urban spinning

Urban Spinning

Note:  This was orginally posted in The Dublin Knit Collective in November 2014. As I am currently training with Team WeaveSpinDyeIE  for the Tour de Fleece spin-along, I thought that I would recycle one of my favourite spinning blogpost.

When you hear the phrase, “I am spinning…”

Do you think I am exercising?


or do you think I am sitting on my front porch spinning sheep’s fleece into wool?


Actually, I am spinning fibre with a drop spindle…


As of today, I am now calling myself an urban spinner.

What is urban spinning, you ask? Well, here is my personal definition:

fiberista who handspins commercially prepared fibre into roving or slivers and is usually hand dyed or painted by an indie dyer.


I’ve declared myself an urban spinner because I am a city slicker at heart.  I do not like the smell or texture of raw fleece.  I have a history of developing allergic reactions to manually processing alpaca and sheep fleece.

This is why I exclusively spin with fibre that has been processed and dyed into roving.   It lessens the amount of times I need to use a salbutamol inhaler and take an anti-histamine tablet.

Also, I like the convenience of having fleece and fibre commercially prepared into roving.


The drop spindle is an ancient spinning tool, however, there are modern and traditional versions of this portable spinning tool for the urban spinner like myself. 

I can toss it in my handbag and take it just about anywhere.

Just like knitworking,, I love the social aspect of spin-ins.  The Eastern Region (ER) Section of the IGSWD Meet monthly where like minded fiberistas can socialise over a spinning or weaving project.

At one ER Meets in Dublin, as chatty as I am, I remained quiet when the discussion focused on bobbins, lazy kates and ratios.  I’m totally clueless when it comes to naming the parts of a spinning wheel.  Nor do I have the hand-foot coordination to operate a spinning wheel.  As a drop spindle spinner I feel small and insignificant to the wheel spinner who can produce 100g skeins of plyed 400m fingerweight. 

Some people may read thus far and say, “she has a bad case of wheel envy.”  That may have been that case up until last month’s ER Meet when, Cathy showed off her new birthday present, a Golding Drop Spindle….


                                          copyright Cathy

Now I have Golding spindle envy (big milestone birthday coming up ; )

Follow the Urban Spinner as I unleash the urban spinning movement in Dublin.


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