Monday, May 26, 2008

First Spinning

Technically this is my first spinning. The spindle was gifted to me (along with Icelandic roving I didn't dare use), and the wool was from the zoo sheep shearing event. I now realize that even with my good intentions of reading instructions and even tying on a leader in advance I was kind of doomed. The wool was washed but not carded, and the little carding that was done there was not enough, I was trying to spin from a clump.

But I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. I looked at all the books available and saw Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' name and knew that Spinning in the Old Way, if near as educational as Knitting in the Old Way, would be a great resource. Luckily it was in my local bookstore. I just now noticed the congruity of the purple yarn on the cover and the purple spindle when I was taking photos.

I read most of the book and was convinced I needed a top-whorl spindle and some roving. Now, I've been to Carolina Homespun, it is right in town, but it is a place I need to go to alone. The opportunity didn't come up, and then I found myself on my way to Oregon. I looked up all the local stores and was thrilled to see that Baabaara's Wild and Wooly was within an hour.

I made it over there and Pam gave me a quick lesson on spindling supported. I got my first glimmer of how this twisting and drafting business works. I bought a Schacht 2.2 ounce Hi-Lo spindle, and four bunches of roving, from local critters. A few days ago I pulled out the dark brown 70% Jacob/30% llama and the spindle.

My first attempt, spun with the spindle supported on my leg, is on the nostepinne. It is really uneven and very low twist. It was exciting to really make something, though. I tried and tried to do it unsupported, but just didn't get it. On Friday I "lost" even being able to do it supported, so I went shopping. Not that I really needed anything, it was more that I just wanted to be around fibers and maybe talk about spinning. I went to Carolina Homespun and got a few things and talked to Morgaine. She's are going to be at the spinning event at Retzlaff winery Saturday.

I pulled everything out today and yet again I could not even spin supported. It just seemed so slow and clunky, and I have so much trouble joining. Finally I just let the spindle hang and twirled it was easy. I was over thinking everything as usual. Now it is over-twisted, but progress!

When I finish off the last of that color I'm moving on to the light brown 90% llama/10% Jacob. Or maybe I'll mix a bit. Don't have big plans, probably make a two-ply yarn and see how it knits up. Perhaps I'll make a small felted bag, we'll see.

Next, when I can spin a bit thinner, I will tackle this pink roving I got at Baabaara's, along with the white 100% Jacob. I'm thinking stranded mittens, or maybe hat. We'll see how I do.

Here on the left is the Icelandic roving. The other is part of half a pound of "Black Norwegian" (from Great Britain) that I got at Carolina Homespun. I'm saving these for when I really know what I'm doing.

And a disclaimer, I know I'm not using all the right terms, especially roving and top, it's a lot to take in.

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