February 24, 2010

Fiber Fun Wednesday -- Spinning in Place

We have a new addition here on the farm. An absolutely gorgeous Ashford spinning wheel. We've had it a few weeks, but it took some time before I was actually able to use it.

Well, let's just say this wheel and I have a complicated relationship.

After patiently waiting while Jim stained the wheel and put it together, I sat down to use it with some wool roving that had come with it as a freebie. I'm sure I looked funny sitting in my rocker with every spinning book I own spread out before me. I even had my laptop on the couch with a couple of YouTube videos I had saved.

I had a pretty good idea how it was supposed to go and after using the drop spindles figured it was going to be about the same.


I followed every direction, but after 3 hours of getting nowhere I was ready to send the wheel off to the burn pile (wheel, if you are reading this I didn't mean it). I was cursing and throwing things and wondering how in the world anyone got anything spun on these things.

Turns out, that wool roving was to blame. After looking at it closely I realized it was awful. No matter how carefully I predrafted it, it still pulled apart every 5 inches or so. It's now sitting in the black hole I call my office. Maybe some day I'll card it and blend it with something else to make it usable.

The next day I bravely started off with an alpaca roving I had purchased on Etsy. It spun exactly how I thought it should and in no time I had 50 yards of yarn!! It only took a little time to fill up my bobbin.

It's not perfect, but I think if I hadn't had all that practice on the drop spindles it would have been much worse.

My next yarn is turning out so amazing. I am spinning a superwash Merino I purchased and it's becoming a really nice sock yarn. I'm completely impatient to start knitting up a pair of socks with it and I haven't even finished spinning it yet.

Needless to say, I am now having a great time spinning, but I'm not sure my wheel has forgiven me yet for my early hatred. I guess I'll keep lovin' it and giving it many wonderful things to spin up until I'm forgiven.

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