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.

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