Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Friends Have Always Told Me...

...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!


Rachel said...

Aw, it's so hard to find a new obsession just when you're supposed to be buckling down to studying! I'm guessing there's no way you could talk yourself into using it as a reward? (Nah, that's never worked for me either.)

Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

What fun! Yes, this too is very addictive. Enjoy! : )

Kelly said...

sounds like fun! Your mohair looks waaaay better than my first try at the wheel let me tell you!!

BJ Scoggins said...

I'll paint you a rainbow as a gift from me,

Then hang it from heaven for the whole world to see.

On a canvas of love I'll cover your fears,

With a soft brush I'll dry all your tears.

I'll paint you a rainbow with feelings so deep,

My stroke will be gentle, my touch you may keep.

On a palette of words I will tenderly blend,

Colorful thoughts with bright verses to send.

I'll paint you a rainbow in reds, blues and gold,

Stretched like loving arms ready to enfold.

And deep in the center of the most vibrant hue,

I'll etch from memory the essence of you.

I'll paint you a rainbow, a bridge to my heart,

So loneliness and pain can begin to depart.

Just look up at the sky when life hits a bend,

I painted a rainbow for YOU.

Holly said...

Oooo-look out! Your kniting really slows down when the spinning bug hits ;~)

Dipsy said...

This sounds like a really fun day! Your mohair looks great!

HDW said...

i am green with env!!! spinning issomething i really want to learn.....desperatly!!!!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Obsession happens when you least expect it! Fun isn't it?

Jan said...

MH has a drop spindle and some roving and I have been dying to steal it and try it out myself. After reading your post I may just have to do that! Have fun!

Hasbu said...

That looks like a lot of fun!

AnnKnits said...

I knew you would get the bug. Next up - try the wheel spinning class. You will be hooked for sure then. Great spinning by the way.
Ann - who is currently having problems with her blog. Blogger won't let me sign in. Aghhhhhh!!!