Have you all been as ridiculously busy as I have lately? It seems that with the beginning of school, return to a routine, and various boring but necessary tasks, everyone around me has been a little frazzled. In the midst of all this rushing around, I somehow managed to pick up a new hobby.
As a “sorry, pal, you gotta go back to work” present, I bought myself a Cascade Little Si drop spindle and some Corriedale wool fiber in the Robin Hood colorway from Spunky Eclectic. I’ve been admiring the amazing handspun yarn I see on Ravelry and my favorite knitting videocast for a long while, but resisted the temptation to add yet another hobby to my list. At the end of a long day of herding
cats middle schoolers, I fired up the ol’ computer and bought myself this treat.
My first attempts were, like everyone’s, ugly as all get-out. I was essentially pulling apart the fiber into increasingly smaller ropes, and then just adding twist to the ropes. Leaving me with a lumpy, uneven mess.
The third night of spinning, something in my brain and hands just clicked, and suddenly I was drafting instead of putting twist into roving strips. I can’t point to one resource or video that made me understand how to draft properly; all at once, I just figured it out. Maybe I just needed to make some fugly yarn first. : )
Those are my three toilet paper rolls full of singles. I plied them together in a 3-ply, and it created a more-or-less worsted yarn. After plying, my yarn was super kinky. I ended up re-plying it on the spindle, in a clockwise direction, to take out some of the twist. After soaking and drying, the skein was actually pretty darn balanced.
I would be a liar if I didn’t say I am pleased as punch with this. I did an awesome job for my first attempt at spinning, if I do say so myself. I have room to improve, of course; I’m still getting really thin spots, and I haven’t moved past the park-and-draft stage. Rarely, though, do I feel this…satisfied with my knitting, you know? Spinning definitely has a “who cares?” vibe to it – whatever you do, you’ll end up with yarn and it will be pretty. Or at the very least, a learning experience.
Here are some of the resources that helped me along the way:
- Getting Started by Abby’s Yarns (I watched those videos, oh, a dozen times)
- Beginning Spinners Group on Ravelry
- Learn to Spin kits from Spunky Eclectic
It’s been really fun to switch back and forth between spinning and knitting. Tired of one? Try the other! Here’s a little peak at my current knitting project – the Augusta Cardigan. In wool, because it’s getting to be sweater season!