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 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?


Elysbeth said...

Love this! Must put on list of things to do in my future.

The spinning photo thing...angle angle angle.


Chery said...

I really enjoyed attending this class with you. It was fun and informative.

Ellen Bloom said...

Wow! What a great class! Looks like everyone had a wonderful time!

Christine said...

OH that class sounds like it was fun! I love love LOVE that photo of you stretching out the silk! CUTIE!

Denise said...

We really did learn a lot in the class now I just need to practice practice practice.

Thanks for checking in on my blog. Need to update asked about the disease my cats is called cytauxzoonosis. It is transmitted to ticks via bob cats and then on to domestic cats. It isn't fatal to the bob cat but not so for the domestic feline and is a real heart breaker. A total of 3 of my outdoor kitties passed due to it.

The pics from our class were lovely weren't they? Jennifer's shop is such a sweet place isn't it? I think the silk hankies were my favorite yarn produced.

Rebecca said...

wtg for gettng in a wonderful spinning class! sounds like a wealth of info!!!
hope you are well.
and dd?