Monday, October 25, 2010
It's a Fine Thing Spinning Fine
Guess what I did Saturday? I went to this shop The Wicked Stitch in Wamego, Kansas and took a class by Harveyville's own Nikol on Spinning Fine Yarn - which covered both sock and lace spinning. What a treat.
Chery and I drove over there together early Saturday morning, had an old fashioned breakfast at the Mom and Pop diner, then had a wonderful day spinning with several other students who were as enjoyable at the instructor was informative.
Nikol has a http://harveyvilleproject.com/?p=151Yarn School based in an old schoolhouse she bought and she hosts spinners of all levels of experience at her "school" twice a year. Well, I've never made it to Yarn School, so I was quite happy to get the chance to take an all-day class from her at The Wicked Stitch which is a really cute shop that sells both spinning supplies, spinning wheels, roving, and yarn and knitting products.
Jennifer's daughter took photos - but why is it that very few pictures taken while spinning are flattering? Every time I see a photo of myself spinning, it's a huge diet and exercise motivation? Maybe I'm just a narcissist?
Oh well, anyway, it was such a wonderful class. We learned how to spin finer, mainly by reducing our spinning tension and adding more twist to the fiber. We learned the "Miss America" method of plying yarn onto our hands to create a small sample and how to do a quick self-ply to test if the yarn was creating the right size and twist for what we were wanting to create.
We learned and practiced spinning from the fold, as well as long draw, and found out when those might be more appropriate than the worsted spinning most of us have done. We learned which fibers can be spun most ideally, using different methods. We got a bit out of our usual default spinning "comfort zone" to consider what might be best for the fiber we are spinning.
We learned that adding sturdy blends, such as silk, can strengthen sock yarn.
We practiced spinning a varity of luscious fibers such as a merino silk blend, silk hankies, and a brand new fiber called Optim which is wonderful! It's actually a permanently stretched merino and it feels as soft as cashmere but is much less expensive and less exhaustive to the environment. I want to eventually buy some from Nikol and make maybe a lace shawl from it? It feels like fiber taffy or liquid - it's so soft and slippery. Yum.
I always love spinning silk hankies, but some people in our group didn't like them. They stick to the rough spots on your hands, but Nikol provided us with her handmade sugar scrub that really helped. I love that stuff. In fact, I tried to make some last night. I'll let you know later how that works out.
Here I am pulling apart the silk hanky. That would make a great addition to socks to strengthen them. It's made from Tussah Silk and comes in hankies that you pull apart - it seems very delicate at first but that stuff is as firm as can be
Ya gotta love silk. Right?