Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bringing Two Hobbies Together

I'm talking about archery and spinning, of course ;-)
As mentioned before, both Twisted and I took a bow making class last weekend. Though my bow is not yet finished, I'd very much like to make some arrows, and I've already bought most of the materials I'll need. Twisted has even already started cresting her arrow shafts, which looks fantastic. I, on the other hand, have been thinking about yarn for the wrappings I'll need above and below the feathers. I'm still trying to learn the English archery vocabulary, and I don't want to bore you with the details anyway (I don't know how many of you are interested in archery, as this is a spinning and knitting blog), so I'll skip straight to the yarn part of this ;-)

The thing is, I thought about buying waxed linen yarn, but I thought it was way too expensive, so I started thinking. I do have soft beeswax which I got for my bow string last year, and I thought, well, why not give it a try? Twisted and I thought about what fibre types to use, and kind of settled on "black" (carbonized) bamboo, ramie, and linen.
I tried them all!

 (click to enlarge, I mean REALLY enlarge ;-))

I spun a small amount of each on a smallish drop spindle, drafting with the right hand and turning the spindle with the left, and waxing thumb, index finger and middle finger of my left hand each time after winding a length of yarn onto the spindle. I think this might not be enough wax, though, I'll have to experiment on that.

Now, I haven't tried wrapping arrow shafts with any of these, I only put them on the cardboard pieces and admired them ;-) I like the bamboo best, the ramie seems also satisfactory, but the linen is kind of bumpy. Usually, I love yarns with texture (who would have guessed?), but in this case I want a smooth and even yarn. I'll let them sit for a while since I still need some equipment and some peoples' help to make the arrows, but I hope it won't be too long until I can try them :-)

Oh - the spindle was a total mess afterwards, by the way. But thankfully the wax came off with alcohol and my spindle is as good as new.

This was real fun!

1 comment:

  1. I've never actually spun waxed yarns, but couldn't you just wax them after spinning? I know that some people just keep a piece of wax and run their yarns along one edge several times (an old lady, who restored old persian carpets used to do this for "waxed" edges) - or you could heat the wax and put in the finished yarn briefly?



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