Sunday, July 20, 2008

Look - I Made Yarn!

I used to hate it when a knitting friend of mine got into spinning. Why? Because everytime I saw it happening, the person afflicted with Spinneritis would soon become hopelessly symptomatic and would drive me crazy talking about it constantly. It also severely took away from their knitting time. No matter how relaxing and fascinating they claimed it to be, I vowed NEVER to become one of those Crazy, Obsessed, Hopelessly Gushing Spinners. Right?

Well, yeah, until now. I started a couple of weeks ago working with a drop spindle and that has been both frustrating and fun. But ever since Grammy gave me her Ashford Traditional spinning wheel, last week, I began to realize the infection was catching. Then I fully came down with it yesterday, when I took my first day-long Spinning Class at Yarn Barn.

I arrived early enough to enjoy a delicious low-carb breakfast at my favorite restaurant in Lawrence, Miltons, which is only 2 doors down from YB.

The owner of YB, Sue, is such a nice lady. I walked into her store not even knowing the parts and operation of my wheel. She quickly took a look at it, replaced the brake band and tension spring. She oiled it and then pronounced it ready to roll . . . or in this case SPIN.

There were 8 people in our class, which was taught by a young woman named Dana. She first talked about sheep and fibers. Then she went into a brief overview and demonstration of drop spindling. But most of our day was spent with the actual spinning wheel spinning. Only 2 of us had our own wheels and the others were using the store-loaned wheels. They encouraged us to move around the room and try different wheels, but I resisted that because I wanted to take advantage of every single minute of time to practice using MY wheel and figuring out how to troubleshoot many of the difficulties.

It felt a bit awkward at first, but I have to say, I started enjoying it immediately. Even though my yarn was alternatively too thin, too thick, too kinky etc. that was fine. It was MY yarn.

We learned how to spin 2 bobbins of singles, and then learned to ply them. By the end of the day, I was pleasantly exhausted.

Then this morning, I got up fairly early and tried to start a new yarn - afraid that the knowledge might have evaporated overnight. Luckily, I was not only still able to do it, but my yarn was noticeably better. I became more comfortable with changing the tension of the wheel and in doing what I needed to do to make a BIT more consistent yarn.

So, I promise not to become TOO obsessed with Spinning that I turn into a Spinning Maniac. But I now understand why people love it so much. Yay, I made yarn!


Elysbeth said...

Yay! Glad the wheel worked and you found the groove.

ChelleC said...

Yes, I absolutely love it!!! I love both drop spindle and spinning wheel.

Tracy said...

Congrats on getting infected!

ana said...

Making yarn is kind of magical, isn't it? Congrats on your first efforts! look forward to seeing more of your adventures in fiber in the future.

Jennifer said...

I took my first spinning at Yarn Barn and it totally hooked me. Hmmm - I haven't spun in a couple of weeks, maybe I should go now.