Friday, June 13, 2014

Spinning Magic!

I started spinning my own yarn a while ago after learning over 2 years ago. When I started back then, it hurt my wrist and my yarn was super uneven. I would use the drop spindle that I got from my local yarn store, a simple wooden Ashford, for hours, trying to practice. I started with a gorgeous silk roving that was way out of my league. The best thing to start spinning with is 100% wool. It's the easiest to work with by far. Silk is slippery and doesn't want to spin up nicely. It was completely frustrating, so after a few hours of trying and horrible wrist pain, I packed the spindle and roving up and didn't look at it again for years. 

After Sheep in the City this year I saw all the beautiful spinning wheels, all the gorgeous hand-spun yarn, and tons of reasonably priced hand-dyed roving, and all I wanted to do is start back up again. On the second day of SITC I brought that bag out, bought some roving from one of the local sellers, and started up a new skein. My first attempt was rough at best, but we're just going to call it "art yarn."

I called this skein "She-Hulk" as it's hulk green and power-suit purple. It's thick and thin all over and I have no idea what could be knit out of it. Less than 50 yards, so I think maybe a baby hat? No idea. I got better with the drop spindle, as can be seen in my last post. My "Brave" and "Shy Violet" yarns spun up beautifully and were almost perfect. 

And then... I got my hands on a spinning wheel. Well... sort of. ;D


This contraption was made by the wonderful Rob. He constructed it out of PVC piping, a vacuum drive belt, and a power drill (with a sewing machine-like start and stop pedal). It took a bit to get used to, but now it's producing quality yarn like this:

And this was just my first attempt at the wheel, so I know it's only going to get better. I'll post pictures of what this looks like knit up because I want to make this with it. I plan on dyeing my own roving and spinning that up as well. It's about 10 times as fast as the drip spindle, but not portable at all. And at this point in time, it's so loud my cats are afraid of it, so they're not all over me trying to get the yarn. That's a pro... kind of. :P Can't wait to show you!

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