Yesterday was the last spin class with Stacey at Modern Yarn. Naturally, we had Paige take a class photo. I'm camera shy.
Spin class has been one of the best fibery classes I've ever taken. In four sessions I've gone from clew-less to mini skeins of yarn, thanks to an excellent instructor and a go-for-it class. [Rah, Stacey! Rah, class!] As an experienced knitter, I've especially appreciated learning more about fiber and how it becomes yarn. There's a very high satisfaction factor in going from mass o' roving to balanced skein. Incidentally, this does not violate the laws of thermodynamics – at the same time, dishes and other chores have piled up and my house has become covered with clinging fibery friends.
I've noticed spinning has a steep slippery slope. Although its dynamic nature makes it somewhat daunting to learn from books, I've found that once attempted, the basics are easier to pick up than knitting. The big hurdle is trusting the fiber enough to let the spindle drop. But I think the deep secret is drafting and pre-drafting – put another way, developing a finger sense for what the fiber wants to do.
Then there's the matter of the growing stash. My class roving was a nondescript Ashland Bay blend, but Karen generously shared some light brown Cormo and some ecru Romney [thanks, Karen]. Oenophiles aren't the only connoisseurs who can debate the merits of blends versus varietals! I now own two dropspindles, my learner's spindle and this little Golden Leaf beauty from Stacey's Made by Ewe site. And it would seem I'm destined for a Bossie (we're on familiar terms now), if online quizzes are any guide.
You are a lean, mean spindling machine!
Which Spindle Are You?
Some in the class are already talking about wheel acquisition. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm delighted and boggled by the directions for a DIY cigar-box charkha. Imagine, four weeks ago my vocabulary was so impoverished that I had no idea what a charkha is.
Last week, Stacey brought Gossamer, her English Angora rabbit, to class. I'm allergic to rabbit angora, but the cute factor is irresistable.
Gossamer was very mellow with the horde of strangers. Stacey demonstrated bunny-to-yarn, gently pulling bits of loose fluff off his back and spinning them into fine singles. Amazing to relate, Gossamer's fluff is nearly half his visual mass. Its loft is astonishing – were it shorn, it would likely weigh all of a whopping two ounces (56.6 g). Pity I couldn't cuddle him; other class members seemed to enjoy doing so.
Spinning along, my secret plan to spin my own laceweight got a big boost when I discovered that Knitterguy spins. I already knew he knits on a higher plane of existence, but fine spinning, too? I can only bless all teachers and watch and learn.
It should come as no surprise that Spinnning in Public is not far behind. Cara of January One is holding Spin On Spin In Spin Out in NYC Central Park on Saturday, June 24. If the meet-up weren't enough, she's also fundraising for Heifer International, one of my all-time favorite charities, with great prizes (including a Majacraft wheel!). Do be sure to check out her registry page.
Coming full circle, I've tagged my very first micro skein with date and comments and plan to save it for reference. I think the rest might like to be a cap, perhaps with a Greek labyrinth motif for Ariadne, an accomplished spindler, and her clew.