Saturday, September 09, 2006


So since I still don't have the fun pictures from Gretchen I'll show you a little bit of what I got from Keohinani. She sent me loads of yummy macadamia nut based candies. Like caramel popcorn with Macadamia nuts and caramel Macadamia chewy things and some other chocolate covered Macadamia goodness - but it's all gone so your beat on seeing that stuff. Oh and by the way K you've pretty much got me hooked on the Hi-chews and you may have to get me a life time supply ;) mmmm good a little bit like a Starburst but more chewy and it comes in a package of all one flavor (mmmm grape yummy).

Enough about the candy that's almost all gone - she sent me something that I've kinda wanted to try but have been avoiding forever. Yup she sent me a spindle and some lovely corridale which (according to Virginia) is all top so it's easier to learn with. When I go to fiber festivals and I always avoid touching the roving and the lovely fleeces. I just wasn't ready to get on the band wagon. I had no doubt that eventually I'd give spinning a shot - how can a knitter resist the idea of making her own yarn! But I really just wasn't ready to go there.

Well I went there this weekend. I made something that - well - it might be something that might look like yarn. It looks a little more like - I don't know what it looks like - a bird nest maybe?

I took my beautiful spindle and my fiber over the the guild's spinning night and Virginia held my hand. We started out with my spindle which didn't really have enough spin for me to learn with. It stops dead after about 2 seconds so she gave me a guild spindle to borrow. Then I was strangling the yarn and crying in frustration cuz I just couldn't make it work so she set me up with some roving she had in her basement and her spinning wheel (how awesome is this woman!) I sat next to her while she treadled and I learned to draft. Um how come no body told me it's hard to spin? Spinners make it look so easy and they all tell you it's a joy to do and so relaxing and meditative - bologna! It's hard and frustrating and my fingers wont cooperate and I'm making this beautiful roving into a mess.

Admittedly I was getting it on the wheel and drafting fairly well but then when I switched back to the spindle I was totally screwed up. Now I'm drafting in a different direction and the spindle is the devil and keeps eating the roving that's waiting for it's turn. There's no consistency at all and some of it's really thin and some kinda thick and then there's some that's spun so tight it's making little corkscrews. I don't know that I'm cut out for this spinning thing. I want to keep trying but I'm going to ruin this fabulous corridale. Maybe I'm not cut out for a spindle? Do you have to learn on a spindle? Is that a rule? Maybe I could just jump to a wheel - anybody wanna buy me a wheel for Christmas?

Oooh...spinning! Hang in there with it; you'll get better with practice. I learned to spin on a spindle with rolags (fleece that had been carded and rolled into fluffy rolls) and found it to be easy. The wool spun up nicely. The first time I tried spinning with roving, I made a gawd-awful mess and hated it. I've gotten better with it, but I really do prefer working with rolags. Have you tried splitting the roving lengthwise into thinner sections? That might help. And no, you don't have to learn on a spindle, although it's helpful because you really do have more control.
Making me laugh over here.
hahaha! prep and predrafting is time-consuming, but worth it if you want consistent results. as with knitting, you only learn by donig. your spindle spins fine yarn well (think dk and smaller), but i suppose i really should've sent you something a bit heftier. i just thought it complemented the color of the roving. anyway...the thick and thin yarn is actually a good thing! think of all the money people spend on colinette point 5 when that's exactly what it is: thick and thin yarn. fun, huh?
Looks like fun and it's something I've always wanted to try but am stopping myself. It would be the end of me!
Spinning is like anything the more you practice the better you'll become and then it will be relaxing and enjoyable. I think if you just practice 15 minutes everyday you'll get it in no time! Beautiful spindle by the way.
Keep in mind that yarn shops charge a fortune for the thick and thin yarn your first efforts are likely to produce... you will be making specialty yarn in no time!
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