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First Spinning Attempt

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on July 3, 2009 ,
copyright Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

copyright Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

First spinning attempt… and it’s not pretty! Well, it’s not ugly, either, in all fairness. It’s just my first time! I’m sure it will turn out better in time, just like everything else :)

I’ve got a great top-whorl drop spindle that I purchased from Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber as part of a kit that came with the drop spindle and a big hunk of real, soft wool roving. It’s been on the back burner with other things taking priority, but yesterday I made myself sit down and follow the YouTube video I had bookmarked by The Art of Megan a few months back when I first started thinking that I wanted to try spinning. She makes it look so easy! I felt like my yarn turned out being waaaaay too thick, but that could be because I need to use thinner, finer strands of the roving when I spin. Also, I am not sure if the weird curlyness I experienced if I allowed any slack at all is normal or not. I tried to keep things taut but occasionally my winding around the spindle as I worked got a bit ‘wavy’. I remedied this by watching the follow-up video that Megan does where she shows how to take your handspun from the spindle and turn it into a skein. I wrapped my yarn around the back of a chair and tied it up, then soaked it in hot water for a bit. That’s what I thought I was supposed to do — but doesn’t hot water make wool felt?  Anyway, I put it on the back of my chair again to keep it taut as it dried. It looks ok, but still not quite as polished as other handspun. I am in the dark about plying and whether or not this is something I’m missing or that I need to do… it seemed like the yarn could unravel its twist fairly easily otherwise and I wouldn’t want that to happen as I’m knitting it!

While the spinnnig itself went pretty well, I had some trouble keeping things even. I’m not sure if this is due to the roving I had being fed too thick or too thin (I just went with it, lol) or what, but I’m sure I’ll get it figured out with more practice. All in all it was a good experience and because I only spun a small amount, I’ve got plenty of the plain cream colored roving to work with and practice on… because I’ve got this gorgeous roving that I won in a contest from Danido Crafty called Please Clap Your Hands that I’d love to spin into something useable!



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Mmmm, Goodies!

Posted in Featured, Knit & Crochet , on May 5, 2009 ,
Drop Spindle set by Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber!

Drop Spindle set by Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber!

No, my KnitPicks nickel-plated interchangeables haven’t arrived yet (trust me, I stalk the tracking number 800 times a day) BUT more goodies arrived today; my first wool roving and drop spindle kit! The kit comes from Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber, and I highly recommend ordering from them if you plan to learn spinning or if you need gorgeous (gorgeous handpainted!) roving to spin with. You can order from their website or check them out on eBay, where I originally found them. The customer service is absolutely fantastic and it was a pleasure working with the owner, Arlyne. I will definitely be ordering from them again — especially because I can’t help but drool over their yarn swift.  I ended up with a maple wood top whorl and bottom whorl drop spindle and have been scouring YouTube for good instructional videos to accompany the great booklets that came with the kit. (I’m a visual learner.) I think I’m going to work with the top whorl first, because this video by theartofmegan is very clear and easy to understand. With written instructions from Arlyne and the video to guide me, I think I can handle it! Once I spin some yarn I plan to give dyeing a try — this will be a very noobish, first time experience for me on many levels. I’m so excited! Not that I don’t have 100 other things I need to finish, like starting Father’s Day gifts, working on birthday presents for a couple friends and a wedding anniversary present for Lucas, all within the next two months or less. Ahhh! But how can I say no to getting started with these wonderful goodies sitting here in front of me, practically calling my name? What would YOU do?