Spiraling Notions


To PVC or not to PVC...

I have gotten really into spinning. As with everything I seem to do I want to do and buy everything that has to do with it too. I want a swift, niddy noddy, a nostipinne and I already bought a set of hand carders... I would really like a wooden niddy noddy but the ones I have found are a bit expensive for what they do. I took a great spinning class, just an introduction to the basics, but worth every minute... and the teacher had one made from PVC. It was the coolest little thing and worked really well for her. I promptly went home with my second spindle, two more packs of fiber and a book... and stopped off to get some PVC pipe.

I found a good article online on how to make one easily. Most of the quotes I got for prices were 2.00-5.00 for it... but I must not have their hardware stores near me. I needed to buy the whole 15' pipe and then the bits. The first one cost about 15.00$ cause I also needed a junior hacksaw... but I had waaaayyyy too much pipe so I bought extra caps and made spools. They are great because they are heavy and keep tension on the yarns when I am plying with my spindles.

I realized that one niddy noddy is also not enough. I keep switching up or wanting to try a new fiber - but something is already on the niddy noddy... so I got some new materials today. Another 15' pipe... but this time I got two niddy noddy's out of it and some spools too. I also used 1/2" pipe this time. The last one was thicker - although I am not sure how much... maybe 3/4" - and it also is nice and heavy - but I made the side bits too short >Sad

In my internal debate about the beautiful 45.00 niddy noddy... vs. the pvc one I have realized something important that makes the PVC pipe indispensable regardless of how friggin ugly it is. That is, that I can set the twist in my fibers while it is still on the niddy noddy and also stretch it a bit by turning one of the ends so that the top and bottom are parallel. This is equal to putting a weight on it while it hangs. It is perfect. And when water fills the tubes - it stays submerged in the water better than hollow pipes and also just a hank floating in the tub. So I stretch the yarn over the niddy noddy - cook in the twist - weight it - and dry it on the same tool.

I think I have decided to stay with the PVC. Althought I am wondering if I can paint it or decorate it in some way to make it more enjoyable to look at.

thin niddy noddy 1/2 inch PVC alongside thicker "spool" PVC

UPDATE: 05.16.10
I have realized after using the 1/2 pipe that the arms seem to bend. Initally I thought I made a bad choice using the thicker pipe - but now - maybe it is a better option. Although the 1/2 is more slender and lighter the parts do not twist easily, although grease could work for that, and the bending bothers me. I have a concern that it may compromise the strength of the entire piece. We will see...

Spinning Class, Woolbearer's
PVC Niddy Noddy Instruction

Kvetch About Instruction Books

I am just starting out... I began crochet in October of 2009 and knitting about a week ago. I have not even finished, well I just finished one knit item. But In my quest for knowledge about my new found obsessions I have come across a huge number of books which make no sense at all...

Explain to me why a book with advanced patterns would list beginner instructions on how to make a slip knot? And this new book I bought, with a DVD and everything has instructions again... on how to cast on, knit and bind off on standard needles but not how to continue around properly on circular needles. Seriously? If I needed step-by-step instructions on how to read a yarn label and which side of the needle is used for knitting don't you think you could have included some useful information like:

Hey... knitting on circular needles is just like knitting on standard needles, you just keep going around... or knitting with circular needles is a little different than regular needles... here is how you do it. I mean it is an instruction book after all, right?

No matter how many times I read the instructions they never actually seem to reflect the images and charts shown on the page. Many of them do not even address real problems with the patterns, like gaps and seems.

You are either an expert or a novice and there seems to be no middle ground here. As an advanced beginner it is really frustrating to move past this stage. Obviously I am going to make mistakes and will need to figure out my own rhythm but some common issues or even realistic direction would be nice. Why do I need to reinvent the wheel?

Maybe these people should have novices actually read the book after is it written to make sure that it is actually something someone can do without prior knowledge. I bought one book on amigurumi and emailed the author about something, I got a response saying I should find an instructional book instead... however the first pages were dedicated, again, to the slip knot, single crochet and other basics that if you did not know already you would never be able to do anything in the book... so make up your mind people: you are teaching people from the ground up or you are going to stop wasting 1-2 chapters of my $30.00-$40.00 (fully illustrated, in color) book to basics which people already know or should put down your book if they do not.