Tempting Tuesday – Spinning!

Time for the second installment of Tuesday Temptations! This past weekend I attended a great drop spindle hand-spinning course at the Webs store in Northampton, MA. Highly recommended for any New England dwellers who can make it!

Before we get to spinning fun though, let’s have a moment of serious advice and warning. (disclaimer- although I am a licensed vet I am not YOUR licensed vet. This post has general advice and is not meant to diagnose or treat your pet.) All you folks with cats? Lilies are poisonous to cats! Very poisonous! Now is a good time to start thinking about this since Easter and spring are almost upon us. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE lilies. They are beautiful, elegant, and smell great. However, they also cause kidney failure in cats. It doesn’t have to be a lot of lily either- chewing on a leaf, petal, or even grooming pollen off of their fur have all been shown to damage the kidneys of a cat. Some cats are more susceptible than others but it is impossible to tell how your cat will react. Which lilies cause problems? This quote is directly from a Consulting Veterinarian in Clinical Toxicology at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Tiger lilies (lilium tigrinum) can cause renal failure in cats, similar to easter lilies (lilium longiflorum), stargazer lilies (lilium orientalis stargazer), and oriental lilies (lilium orientalis).Day lilies (hemerocallis sp) can also cause renal failure in cats.

“Lilies” such as peace lily (spathiphyllum sp) and calla lily (zantedeschia sp) are not in the lilium genus, and while they do have insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in them (which cause oral/GI irritation), they do not cause renal failure.

So stay safe this Easter season and don’t risk your little feline’s life! Now back to your regularly scheduled spinning temptations.

1. The drop spindle. Obviously a necessary tool for spinning with a drop spindle. They can be made out of every conceivable type of material and in many different shapes, but all have a whorl (the round disc bit) and a shaft (the long part you wrap the yarn around). Here is a simple, beautiful spindle good for spinning many different weights of yarn, made using reclaimed wood from aspinnerslair. This happens to be the type of spindle I have and the folks I bought it from. Lovely!

2. Roving is the second ingredient to spinning. This is the cleaned and carded version of fiber- all the strands line up. First up is an alpaca/silk blend from bluemoonranch that just begs to be touched. The color is glorious and you even get to meet the alpaca (Sophie) in the Etsy listing. Visit their blog for a chance to WIN an alpaca fleece!

3. If wool is more your style there are quite literally endless options. Here is a vibrant example of merino roving from SpinningAwesomeGood. I really don’t know whether it should be spun or just hung on the wall to admire! Ok, ok, we’ll spin it…

4. Not enough fiber yet? How about spinning from bunnies?! I have heard that you can spin directly from the rabbit- someday I will try this and report back. Here we have an English Angora Rabbit named Dexter from SevenAcreWoods. He has some angora for you – how can you resist this guy?

5. This is a nostepinne. Basically it is a tool that lets you wind a center-pull ball with relative ease. Mostly I like the name. This nostepinne from WoodElements is made from Zebrawood and is striking all by itself.

6. The finished product! This is yarn that has been spun, plyed, and set… This is a beautiful DK-worsted yarn named Sea Glass. It was created by artemisiaink – my handspinning teacher!

Whew! Finally, here is my first attempt at handspinning…. kinda chunky, kinda weird, but I’m proud of it. Now what should I knit???!!! I’ve got about 17 yards of bulky…

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