Monday, July 2, 2012

Learning to spin

While I was in Ireland, I learned some basic spinning techniques from a friend. I did a little spinning on her spindle, and then stopped for a really long time (despite having gotten so excited that I bought lots of roving). A couple months ago, I finally got around to getting my own spindle, but it took me until today to actually do anything with it. I'm really glad I did, though. 

In order to refresh myself, I did some searching online for spinning tutorials. Mostly I really liked this one. It was really helpful, especially her other two videos about prepping the roving, and how to deal with the yarn after you've spun it.

So I sat down and spun about 3/4 of a white wool roving that I purchased from England (while I was in Ireland). The first bit (hanging on the hangers) used about half of the roving, and is currently hanging on the back of my bedroom door, drying to set the twist. My room also smells of sheep.  The second bit I did, still on the spindle, used 1/4 of the wool, and is about half as thick as the first one. I think it's better for me to work thinner, though it's difficult to convince myself I can actually spin something that thin. It's not actually thin, just feels like it - it's probably still about worsted weight or a bit lighter. I can't imagine spinning lace-weight or thread.

Also, I seem to only be able to spin so much yarn on my spindle before I have to remove it and start over, which is a bit of a shame. It just reaches this point where the bundle of spun yarn underneath the whorl is too wide, and the bit that goes up and around the hook won't stay in place when I'm spinning and gets all tangled. I feel like a larger spindle would help this, maybe? But for now I can't spin a terribly long length of yarn in one piece (the first one was about 45 feet, I think?)

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