Sunday, January 06, 2008

Spinning: My story so far...

One of my goals for 2007 was to learn how to spin using a drop spindle. Top, bottom, mid whorl - didn't matter. I just wanted to learn. That's what I'm like. If I want to learn to do something, I can't rest until I've tried it at least once. Then, once if I enjoy it, I practically become addicted (hence the enormous number of craft projects I always seem to be working on).

I finally bought one when I saw that Cathie from the CTnY forum was selling hers at the end of November. It turns out, it's actually a really cool one - a total 'Babe'! Really, the company that makes these is called 'Babe' and they also make spinning wheels.

Anyway, the spindle comes with two discs so it can be converted into a top whorl, bottom whorl, a mid-whorl or a balkan spindle. You can use one disc for spinning singles and two discs for plying yarn and/or for heavier weight yarn. It has a 12" shaft and the discs are plastic.

Then for Christmas, Mr CB bought me a wooden spindle and 400g of roving from Uk Collect Fiber Works. Although I found this one easier to learn with, I like and use them both equally well.

It wasn't easy initially. I read some info online and watched some videos on YouTube, had a go, didn't like the results, then promptly sat back down again in front of the PC and started again from scratch.

This time it worked!! And I have to say that I'm finding the whole thing quite magical. It's just amazing how the leader thread catches the wool, how the twist travels up the drafted wool and hey presto, you've got yarn! Magical!!!

Thankfully I've got two spindles as Katie likes to play too!

As far as progress goes, here's some photos of the yarn that I've managed to spin since Christmas. I'm not going to post all the photos as they're on my Flickr but just so you can see what's been going on...

This is the first lot of spinning from front to back - the red one was my very first on Christmas night after a lovely day and lots of wine!

I think this picture below really shows my progress. The yarn on the left is the first attempt and the one on the right (resting on the knitting needle) is the 2nd attempt a few days later. I'm finding drafting the wool much easier now and although I have to do do this sitting down, I think I'm managing quite well.

The blue and red yarn is the first yarn that I plied.....

... and wound into a center pull ball. I really like the colours together!

I've had to improvise alot when it comes to spinning accessores: I've modified a cardboard box to use as a Lazy Kate and I use a cardboard tube as a Nostepinne for the center pull balls.

I don't even think I'll try skeining yarn until I get my hands on a Niddy Noddy, although I did see a really cool tutorial on how to make one using plumbing supplies over on Craftster! I guess I'll just have to get myself organised and get a few items into my Etsy shop. Then maybe I'll save enough money to buy some accessories!

Thanks for looking and check back again soon for more updates!!

x Bernie x


knitty, witty, woo ( Tracey ). said...

Hey, you are doing really well...I'm impressed.
Isn't it so much fun.

Rositta said...

I'm going to get one too and sign up for a course in March. I tried spinning on a wheel and decided my hip couldn't handle it...ciao Bernie