Rain Daisy Handspinning

I bought my first spindle in 1998 along with a booklet called something generic like "How to Spin" and a pound of wool, half red and half blue.  For days I wrestled with that horrible red and blue wool and the unclear instructions in that book, and somehow I managed to produce yarn.  Now I have half a dozen different spindles, from a featherweight tahkli support spindle to a custom-made six-ounce drop spindle, but mostly I spin using my beautiful Kromski Symphony spinning wheel.  I'm a juried member of Appalachian Arts, and I'm also a member of the Tennessee Valley Handspinners Guild.

Check out my essay in the spring 2007 Spin-Off magazine!  I also have an article "Spinning in Fairy Tales" in the first issue of Les Bonnes Fees.  (For my published fiction, visit my page for K.C. Shaw's fiction.)

My Gallery Instructions
Yarn spun from different fibers
Knit pieces
Crochet pieces
Works in progress
Using a tahkli spindle/spinning cat fur
Using a drum carder
Directions for using a crazy daisy yarn winder

A Few Outside Links:

All Fiber Arts
HJS Studio --has excellent information about preparing wool

spinning

Kromski Symphony spinning wheel

Demonstrating spinning at Appalachian Arts, April 2005.  It was about 45-50 degrees that day although it doesn't look it; I kept having to go inside and warm my hands up. Here's a picture of my Kromski Symphony.  It's a Saxony type wheel, double drive although it does have a Scotch tensioning system I can install instead.  The drive band is hemp and the footmen are tied to the treadles with leather bands, so while this is a new wheel it does have a traditional look.

It's only been about a century since the spinning wheel and spindle became decorations rather than everyday items for most people.  In many cultures spinning is still a required daily activity, needed to produce the yarn and thread to make new garments.  It takes a lot of yarn to make one outfit, and to get that yarn a lot of labor is required--shearing the sheep (or other animal), preparing the fiber, and spinning and then plying the yarn.  When I spin I feel a connection to spinners today as well as to my own ancestors, mostly women, who spun constantly to keep their families clothed.  --Katherine Shaw, 2005

Page updated 15 June 2008.