Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lightbulb moment.

As I've mentioned before, my darling hubby bought me a spinning wheel for Christmas, knowing that I wanted to learn, but without me asking for (or even hinting at) one. And because I had guessed what it was, he decided to give it to me early (I should mention that he was not very impressed that I guessed, but it was his own damn fault... he gave away the size and it was the only thing I could think of that would be bigger than a bread box).

I immediately ran out to buy some roving and attempted to learn to spin, on my own with a book, as I've learned so many other things (knitting included)...... The Wheel defeated me, completely blew the air right out of my tires...... First of all, it took me hours and hours to figure out that you don't use a double drive and a scotch brake at the same time, but by the time I had figured it out, I had a big knotted mess of crap that used to look like some lovely roving from Louet, called Northern Lights. Secondly, I couldn't seem to draft, the roving would resist and then break. I watched videos, I read about drafting, but I still could NOT get it to work for me. I decided, at that point, that perhaps I needed lessons this time, but that they would have to wait until after Christmas (Christmas knitting and all that). While I was on Vancouver Island over Christmas and visited The Loom in Duncan, I picked up a book (or two) on spinning and a Drop Spindle from Make One when I returned home and tried again. I had a bit more success with the drop spindle, but something still wasn't right (I was still struggling with drafting) and although I didn't expect it to look as easy as the multitude of videos that I had watched on YouTube, I did expect it to be *slightly* easier......

Here is my first attempt with the drop spindle.

Today, when I was browsing one of my books on spinning, I found a neat little notation..... (I'm going to paraphrase here).... Some Commercial Roving drafts easier from one end than the other, so if you are finding drafting difficult, try the other end...... Voila! My lightbulb moment!!! I pulled out my spinning wheel, flipped over the roving and BAM! the magic began...... My first single is far from perfect, I'm pretty sure it's overspun and the diameter changes dramatically from a very fine cobweb, to almost a fingering weight in some places, but it's mine.... and it was (all things being relative) simple. Far, far simpler than my earlier attempts would have me believe..... I plan to spin another single in the next couple of days and then I'll try to ply it and see if that helps with the overspinning a bit (I've read that plying can help?).

My first single.... about half done, it even looks a bit like real yarn!

Damn, I love figuring stuff out on my own......


  1. Good for you for still having that "lightbulb" in working order!!! I'm glad you've figured it all out and hopefully you'll be spinning freely and knitting the wonders of your spinning works in no time flat!!

  2. you're off to the races! congratulations on sticking it out and finding something that works for you. before you know it you'll have spinner's limp... ;)