spinning

Spin On!

Since my last post I’ve been rather busy with my hobbies. Some drama in my personal life has also influenced me in finding a sort of meditation, if you will, in my crafts. I’ve been doing less art journaling (which saddens me) and having a lot of fun with fibery goodness (which makes me happy!). I’ll post again with some of the other works I’ve completed recently, but for now, as the title suggests, I’ll focus on my new love, handspinning.

(That’s making yarn, and not the cycling thing, just an FYI.)

I decided to take an intro to handspinning class that was being hosted by a local yarn store, three short two hour sessions, stretched out over three weeks. I was hesitant at first because I doubted this was something I’d get into, but figured it would be a welcomed change to my otherwise routine weekly schedule. Surprisingly enough, I absolutely adore the process. There is something innately powerful in using a simple tool like the drop spindle, which has been around for generations, to turn fluffy stuff into yarn. It is a skill that was once common knowledge, and in some places, still remains common knowledge (and is not limited to women only).

So, my first week was a shaky start. I didn’t like the drop spindle I was using (I don’t actually have one, I’ve just been borrowing one for the time until I get my own). After a week, everything clicked. Maybe it was the new spindle I switched to, or maybe it was the one to two hours of practice I put in every evening for that first week, but I was suddenly spinning easily and quickly, with relatively consistent results (somewhat). All of a sudden, I had yarn!

My first handspun yarn!

That, dear reader, is my first batch of 3 ply handspun yarn. It is bumpy and inconsistent and I absolutely adore it. Thanks to our class, despite it being an “intro” course, I learnt a lot of pretty fancy techniques. Like handy plying, a sort of simplified version of Andean plying. It started off a bit messy, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly once trying it at home.

Yes World, I wear pink polka dot pajama pants at home. And I am proud of it.
Handy plying gave me a nice 2 ply. Here it is all done, still on the spindle.

I was also introduced to various spindle types; top whorls, bottom whorls, supported, Turkish. All of which are lovely and offer great versatility. I, for one, have decided to get a Spindolyn for now. In the meantime, I can enjoy other spinners’ spindles.

I'm especially loving the design of the Turkish drop spindles.
A lovely bottom whorl in actin.

That sweet little thing belongs to my friend over at Maenas Tintinnael. It was bought off Etsy, but I don’t have the store name (yet). When I get it, I’ll edit this post to include proper credit where credit is due. Needless to say, there are many lovely handmade spindles out there on Etsy.

Today I was also given the chance to try out a spinning wheel! This was a lot of fun and I think I got the hang of it, though of course my yarn came out much more inconsistent, and probably a little less stable, than my spindle yarn considering how fast you’re forced to draft.

Spinning wheel trial.

I’ll post more pictures of my spinning wheel adventure later on this week (hopefully). And as I said at the beginning of the post, I will also soon have a post with pictures of some of my non-spinning projects I’ve recently completed. I’ve got a bit of a backlog of pictures now, it’s just a matter of taking the time to compose each post. These things take a while to write up, you know!

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7 thoughts on “Spin On!

    1. I would love to show it off! It is quite easy, but there is definitely a learning curve involved. Once muscle memory kicks in, it’s quite simple and meditative. My next step is learning to dye the yarn.

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