Friday, June 2, 2006

First Yarn

Midway into the four-week spin class at Modern Yarn taught by Stacey, I have pencil roving, a beginner's top whorl drop spindle full of newbie singles, a wound ball of newbie singles, and my first micro skein of 2-ply yarn. It's overspun – and yet it actually looks like yarn!

My first yarn

Spin class is great. Stacey is a wonderful teacher – well-prepared, enthusiastic, diplomatic, and a font of spinning knowledge. The other students add to the excellent esprit. Some have spun before; I'm a complete newbie and have managed to commit just about every newbie blunder, not least wearing black to the first class and deciding to spin ecru roving. (We won't even mention the silk coccoons that stuck to my unexfoliated fingers briefly, then flew off in an unknown trajectory.)

As my ambition 'way outstrips my ability, the learning curve has been an exercise in patience. I spent the first class struggling with drafting and parking and also was not-so-covertly coveting all the beautiful spindles that others brought, particularly the Goldings and Bosworths and Woodchucks. Because surely it's the spindle. Alas, my first purchase after class was a distinct anti-climax.

I'm finding I frequently end up with a small ring of fiber encircling the roving. An error in drafting technique, I assume. These little fiber friends are almost as bad as Tribbles in their ability to multiply and get into unlikely places.

For all that, after two classes there's been noticeable improvement. Spinning speed is up, bad words are down, singles are becoming more uniform and finer. Maybe my secret plan to spin my own 2-ply laceweight will succeed after all. Now if only I could get DH to stop singing improvised lyrics to Rawhide: Roving, roving, roving, git those spindles moving, etc ad naus.



Melanie said...

Congratulations! Now you're a spinner! I found that spinning is something my hands figured out, not my brain - kinda like knitting.
I learned on a spindle too and I think it made spinning on a wheel much easier the first time I tried it.

Kat said...

Months from now (when I finally start spinning), I will be cursing your DH for creating that ear worm.

BTW your South Bronx ride looks like fun. If the family wasn't coming up here that weekend, I'd head down for it. Have fun!

--Deb said...

Congratulations on your new spinning--it looks miles better than my first attempts did! (Although, I didn't have a teacher so much as a good book, so . . . hey, it's an excuse, right?) So, okay, the wearing black might have been a mistake, but it looks like you're doing fantastic!

Oh, and if it matters, my favorite spindle is still my Kundert....

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

Congratulations on your first yarn!! I wear black *every day* and am currently spinning something in a white/periwinkle/rose blend, so I hear you on the lint brush!

Spinning is one of those things that your hands will master long before your brain does. It's a sense memory, muscle patterning, thing. Be patient! When are you learning plying? That can really help even out your yarn if it is a little overspun. In fact, if you are planning to ply, a little overspun is good and helpful.

I spin mostly with my Bosworth midi, I love it, but I am getting a mini for laceweight this year and there are some fibers which seem to do better with the Schacht. Spindles are fabulous toys and like knitting needles, one needs a selection.

stacey said...

I'm so happy with what you have been able to spin!

Your doing so well (and no, I don't say that to all my students :o)

See you Tuesday!

dragon knitter said...

(deep evil chuckle) welcome to the dark side. actually, that looks pretty good for beginner yarn. i have never handled a spindle, and dont' intend to, lol. i'll stick with my wheel. i'm spinning sockweight (plied) right now, so i think if i can slow down (i'm a speed spinner, lol) i could get laceweight. i'll have to see.

want another earworm? (imagine dori, from nemo) just keep spinning, just keep spinning, spinning, spinning, i love to SPIN . . .