Oct 26, 2010

Spinning NOOB

First spinning lesson last Tuesday night – The wheel is a double treadle bobbin-lead (Irish tension?) Louet, a model no longer made(D41?). I think the class went by in a blur, I was nervous and toward the end I felt like a little time window opened up where everything wasn’t frantic.

I noticed a lot of difference when I practiced spinning at home alone Wed. night and then several times over the weekend. Pre-drafting - I’m getting a much more confident “feel” for drafting fiber out. I expect that to improve the more I do it; it’s kinesthetic knowledge stored in the hands that grows with practice. And I got better at giving the yarn to the wheel.

Still, unless I pre-drafted the fiber I couldn’t keep up and would end with a thick snarl or worse, I’d let the twist get into the fiber supply and whole lengths would be twisted and undraftable... What I spun last night was fairly uniform in spots and over-spun in others – and the strand is still a lot thicker in places than it could be. That’s probably just fear of getting it too thin, and I’ll work on getting it a bit thinner tonight in my spinning session.

I just have to remember, “This is not perfection, it’s my first attempt. It’s practice yarn! It’s expected to come out a bit wonky and non-uniform, and it’ll be that way for awhile! Spinners are made, over time and practice.”

Treadling without shoes is far better, I’m not sure why I didn’t take my shoes off at the fiber workshop the first night. When I stop treadling, I used my hand to stop the bobbin from spinning backward or just hold the yarn end until it’s flush with the orifice – this is probably wrong but it stops the bobbing from wanting to go backward. I suspect it wants to do that because I’m not letting the yarn wind on the way it should and I’m over-twisting it, but I can see improvement. BTW Speaking to the wheel, telling it to stop, even in a very firm rational voice, did no good!

I have to laugh, getting the drop spindle to put enough twist in the fiber is such a struggle (for me) and having the wheel makes it way too easy to put too much in!

Did a little surfing to see if I could find a vendor who would be at Stitches East in Hartford or the NE Fiber show the following weekend, who could bring a Lendrum Original DT that I could buy – and wonders upon wonders, I found one, A Touch of Twist, in Pattersonville NJ –they will be at the NE Fiber show in W Springfield the weekend of November 6- 7. Good enough reason to go! They have 5 of them, and promised to bring me one on Saturday. Booth 308. Fingers crossed they’ll have it there for me. I want the standard setup plus the fast flyer and Jumbo plying head that come with the “complete” setup. May as well, I have the money now and likely won’t have more until next year.

Oct 21, 2010


Attended my first of four spinning classes last Tuesday night. It includes rental of a wheel, so I have a spinning wheel at home now, and tonight I spun for about 40 minutes. I think I'm beginning to "get" it.
Have been researching wheels and decided the one I like the best is the Lendrum double treadle folding wheel, I think it's called Original Lendrum DT. I may have a lead on a new Jersey shop, A Touch of Twist, that has some in stock and will be at the New England Fiber show at the Big E in W Springfield the weekend of Nov 6-7th. Worth for me to go if I can get one of these wheels.
My new wooly life begins. Wooly Bully.

Oct 15, 2010


I'm not very fast at much of anything, other than arguing and coming to the defense of Obama, but I'm loving the knitting community and wishing I had more time to participate, be funny, be sheepy, share my passion. Esp this blog. I keep thinking I'll take the time to get it together, design it a bit, link to other blogs I like, link in some pics... But at the moment, Ravelry is all I can manage.

Best news, refinanced my home, got a GREAT rate and a bit of cash back, which I'm using to take spinning lessons (YAY) and buy a spinning wheel. Now I can retire in a few years and still pay the mtge. Having a roof over one's head in Maine is such a good thing!

On the prudent side, I'm also planning to change out the heating elements downstairs in my house to stay warmer more cheaply during these Maine winters. While I'm spinning...

Haven't turned on the heat yet tho!! TG for knitted things!

I've noticed very little coordination of colors in the things I've been knitting for myself! Grey hat, green gloves, purple mittens... on the one hand I dislike matchy matchy but on the other I look a little strange. Morphing into the fuzzy creature I am.

It's raining like blazes, my new homespun hat got wet this AM and now I can pick it up and smell it once and while for the thrill of it all. Love that sheepy smell!!

Oh, and podcasts! I longed to be the master of my old IPod mini and I am, or at least I'm getting there. I've been listening to several and when I learn how to do it I'll give them a link in here.