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Brewer Burns

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

20 wpi, 94 yards

My latest ball of handspun (from the Montadale/dog hair batt) is approximately 94 yards and 20 wraps per inch. It’s beautiful and I love it.

I am so incredibly happy that I bought a new spindle. There was no way that I was going to spin with any regularity using my old spindle. I found it uninspiring and frustrating. When I was still wrestling with my old spindle I thought that people who talked about spinning being relaxing were clearly insane. The only thing that I found relaxing about spinning was when I would quit in frustration and shove the spindle and roving into a box which I would then stuff into the far reaches of my closet. Oh, I might have waxed poetic a time or two about the beauty of the spinning spindle or the comfort of drafting the fibers between my own two hands. I even intimated once or twice to Stephen that I was “getting the hang of it” but these were usually at times when it had been a few months since I had pulled the spindle out to give a whirl. A long enough time that my memory of the last experience was foggy at best and painted by the passage of time with rosy hues. In reality, I was discouraged.

Why was I discouraged? Well, lots of reasons. At first I had a hard time figuring out exactly what I was meant to do with the spindle and the roving. So I read up on spinning some more and found some information about “preparing” commercially prepared fibers. In other words, I learned that having a bag full of perfectly even, smooth fibers all laying parallel to one another was not necessarily the easiest thing to spin. So I started experimenting with “teasing” the fibers. This helped some. I was starting to spin smaller weight yarn. That was good.

Of course, the problem with spinning finer singles is that it increases the possibility that your yarn will break and illustrate why it’s called a “drop” spindle. Ugh. The spinning, the breaking, the crappy, slubby joins. All of it combined to kill my enthusiasm for spinning. Back into the box it went. Until two weeks ago. Two weeks ago I was in Holy Threads (a local yarn shop) looking for the perfect yarn to make Stephen’s Latvian mittens with. After I had found the yarn I spied a spindle and some sample fiber on a table. Curious to see how this spindle might work (and, it had been awhile since I had shoved the spindle into the box and the box into the closet, so I was feeling hopeful once again) I picked it up and gave it a twirl. I played with drafting the fibers. And it WORKED! It worked in a way that my spindle and roving had never worked at home. This spindle was smaller, lighter, and had a top whorl instead of a bottom whorl. It was beautiful. I was instantly in love with it and I had to have it. Regretfully though, I left it there on the table but not without vowing that it would be mine.

And so it was. And now I’m spinning again. My yarn is not perfect. It is not perfectly even nor is it slub free. But it is lovely and I am inspired, both by the yarn I am making, and the spindle with which I’m spinning it.


At 4:34 PM, Blogger Moni said...

I had exactly the same experience with spinning. I learned how to do it a couple of years ago but was very frustrated by it. I took a class at HOly Threads and bought the same spindle that you have and now I am really enjoying it. The spindle must make all the difference.


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