Saturday, February 3, 2007

Spinning Bliss, I WISH!!!!

This week I joined a Spinning Group on Yahoo Groups. With a lot of encouragement and info from the group I got out my drop spindle and began my spinning endeavor. I was actually able to do it. It doesn't look like much, but it is yarn. As seen it is not as thinly spun as it should be and definitely not consistent in size. Practice, practice, practice.
Pictured is my Ashford drop spindle some call it "the boat anchor" due to its huge size and weight.

Also through the Yahoo Group I have met several spinners that live near BG. Today, Saturday, I met one of them for lunch, June. It was so exciting to find someone who actually knows what they are doing. She is absolutely full of wonderful information. After talking with her I quickly realized that I really have a lot to learn. Not only do you need to know how to spin wool into yarn. You also need to know what kind of wool comes from what kind of sheep. Does that particular sheep produced coarse or soft fleece, dull or with a natural sheen, short or long? I took some samples of some wool I bought last year when I first got my wheel and the drop spindles. She basically told me I had been had. The wool appears to be from the back legs of the sheep, in other words crap. Definitely not suitable for a beginner. Guess I'm going to stuff a pillow or make Katie Scarlet a bed. :(
June pulled so many nifty things out of her bag. It wasn't really that big, seemed like one of those Volkswagen Beetles with clown after clown after clown climbing out. :) She brought some beautiful yarns that she had spun and plied. A vest she has begun knitting. A couple different kinds of roving. A top and bottom whorl drop spindle. I'm sure there are things I can't remember. Very cool lady!!!! She also brought me a little Shetland roving and some from sheep with at name that starts with a C. Can't remember that one, not one I have commonly heard. She also let me borrow her top whorl spindle. It is so much nicer, lighter and easier to use than my "boat anchor." I left very excited. I couldn't wait to get home and get to spinning. Pictured below is some of June's work. Very different from mine!!!! But, I WILL GET THERE.

I spun the Shetland as soon as I got home on her spindle. It was wonderful. Mine still doesn't look like hers but it was better. And her spindle is so much easier to handle and spins much longer than mine. I was feeling gooooooooooood!!!!!
I bought my wheel about a year ago, but have never gotten to spin on it. It was a used wheel. The first time I began trying to spin the connector between the footman (gas pedal) and the treadle (wheel) broke. When I looked at it it actually looked like a small hot glue gun stick. First I attempted to reconnect it with what was left. Then, being the ingenious individual that I am, I thought..."looks like a glue stick....why not a glue stick?" Not happening folks. I was totally frustrated and put it away until this week. I got on-line and order the part. Yesterday I received it and attached it. Happening!!!!!
I have been practicing treadling. Making sure it was going clockwise until I told it to go counter-clockwise. Working out pretty good. So I decided to add the next ingredient -- wool. I used the other roving June gave me from the "C" sheep. I got all set up in my kitchen ready to spin. Again, I did spin, if you can call it that. And I did end up with yarn. got it....practice, practice, practice.
My Louet S10
Okay, one more cool story. When I bought my wheel last year the seller
sent some wool along with it. It was butterscotch colored, felt kinda sticky and had an oily odor. I wrote to the spinning group and a lady told me to wash it in my sink and she bet it would come out nice and white. Sure enough that did it. It is a beautiful white and feels great. Guess as soon as it is dry I'll give it an early and untimely death ......I'll spin it. Saga will continue.

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