Getting to know my #galengirls
When I tried my first drop spindle and decided I hated it, I had already started going down that rabbit hole on Instagram of looking at all the pretty spindles and all the pretty fibers. My days basically went like this: 6am- coffee, Etsy, IG, Ravelry Destash Thread- repeat 42 times until bedtime. Like a lot of newbies, I was instantly drawn to the glass tipped unicorn spindles known as Glindles. I Googled, hashtag-searched, asked around to anyone who would listen to find out WHERE ON EARTH do I find these gorgeous specimens? Not only are they no longer being made, they are highly coveted and therefore held onto by their owners. You may get one only if you are patient and can manage to stay on top of the destash forums and be the lucky girl to reach the seller first when they are posted. That being said, and don't hate me for this, but my first spindle was a Glindle. No, that's a lie, I had That Very First Godforsaken Drop Spindle, and I had 2 bad quality support spindles that I found on Etsy. But my first REAL spindle was a Glindle. I had been chatting on DM with a sweetheart of a gal and the topic was Glindles- out of nowhere she offered one of hers to me. Of course I immediately accepted and she shipped this baby to me that day.
She was beautiful, called Stormy Seas, and was a glass tip with a moody blue ocean and dark cloudy scene. I spun some fiber on her, and then I spun some fiber on several other glass tip spindles I managed to purchase from other makers because I am a complete Etsy-shop-update stalker. I wasn't spinning to create yarn that I was planning to use in a knitting project, I was just spinning to spin. In doing so, I learned some very important basics about spinning and spindles. I also met some amazing women by posting my pics on my IG account and in a few Facebook spinning groups I belong to. The spinning communities are really quite amazing, you will never meet nicer more supportive women.
I had seen some of these women in one of the Facebook groups posting pics of their blingy sparkly spindles from someone named John Galen but they were technically tahkli's and tahkli's are for cotton. I don't spin cotton. Also, there is some serious bling on these girls and I am working with fuzzy fiber, so that did not sound like a great combo. But being the stalker that I am, I found myself in his Etsy shop daily, drooling over a spindle with clear crystals and a champagne shaft. It took about a week for me to finally 'Check out' and buy it and it arrived two days later. I opened the box. I. Was. Stunned. This spindle that I was expecting to be over-the-top and too sparkly was in reality elegant and sophisticated and BEAUTIFUL. I immediately grabbed some fiber and started spinning. The only way to describe what happened was to simply say my heart sang. This girl was spinning, fast, and she was just the right weight and my fiber was being spun into the perfect consistent single. By ME. A newbie. I am not going to lie, I went right back to his Etsy shop and ordered a few more. I have done that a few times a week since then, and now have quite an impressive clan of these beautiful girls. I have destashed every glass tipped spindle and replaced each one with at least 2 "JG's" as we pro spinners call them.Not because there is anything at all wrong with glass tip spindles - but we all have different fingers and flicking skills and my hands just seem to click with John Galen spindles. If you happen to see me sharing my clan on Instagram or Facebook, please know I am not bragging, I am simply saying these spindles are the bomb and I am now proud to say they are the only supported spindles I spin with. And if you know me personally, you know that when I love something I will literally shout it out to the world. John Galen Designs also makes drop spindles, and I love them as well, but we will discuss them another time.
When these spindles started arriving on a regular basis via Sam the Mailman, I happened to have a 4oz bag of some Superwash Merino from Nest Fiber Studio called Dia de los Muertos, and even though these 'tahkli's' are for cotton, I decided to be a rebel and spin my colorful Merino on them. Let me tell you, the combination of these spindles and this fiber was perfection. I filled several JG's with the fiber, and when I was done, I decided to do a 3-ply yarn with it because my singles were so fine. I had just sold my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel to upgrade to a new one (also, we will discuss this another time) so I had no choice but to ply the singles onto a Jenkins Turkish spindle I had just received a few weeks before. Ironically it was acquired in a trade for the Glindle I mentioned earlier. My friend has been spinning for an eternity and has many spindles- but not a Glindle- so we struck a deal and I love to have been able to give her her first one. It took me somewhere between 12-15 hours to ply these singles on the Turkish spindle, hard to count with all my coffee breaks and the need for sleep, but I finished it and, again, my heart sang. It is quite lovely.
You may ask yourself, "Why is this girl, who has no experience in any of this, writing a blog?" I'll tell you why. Because I want to share this beautiful fiber art with anyone willing to read about it. I only just started this journey 2 months ago and I have learned a lifetime of skills and lessons. Some good, some more like uh oh's. If one person sees my post or reads my blog and buys a spindle, possibly starting a lifetime of happiness in doing so, well- that is freaking awesome.
Here is my first full John Galen spin, from being spun onto the spindles, to being plied onto the Jenkins Turkish Spindle, and off the Niddynoddy into a skein of beautiful sock weight yarn.
***Spindles used in this spin can be purchased at https://johngalen.com
The Jenkins Turkish Spindle was acquired by trade.
Fiber can be purchase at http://nestfiberstudio.bigcartel.com and is called Dia de los Muertos.
If you are interested in learning how to spin, what fiber to spin, or anything fiber related, my beautiful friend Ashley Flagg is an instructor with years of experience and is a wealth of knowledge. She can be reached on Instagram at @artemis4242
Here are my #galengirls nice and full of fiber.
The photo on the right shows 3 of the John Galen spindles that I was plying singles from, creating the 3-ply yarn on the Jenkins Turkish spindle. When you spin on one of these turks, you form a beautiful cop of yarn that resembles a turtle. You can pack on a lot of fiber, making it a great plying option.
More photos of the turtle after plying was complete. Below is my skein of yarn fresh off the niddynoddy, measuring in at approximately 300 yards and looking very balanced. All that is left to do after this step is a nice bath and a final measure.