Thursday, May 17, 2007

Am I A Spinner Yet?

I think I found a cure for my yarn stash enhancing addiction, but I'm afraid that it's another addiction. SPINNING! To my surprise I'm no longer interested in buying yarn, but roving! My yarn stash is very satisfying at the moment. I can knit whatever I want and find some yarn for it. I'm not sure if there's a difference -buying yarn - buying roving - but that doesn't matter.

I still think learning to spin was the logical step taken, after one knits as intensely as I do. You just feel like a machine knitting one piece after another, and I'm not talking about sock knitting here. By the way, it's a great feeling to resist the URGE, and the second go at my shawl turns out great (so far). I'm very happy that I decided to rip out the first try. I'm happily knitting away on the ever increasing stitch amount of the shawl.

I've been at Gemini Fibres Mt. Albert, to look at some spinning wheels. Well I was a little disappointed, because they had only three wheels at the store, and none of them was what I wanted. The Lady was very helpful and I asked a lot of questions. They are mainly an online store. We drove by at first, because the "store" is behind the house, in a little old barn building. It's actually 2 rooms, one's the office, the other is packed with fiber goodies. They have quite a large book selection, of all things fiber.

I've read an article in the Spring 2007 Spin-Off magazine about Tom Forrester, a wood working man, and his spindles. He's from Mt. Albert as well, that's why Gemini Fibers have so many of his spindles I guess. The above is one of them. Naturally I wanted one. They have so many beautiful ones, it's hard to choose. I held them in my hand, and gave this one a try. It was nice working with it. I'm no expert by a long shot, but I liked the look and how it felt. So home it went with me, as well as a pound of this light Coopworth roving from New Zealand. I didn't look further for roving from Ontario sheep, which I initially was looking for, maybe the next time. There will be a next time, since I've ordered a spinning wheel, and I'll have to pick it up! Yeah, yeah, shake your heads. That's me. Must have a new toy, for my new addiction!
Don't get me wrong, knitting is still my first love, but spinning is soooooooo relaxing! I feel connected to all the spinners in the world, from the ancient ones until today! It somehow satisfyes the need to create and plan something from the beginning. I like to practise early in the morning, when nobody is up yet, but me and Sam.

Anyway, look what the mailman pushed into the mailbox! We almost didn't get it out!

It's roving (sigh, of course). 4 lbs of dark BFL from Cooper Moose . I like the natural color of roving very much. No matter what color it is. Although, Biko is not impressed. She's not even smelling the bag full of sheepy goodness. Sam on the other hand, is sucking it in and can't get enough of it.

Right on time, Kirsten and Teresa brought Spun Stitches KAL into life and I've signed up for it. They are nice and welcome beginning spinner as well. It's a neat idea, and since that's the idea of spinning anyway, why not do it in a group? What's the idea you ask? Well we are supposed to spin some yarn and knit it into a shawl, as far as I understand it. It will be a while.

Here you see a full spindle worth of Amy's superwash merino. (I'm tired of linking, google her; Spunky Eclectic). I just picked the roving out of the sample bag, not knowing what it is. I felt the difference to the first sample right away. Boy, this was like spinning butter! Not especially first choice for a beginner! It broke once, I dropped the spindle twice, and cursed three times! Na, it was hard, but I did it. Very uneven, of course, thick and thin places, I'm learning here! Well, the spindle got full. Now what to do with it? Thinking, thinking, of course! Haven't I read in my brand new Spinning book, that one must ply? I don't have another spun yarn, ready for plying, finger itching, I thought some more. Well, Hannah dyed the below yarn some time ago, you might remember. She gave me the skein for mother's day, since I liked it so much. Why not use this to ply my brand new spun single yarn?

Oh - my - god! Plying is so much fun!!! David actually asked "Having fun there?", as he came into the room. I must have had a silly smile on my face, because I enjoyed it tremendously. Of course, the fun was over as I neared the end of the whole experience. The last couple of yards where a tangled mess, no matter! Learning! Learning! I was just too eager to try, so I lost a couple of yards! Who cares? We are in experimental stage here!

Well, that's my little skein # 2 (I promise I stop numbering them as there will be more), but for now - happy dance! Bathed and dried in the wind.

This time I've got 32 yds . It buffed up quite a bit after washing and drying. The plying untwisted the thick parts a lot. While plying it looked better. Oh well.

This Granny Smith green stuff is Corriedale. I think it's more even spun than all the others before. It's another 1 1/7 oz sample from the sample bag.

