Sunday, 27 May 2007

A week is a long time in spinning

Readers may recall how excited I was with the first yarn that I spun on the wheel? Whilst I was pretty sure that it was full of inconsistencies and errors - I was just amazed that I could create something long and woolly!
The plied yarn that I made reminded me that while I was spinning it I couldn't conceive of spinning any thinner and that at some point I was surely spinning sock weight but the reality was that we were talking heavy aran at the most generous definition. Therefore, it couldn't be impossible to get the fibre to co-operate and spin up a bit thinner without breaking. And look what I did! More BFL but this bobbin looks nothing like the yarn I produced last weekend - it is so much more smooth and even and thin.
The other thing that I am starting to discover is that neither the fibre nor the wheel have a life of their own - they are entirely under the control of me and the laws of physics! Why is it that when I first tackle any new skill I feel as if the inanimate object is in fact in charge? Surprise, if I can't draft quick enough - I can slow down with the treadling. If I have to wait for the twist to travel up, guess what? I can treadle a bit faster!
Another thing I have discovered is that it is taking me much longer to spin up 100g than it did last weekend which is stating the obvious as last weekend the wheel was just inhaling the stuff - now I am training it to have far better manners! Last week I was so furiously focused on just getting the stuff on the bobbin and hanging on for grim death. This time, for one or two precious moments, I can look up and see what is happening around me,what the yarn is looking like, how even the twist is, enjoy the rhythm and start to relax. I have also stopped pushing the wheel across the floor with my furious treadling. My drafting could still do with a bit of work, my grip is a little less firm than it was although my thumbs and forefingers do still get a little bit sore and I have a habit of creating a big hairball in my right hand that I am sure shouldn't' be like this.
I am now dreaming of spinning colours. I am going to Woolfest in June so am trying to be really self disciplined and finish using my practice fibre before chasing lovely dyed roving but it is so hard... Can't wait for Woolfest!
Gotta go - the wheel is beckoning - I am hooked!


Missmalice said...

Oh Jane it looks beautiful. I can't wait to see it all done and knitted up. You are sooooo selling the wheel to me - I am itching to get one!! will wait for woolfest though... i suspect they will have some to try out!

Margaret said...

Your description of the beginner spinner is priceless! I'm absolutely laughing out loud here since I only got my first wheel a month ago. Teach that wheel who's the boss! And don't forget to breathe.

Jo said...

It's so great to see another spinning convert enter the fold, my trad used to run across the room aswell and I used to prop it against the coffee table to stop it from escaping, see you at Woolfest!

Artis-Anne said...

Jane this post is brilliant and you have it in a nutshell. Isn't it great when you are the boss? we too are off to Woolfest , there will be so many of us there going, oh , ah , must have, like that etc etc

natalie said...

I borrowed a Traditional from my local Guild when I was learning and then spend the next few weeks chasing it around the living room. This wasn't helped by the fact that I have tiled floors. The solution was a £2 piece of rubberised carpet/rug underlay from IKEA. (I also have a section of this to go under my swift to stop a similar progression across the work-bench).