...that I was a little spun. Now I guess it's true.
Today my friend Elizabeth (my oldest friend - in that I've known her the longest) and I went to London-Wul to the drop spindle class that was offered. There were five of us there, in total, to learn, and Heidi taught. What a great time!
Behold, my new drop spindle! Isn't she cute? I'm not entirely sure what it's made from...I mean I know that it is wood, but I don't know what kind. Don't know if that matters or not. I think it is a high whorl spindle because according to our vocabulary, a high whorl spindle has the hook at the same end as the whorl (which I found out is the weighted disk).
We started off learning some of the vocabulary used in spinning, things like carding, tops, drafting, drafting zone, S Twist, Z Twist, etc., and we also learned about the different lengths of wool, the crimp of it - which helps in understanding the language behind spinning.
The first thing we did was spin with some single spun wool roving. Heidi demonstrated how to do this by explaining that we have to tie a leader line before we could being spinning. Then she showed us how to take a small portion of the roving, open the fibre, lay it onto the leader line and hold it. Then she said to give the spindle a twist, stop it, pinch the spot where the leader line meets with the fibre, pull a length of it and let go, allowing it to spin up. It's a really cool process!
Once we did the single we used it (using both of the ends) to double ply it. Mine looked kinds of wonky, but she explained that you have to soak it and weigh it down. Then when it's dried it looks a little better because it is more relaxed. Also, she said when you double ply it you have to twist the spindle the opposite way from what you did the singles - I think I may have goofed on that and twisted it in the same direction as the singles, so that would have affected it too.
Finally, we did a single spin of mohair. Talk about soft! Mine didn't stay together very well - I think I used too much of it, not separating it enough. I just realized that I forgot to take a picture of my little samples of those...however, over to the right is some of the mohair spun on my spindle. Yeah, I know it's not perfect and has spots that is wound too tightly or not enought, but Heidi said that is ok, that's what gives handspun yarn its uniqueness (or something to that effect). At any rate, it was my first try today at doing spinning of any kind so I can't expect perfection, right?
And, finally, because I can feel a new addiction taking root, I had to buy some coloured roving to spin up to make some mittens. I bought two bags, because I'm not sure when I'll get out to London-Wul next time (they aren't overly far, maybe 15 to 20 minutes away).
Heidi gave us each some extra roving (called top) for us to practice on, and I'll definately use that before digging into these bags. The colours look pretty accurate; the bag on the left has some green, red and purples, and the one on the right has pink and blue shades. I can't wait to see how they look spun up, and then knitted!
I'll do my best not to expect perfection so soon. It will come, and just takes some practice. The only thing is, I have exams coming up this week and next and now I'm not going to want to study - I'll want to spin (and knit)...but, I will have to take breaks from studying though, so maybe that's what I'll do on those breaks...
Off to do a bit of studying, but mostly some spinning! Happy knitting & spinning!