Saturday, May 8, 2010

Don't drop the spinning

A few days ago I started spinning again. It's a funny story how this happened. I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool, and this year I went with (most) of my family; Mom, Dad, two of my brothers, and two sisters. After sitting in traffic for 2 hours and eating a yummy but not very filling lamb burger, and a hot dog, I started looking at the vendors. Now it was crowded and moving around was hard, so in the end I didn't even get to look at half of the booths, (but that's not the point). Cordell, who has a technically slanted mind, took one look at a display of spinning wheels and decided he wanted one. I tried to console him by telling him he could learn to spin on a drop spindle but he said that they were 'dumb' and he wanted a wheel. (Secretly I kinda agree, there's something really romantic about a spinning wheel that the drop spindle just can't beat). Anyway, I was frantically trying to decided what my souvenir should be this year (cause I only ever buy one thing ) And honestly, I wasn't seeing anything that really called out to me. Most of the yarn you can buy other places, and my stash is already big enough, I don't need a bunch of single balls of unique yarns. Finally, I found a stall selling beginners spindles. There was a stall that was selling CD spindles like mine for 15 bucks, plus a bit of fiber, but I think my CD spindle is too heavy and unbalanced and wanted to trade up, I ended up getting an $8 dollar Ashford spindle, and some 'scrap fiber" For Cordell and Melodie. And sure enough, even though Cordell had said that drop spindles were lame, he immediately took possession of the spindle. I gave them both lessons on how to use it and it became clear almost immediately that the small scraps of fiber I had bought for 75 cents wasn't going to be nearly enough. (You know, I thought they'd think it was cool and then get bored of it that same day, and I take the spindle home with me). Instead, I ended up giving them a large chunk of the fiber I'd bought at A Tangled Skien the last time I got the urge to spin. I figured I wasn't spinning it, so they might as well, right?
I did save myself a small bit because all of that teaching had given me the taste for it and as they say, the rest is history.

I'm sill having trouble with this fiber, it's hard for me to draft, I'm pretty much pre-drafting it to the size I want before I spin, but I'm still having problems; first my singles were underspun, and then I started spinning too thin and having it break. I spun until my CD spindle refused to spin anymore, and then I plied it using a technique which I believe is called 'navajo plying'. If anyone out there is still wondering how hard it is to navajo ply on a drop spindle, let me tell you; It's easy. When I first read about it/Watched you tube videos of it, I thought it looked way too hard to do on a spindle, but it's not. It's actually easier than spinning a consistent width which I still can't do ^^;;

Anyway, I don't think I'll have enough yarn to knit anything with, but I'm def back in the spinning game. For the first time in a long time, spinning 'real' yarn seems doable to me.

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