And a 55 year old's bazillionth.
My granddaughter tried drop spinning a month ago or so, and thought it was okay but not particularly exciting. Yesterday, as I was testing my new little Butterflygirl Designs spindle, she asked to try again. I dug out one of my homemade spindles (red oak- about 2 ozs- we went through a phase where we experimented with spindle making using a rosette cutter and a hole saw) and some gray romney lamb roving (with a little silver sparkle) and showed her the park and draft method. This time it clicked for her in a big way. It was amazing to watch her delight with producing real yarn. Her attention span isn't very long, so she didn't keep up with it for much more than a half hour, but she made great progress (she ended up with about double what is shown on the spindle in the pic) and was delighted. So was I.
I am also delighted with Butterflygirl Design's Riot batt (bamboo/sari silk/firestar). She was right in that it doesn't want to spin extremely fine (or even- but that's the nature of that particular blend), and though I certainly can use the new millefiori spindle, it's not quite heavy enough to keep the spin going with the single I am producing (this is not the spindle's fault- it's the spinner. Plain silk sliver, or fine wool would likely be perfect for this spindle, for a true laceweight yarn). However, I am using the spindle with that fiber and it's coming along- my handmade purpleheart spindle (quite a bit larger and heavier) is better suited to this blend. I'm going to fill both of the spindles, and then ply with silk thread (I'll probably do the plying on the wheel). That way, I'll still have a pretty fine yarn that is balanced. Riot is spinning up beautifully, though I discovered it's not good to wear black jeans while spinning this stuff (I was very colorful). I'm sure I'll end up with 300 yards or more of exotic, multicolored yarn by the time I'm done. Plenty for a lace scarf or even a small shawl.