Well now, isn't that nice. I've lost my internet connection, without being able to save this post. I hope it will work soon, without having to shut off the computer. I'll just leave this window open and have some breakfast. - Half an hour later : this time I got lucky!


Anonymous said...

Hallo, Monika,

Du scheinst ja ein richtiges Naturtalent zu sein - so tolle Ergebnisse?!

Ich hab mich vom Spinnen bisher erfolgreich ferngehalten - ich brauche außer meiner Sockenwollsucht momentan nicht noch eine ;-) Wir haben einfach zu wenig Platz...

Aber ich freu mich, wenn ich hier von Deinen Fortschritten lesen kann!

Viele liebe Grüße

Larry said...

Wow! When you get bitten by a new hobby you really get it bad! It's so exciting to read how excited you are. Spinning just wasn't the thing for me. I gave it a couple of years but finally accepted that I'd rather be knitting (and shopping). Glad to see you having such a good time.

Teresa said...

Wow, that stuff looks great. (Much better than mine when I started.) I love the green apple color, that would be awesome plied with a bright blue.
5lbs!! Holy cow! LOL, at least your dog gives it an approving sniff, now, if you had a cat..that's a whole different story. (Believe me there's a reason I keep it all in boxes.:D)

The merino looks great plied! Chunky socks or a hat made out of that yarn would be great.

Hannah said...

Welcome, spinster! I remember when I first started - I order 5lbs also of various fibers (and I have cats - they do more than sniff) ;-) Your stuff is looking great! Keep it up - although it sounds like there is nothing now that will stop you...
Happy Friday! :-)

Tracy Purtscher said...

Loving every single bit of all of it!! So nice to get up in morning and read your joy. :-)

sgeddes said...

Looks like this is coming aklong well. the green yarn does look much more even than the pick. You'll be a pro before you know it!

Anonymous said...

It all looks great! What kind of wheel did you order? I'm curious, you know!

I tagged you for the Seven Things meme that's going around, I hope you play!


Anonymous said...

Oh - this is are on the path getting off!
4 lbs???? What will that be for?? A VERY big heavy sweater?
I love the green apple roving.

monica said...

I would really like to learn to spin. I think my husband would go nuts though if I started bringing even more fiber into the house.

Anonymous said...

Why does this post make me want popsicles?

Cloudberry said...

I'd love to learn to spin too. Lovely blanket you've made. I've tagged you :) so have a look in my blog.

hakucho said...

I think you need your very own sheep and a nice cute little angora bunny :)

happy spinning:)

P.S. The only drawback is that Sam and Biko will get jealous :(

Anonymous said...

You sound so very happy with your new hobby/addiction. I'll have fun watching you spin.

Anonymous said...

You're really inspiring when it comes to spinning - my gosh, one day I *will* come up with the courage to try it too!
Love the pics of Sam inspecting the roving! ;)

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are well on your way to being a great spinner!!

Abigale said...

Wow - you've been busy! The Forrester spindle looks wonderful! I don't have one of his yet - but maybe one of these days - the main thing to look for in spindles is that they spin evenly - looks like you made a good choice. 5 pounds of BFL!! Wow! One of my very favorite fibers to spin... Love it - you will too. And you have to tell - what kind of wheel did you end up with????

PS - I told you there would be dropping and swearing - I think I had much more of that than you have so far ;-)

Great job - beautiful yarn!

Strickfimmel said...

Mann, bist Du fleißig. Du machst ja Riesenfortschritte, wenn man bedenkt, dass Du erst kürzlich mit dem spinnen angefangen hast. Die Hauptsache ist, dass es Dir Spaß macht. Freu mich schon die nächsten Fotos.

Kris B said...

Awesome spinning! It all looks so lovely. That's funny that Biko has no interest in it. My dog loves my roving. I can't keep his nose off of it. I can't wait to see the new wheel.

Violiknit said...

Beautiful roving (I have a Forrester spindle too...they are so gorgeous, I want more...)!!! What are you going to knit up with your newly spun yarn?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, you're a spinner, girlfriend! Those yarns all look great! I love the Granny Apple one. I love Sam and Biko's reactions to the roving too. Not at all alike in a lot of ways, no?

Your mosaic blanket came out great!

eyeleen said...

I'm so glad you're enjoy all the fibery goodness! I just love the green and purples.

The dogs are so cute, I love seeing them.