it than I can get on my wheel.

So. Excellent book. Excellent blog. Youse guys may want to check it out.


The other thing is my circular needle storage. I could have sworn I blogged this before, but I mentioned it yesterday and several people thought it was brilliant, so here you go. You know those heavy plastic multi-pocket file folders they sell? I think this one was meant for checks:
Good gourd, grainy picture. And I took it with my camera, not my phone!

Anyway, I use each of the pockets inside to hold coiled up circular needles:
Each pocket has a certain size. You can see I labeled the tabs with the needle sizes: Some have since fallen off (I've used this holder for about five years now) and I'm pondering the best way to make the labels permanent.

For double-checking purposes, I've even got a needle gauge in the front pocket, along with the really small needles like 0000.
The needles do still tangle a little bit, within each pocket. But it's nowhere near the rat's nest my circular needles used to be. It's nice and compact, easy to grab and rifle through, and the cover even keeps the dust off.

This is NOT my original idea. I saw it somewhere on line. Damn if I remember now, but don't give me credit for this one. It's not mine.


=Tamar said...

Interesting format for a knitting book. I guess since so many people make "working copies" of patterns, she figured why print a first copy?
Plus, no problem with storage!

Fleegle isn't the first person to spin some kind of bear fur, though the first one I read about (can't recall where) only spins and knits it for the people who work at the park (in NH).

=Tamar said...

Got it - Clark's Trading Post, Lincoln, NH. I think they're probably black bears, which makes Fleegle's grizzly bear spinning unique as far as I know.

Emma M. said...

Oh yes! I've stored my circular knitting needles that way for a while. It was a good way to make them portable to come with me to the Philippines (not that they've seen any use).

Hey, do you have any resources on ergonomics in crafting or how to knit without hurting yourself, or anything like that? I've started getting a persistent and worrisome tingle in my thumb, and I don't think it's unconnected to the fact that I recently took up knitting an crochet again with a vigor.

Anonymous said...

I was just commenting...yesterday... when I realized I had circular needles in 3 places that perhaps I should keep them ALL IN ONE PLACE!!!!

This is going on the shopping list.

amy said...

I use a fishing tackle thingy for my circulars. I think that's its original intention, anyway. I got it at a sporting goods store in the fishing department (not my idea; I'd seen it somewhere). It's got ziploc-style plastic bags, but thicker, on binder rings, inside a cloth cover, and I labeled each bag with a different size (along with the lengths I have in each size), and put them where they belong. Nice & tidy!

Donna Lee said...

I love the idea of the book on a thumb drive. Still portable but so much more useful. I tried spindle spinning but it never clicked for me. I figure I'll try it again one day.

Amy Lane said...

I LOVE that idea for an e-book-- that's amazing.

joan said...

Just wait until September and take a look at the new ChiaoGoo circular needle case. I saw it at TNNA Just wonderful. Also a great set of interchangeable needles in both bamboo and also in metal and the case is the best.

Pam said...

Was looking for latest Vogue Fall 2012 review (did you get a cease and desist? there's some great material in the latest) and read your latest blogposts. Note to USOC: condescension is not necessary to defend your brand. we get it.
For circulars: I use a similar method (after trying the wall hanger and the fish tackle binder) but I have so many circs that I needed a full accordion file. Not that portable but works well.

fleegle said...

Thanks for the kind words! And it's an 8GB drive--all the data added up to over 6GB :)

Adrienne said...

Are you OK? You are missed.

Alwen said...

Ohhhh. Know what?

I have one of those 31-pocket accordion files sitting right next to me. That would go a ways toward cleaning up the needle drawer.