Thursday, May 10, 2007


A few weeks ago I ordered some roving at Amy's online store Spunky Eclectic. The above was custom dyed, 4 ounces of 100% hand painted BFL color Goldenrod, and 4 ounces of !00% hand painted wool Corriedale in the color Peacock. As I started researching into spinning, Corriedale and Blue Face Leicester were recommended fibers for beginners. As of right now, it's still in the bag, and I look at it every day with a sigh, and pat it, that's all. I'll wait 'til I'm a real spinner to spin yarn with it.

Now, it's going to take awhile until you hear me talk the talk of spinners. It's such a vast area to learn. I'm slowly getting there. I've ordered "The Joy of Handspinning" CD Basics & Techniques for beginners, but I'm very disappointed with it. You basically get what you can find on their website nothing more.

I've also ordered back issues of the Spin-Off magazines, 22 of them. While they are pretty to look at, going through them, as a total beginner, it gives you SOME idea, but there are questions one can only get answered face to face with a real spinner. So I guess I'll have to find me one of those! ;o)

I also ordered this sample package. I'll quickly list what's fibers are in there: Wool Blend, Superwash Merino, Corriedale, Merino, BFL and Superwash Merino. Aren't the colores just lovely? And there was the top whirl drop spindle "Little Si". So far I've dropped it twice, to be exact it flew out of my hands so fast, I couldn't even say "bah". ;o) That's alright, hence it's name I guess.

Fiber, fiber, beautiful fiber. I pat it a lot, but not too much ...

I've been looking at it for weeks now. So far I've tried spinning twice.

Below you see my first spun yarn. I didn't know what I was doing, but still I learned A LOT! First and foremost, roving disappears with lightening speed. You don't get a lot of yardage if you use too much of it. This is a write off, but still pretty to look at. At first it was very thick, but towards the end the yarn got thinner. It had too much twist as well. Learning here!

The yarn below, I've spun yesterday morning. It's more even, and I had a better feeling for it. Maybe because I've read a lot between the two tries. Still, the yarn is way to thick for my taste. I want to be able to make thin yarn, I hate the slubby, thick novelty yarns. I don't like the color in the below picture either, but it's still just for learning. I don't think there will be enough for anything yet.

Well, if I could I would spend half the day spinning, even though I'm quite tense about it. I have to spin the spindle, and park it between my knees. No way can I do it standing up yet. Still, it's a goal. I'm not sure however whether you can spin enough yarn with a drop spindle for any real project or not. But what do I know? One other thing, I really need to find me an affordable roving source, so I can practice some more, without feeling bad about messing up the beautiful fiber.

I leave you with this picture. It was so hot the day before yesterday (28 Celsius). I saw this Robin sunbathing in one of our fir trees. He's kept his bill open, tongue sticking out, and looked like a stuffed animal. I was glad I caught him on camera.

One more thing: I didn't want to make a separate post for these socks. They are done and have been worn already. Very cool and nice feel on the feet.

yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton Fondo 100g, 45% cotton, 42% wool, 13% Polyamide, machine washable.

needles: leg - 2.5mm DP heel and foot to toe: 2.25mm

Stitch pattern: Chevron and Feather from 365 Knitting Stitches a year calendar, August 31

cast on: 65 for leg, decreased to 60 sts for foot

destination: my feet

There's another picture in my Finished Projects 2007 flickr file, there you can see the leg part better.

So, that will be all.


Anonymous said...

While the second attempt looks much better you get high marks regardless for just spinning, period. I have the makings for spinning but have not dared to try it yet. I am looking for the right (best) tutorial on it, I guess. Love the socks! and do birds get hot? maybe the robin is hot and trying to cool off--I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I went through a "learn to spin" thing about 2 years ago - bought spindle, roving, read every book - went to every website - bought all the back issues of Spin-Off (you remind me of me!) and I spun some yarn, but realized how much time this new obsession was going to take and I knew I was going to want a wheel....and stopped - completely stopped. I'm going to save it and start again when the kids are older...I can tell it is going to be a new addiction and I can't add any more of these fibery things into my life right now - BUT I will be watching YOU!!!

sgeddes said...

I'm excited to watch you learn to spin from the begining. You'll have to start picking out a wheel soon. I have a feeling that is inevitable!

I love looking at all the colorful roving and fibers that are avaialble.

Frieda said...

You go for it . I bought a drop spindle last year while in New Brunswick , but haven't found the right moment yet to learn this skill . I did buy Priscilla Gibson Roberts book "Spinning in the Old Way. Read it cover to cover and found it to be extremely helpful . Now just have to get it out and practise. Beautiful photo of the robin . We're getting the same weather here . If this keeps up we'll be swimming soon.

Hannah said...

Way to go! The second attempt looks really good, you definitely have the right idea. The person who taught me to spin said that it takes about 10 to 12 hrs (not all at once, mind you) to get the hang of it, and to begin creating the even, fine spinning you want. Not to worry - you are well on your way. Like SGeddes said - this is inevitable. ;-) BTW - for a first wheel I would reccomend a Lendrum, double treadle.

Tracy Purtscher said...


The Force is strong...

Head is spinning....


Anonymous said...

The socks are cute!

The yarn looks good to me, but you know what will probably help the most? Practice. If anyone can do it, it'd be you, and it was done for eons, so it's just a matter of time before you're spinning exactly the kind of yarn you love to knit with.

N. Maria said...

The rovings look like something I would want to jump into! They are all so colorful.
I used to spin thick in the beginning, too. Be patient with yourself, it'll come. :)
As fantastic as you knit, you'll be able to spin.

Anonymous said...

All that fiber looks delectable. You must be having a lot of fun with it.

Anonymous said...

Awww - good luck with spinning! This is something I've wanted to tackle for so long but just didn't dare yet - I'll certainly follow your learning progress here! The roving looks so fantastic in these colors!
And I love your socks as always - beautiful!

hakucho said...

Good luck with your spinning...guess there is a lot to learn.

happy spinning :)

KnitPastis said...

I just wanted to pop in and say how much I love your blog! It's so wonderful to see all the socks you knitted.
My husband and I also love your pool! We want one so much. Maybe one of these days before we get too old.LOL

Life's a Stitch said...

Thank you for the colour feast. Tempts me to spin,

Kris B said...

Your spinning looks awesome! My story of learning to spin is very similar to yours. I learned on a spindle to. I did see other people doing it at a festival I went to but did not have anybody close to me to help me out. I would just practice as often as I could, sometimes for just 20 minutes or so. I started with the park and spin method to. I have heard of people that have spun enough on spindles to make projects, but I'm not one of them. I got a wheel. You have probably already seen this web page but if not it has some good information on it. It's the I can spin web page. They also have a yahoogroup you can join. Another good resource for spinning, not just using a spindle can be found here

I got some fiber at the MSWF this year from a place called Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. I thought their prices were pretty good. They have a web page here I got a lb of their medium wool top for $10.95. I have not spun it yet but it looks like it will spin nicely. It is just white but you can dye it. Another place I've gotten wool from that is less expensive is little barn Have fun.

Mia said...

I am sorry to hear about the DVD. I was thinking of ordering when they reopened. I am going to play with my spindles tonight. I was told to practice practice practice. And your first attempts look much better than my first attempts.