Well yikes, it has been a loooooong time since I blogged. Time really got a way from me but I am going to make a better effort to blog. I love to write and I am always thinking of things to write about…then I get busy with something else (usually my job) and well, you know.
What has been taking up a lot of my time is that I got a spinning wheel for Christmas! Kevin and Jennifer got it for me and it came from the Netherlands. It is a “Bea Classic” but I haven’t been able to find out much about them on the internet (it is an older model). It is an upright castle type of wheel and I love it. To say I was thrilled does not even come close! I have wanted to learn how to spin for years and have tried using a drop spindle with very little success.
On hindsight, it would have been a lot easier to learn with a class or two but there isn’t anywhere close to me to take classes so I learned by watching you-tube videos and reading the internet. And it worked, although I may not do it the way most people do. Still I am producing yarn and I am having LOTS of fun doing it. And buying LOTS of roving …but that is a topic for another blog post!!
It took a while (maybe a day or too) of frustration and mistakes (see my first ball below) but it finally clicked and I was making yarn. This first few tries after that first little ball are not even close to perfect although I see the same yarn on the internet being sold as “art yarn”. But this last bobbin-full is good and I am very proud (second photo below)! It is a nice dark brown Corriedale and I weighed out the ball of roving so I will have 2 bobbins roughly the same weight and I can ply them together to make a balls of sock yarn (I love knitting socks!) Since I got the wheel, I have added to my collection of yarn related books and now have them on spinning and wool. It isn’t enough to know how to spin, you also need to know the characteristics of the fiber you are using so you get the yarn you want to knit, crochet or weave later. You can see why this is time consuming.
The first few days of learning were frustrating and I kept thinking to myself that people find this relaxing and I am NOT relaxed! But once I got comfortable with it, I found that I was relaxing and really enjoying myself. I find that if I am tense about something else I can go and spin for 5 minutes and I come away a different person. Someday I would like to take a class or two (may at Madrona Fiber Arts next year, but until then I will read my books and keep buying roving.