Monday, November 26, 2007

I blame it on Rhinebeck

I don't think I would have even considered learning to spin (being a lone knitter) if it weren't for Rhinebeck. Honestly, you see at least as much roving as yarn among vendors - if not more. And I LOVE naturally colored, undyed yarns (I love dyed yarns too, but since most of my and my man's wardrobe is black, brown and grey - sheep colors, all - I like the idea of wearing just what the sheep wore), and these fibers are abundant as roving but not so much as finished yarn.
I hadn't thought much about spinning ever, though the man sort of encouraged me to spin after watching the movie Gandhi, who spun the yarn for the cloth he wore:

My first year, I bought some roving and got instructions on making a CD drop spindle, which sat in my stash trunk for a year, mostly because I never got around to making the spindle. Then I found the $20 from my Grandma and decided to buy a nice drop spindle with it this year.
I've been messing around with my spindle since Rhinbeck which was just a little over a month ago, but it has just started to click within the last 10 days or so. It really did just take practice and experimenting with different ways to hold the yarn. Its not at all diffifcult, but it does take some getting used to. Now, I'm not a master (mistress?) of the drop spindle by any stretch of the imagination, but I have begun to really enjoy using it. I've almost used up the merino top I bought last year, and with my order from Paradise Fibers, I bought olive merino and grey Icelandic fiber. And I have nearly half a pound of naturally colored black wool that I didn't want to waste on learning attempts. Now that I'm close to consistent, I can start to spin it! I'm going to spin all of my fiber from last year first, though.
I'm a control freak, but I had never felt too much like controlling the yarns I knit with, because I knit with basic, simple yarns. But spinning does open up many more possibilities, especially among natural colors. And it has given me a sort of reverence for wool. That stuff is amazing. Its so satisfying when you see the twist go up into the draft, or when the twist takes in a new end of fiber. And I think its good to think of yarn as something more than a product that you just go to the store and buy.
Beginning to think about buying a spinning wheel - but still want a loom first. Then, once I have those things - move out of this city and get me some sheep!!!!

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