Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Spin a Yarn.

A number of years ago, I treated myself to a drop spindle, some wool and a spinning lesson. For all sorts of reasons (one major one being a back injury that the posture I assumed while spinning was aggravating), I stopped. Resolved this year to get back into 'the spin of things' so to speak.

Gorged myself on How To videos and actually sat down to read the two manuals I had on the subject. Ended up with this last night:

First Attempt

The twist is a lot looser and the resulting product is certainly bulkier than I'd like, but it's a start. I've got just short of 10 yards of it.

New Yarn

This is the second batch that I'm working on - still a lot of variation in thickness and still way bulkier than I'd like, but again, it's a start. Here, I started loosening up a bit. Stopped trying to control the twist and actually let myself feel the transformation of Potential to Kinetic up the strand to the fleece. Got a huge blister on the thumb doing this, but was worth it.

The most difficult part of things has been "drafting," or regulating the flow of fleece into the spin. This is going to take a lot of work. For the moment, I'm doing what's called "park and draft," where I spin the spindle, then stop it to conserve the energy until I need it. Then I move the spin up the thread as I need it. Have also been "pre drafting" or separating chunks of fiber into a more manageable thickness before spinning and wrapping it around my arm so that I don't have to worry about doing all this one-handed. It's clumsy and slow, but has been good for isolating the different movements my body needs to learn. Has also been cutting down on entanglements and my getting rapped by the spindle when I lose control of it.

Like with translating, Hanon and stomach crunches, am going to give myself a few minutes a day to build up strength. May not see the results for a bit, but then again, small bits do add up. Perhaps after a bit, as well, I'll be ruing not having the chunks and variations in my fine stuff, as a fine-spinning new friend tells me may happen.


Jo said...

Let me know if you are interested.

We've gone, I love sheep.

Be said...

Used to work around there. It's a beautiful site (would coerce coworkers with beer and sushi to take me walking on the grounds back when I was younger and had more energy.)