Thursday, August 5, 2010

I can spin, I can spin....

...I can spin! I love it and I was warned that I would and be addicted! She was right, my dear friend who poked and prodded me all winter long finally got me to do it! I told her I had something to look forward to when I was old. She sat me down and I hated it, as she called it, I freaked out every time I sat down at the wheel. She lent me her wheel to practice on, I'd go to her house a few times and it just wasn't my thing I thought. She then lent me her hand spindle, it was okay, a little better than the spinning wheel, my kids couldn't get at it as easily and I just didn't have the patience for all that coordination I had to keep up.  The fiber I used was correidale, great for beginners, but it was brown and boring and just not very exciting, and it didn't get me to want to come back again and again. I would spin once in a while and I was slowly learning, but still not making any yarn. Until one day in May when my PhatFiber box came in the mail (it was my very first box- I contributed yarn for the May box) and I was in heaven! There was so much pretty and beautiful fiber; how could I not want to spin this gorgeous stuff! I immediately got my spindle and ripped off the boring brown stuff, you couldn't really call it yarn yet. I threw it in the garbage -- I wasn't going back to that after I saw before me a box full of yummy fiber. That should get a person intrigued and it did!
Needless to say, I spun...
I couldn't believe I was spinning this! It was easy - I was making yarn, and I spun some more...
This pink batt was so gorgeous and so fun to spin! Ya, the day before I would have never said spinning was fun! I spun some more...
Now, this stuff was the greatest to spin so far, it was like butter to draft. I was slowly realizing that these big balls of fluff were so much easier to spin than roving! I spun some more and plied my first small skein...
I later learned that these balls of fluff were called batts, not really balls at all, and that drafting them was easy as pie I was definitely hooked! I called my friend and told her she got me finally and I was loving it!
I ordered me up a batt from BohoKnitterChicSpins and couldn't wait for it to get here.
Meanwhile I tried spinning some merino roving that I dyed to sell, it was awful! I went straight away to YouTube to see what I could do to help myself out. I learned a ton, but still didn't like roving much, especially merino. It's not so good for beginners they say. Here's mine:
I waited and waited for my batt to come, in the meantime I learned how to prepare it on YouTube. It was a joy to spin and I got better and better the more I did.
This green yarn, (it's so nice to be able to call it yarn now!) reminds me of John Deer; I think I'm going to make a hat out of it for my son and he will fit right in with Boompa (that's what my kids call Grandpa) out at their house. I learned that alpaca was an easy fiber to spin so I spun this up and I'm making a scarf out of it, it's a 2 ply alpaca and silk. A very lovely fiber combination to spin!
I get to spin every so, not as much as I'd like, but that's okay. We've been playing outside instead! I did order a lighter weight spindle and I'm able to spin a much finer weight yarn which was exciting! I'm using toilet rolls for bobbins and then to ply on, the hand spindle takes more time than a wheel, so I'll need to fill a bunch more of these before I can actually do anything with it, but I'm having fun!
Here is what I'm working on now:
I am absolutely loving to spin and I'm so glad my friend was so persistent, she said, you love to knit and dye yarn, why wouldn't you love to spin! She also said, learn now and when your older and have more time you'll already know how to do it, it's always easier to learn when you're young. I'm glad I stuck with it; it's relaxing and very enjoyable. I'll stick to my hand spindle for now, a spinning wheel can wait until I'm old! 
So, as you can see here, my fiber stash is growing ever so slowly, but growing all the same thanks to Phat Fiber! If only I had more time to spin!


  1. Spinning is a wonderful hobby, and a great stress release. I find some days when I get home from work I'm too tired to follow a pattern, but it seems that I can almost always spin (Either spindle or wheel) and it makes a nice relaxing activity :)

  2. What a great post! It's really satisfying to knit with yarn that you know was produced by human hands isn't it?!
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Ha ha! We've claimed another! Welcome to the Wool Continuum ... you'll find you never have enough wool ... and then there is camel, and yak, and bamboo, and silk ... oh, the possibilities! When I went to MD. Sheep and Wool this year, all I bought was top and roving! Are you going to get a wheel, or stay with the spindle? Or both? I do both.

  4. Hey, Spinster Beth, Thanks! I have to stick to the hand spindle for now, unless I sell a ton more yarn in the near future! :)

  5. I love your "learning to spin" tale! It's the gorgeous color that hooks me too...

  6. Oh my, what lovely yarn. I have resisted the urge to pursue spinning. Like I need ANOTHER thing to do. But, oh dear, it is tempting. Good job!

  7. I love the shimmery pink in one of the upper photos, look super duper yummy, and I know what I'd make with that! Great post!

  8. jan from FriendsinFiberOctober 20, 2010 at 5:48 AM

    I enjoyed reading about your "evolution of spinning." It much resembles my story. Peg insisted I learn to spin a few years ago and brought over her Ashford traddy and a bag of gray junk as she called it. She patiently worked with me for about 3 hours. After about 3 weeks weeks with the gray fiber, I hauled the wheel back to her saying that I didn't really see the point in this. So, we took me out to a storage trailer, whipped open the doors and said, "Welcome to the Wool Wagon." She started pulling out pieces of this and that, all colorful. At that point I was hooked. I can see where the Phat Fiber box would give a spinner the same experience. I don't have my own "wool wagon" yet, but the stash is taking over the house.


Thank you for stopping by; I hope you enjoyed your visit. I welcome your comments and enjoy hearing from you!