Baby’s First Yarn + TNNA

 Well, I took my first spinning class Saturday and produced my very first little, clumsy skeins of yarn. I’m just dreadful at it, but it’s intoxicating. It was all I could do not to buy a wheel on the spot. I have to be honest and sort of vain and say that I’m kind of used to being good at things right from the beginning. Spinning is not one of those things.

I’ve seen all my friends’ beautiful first skeins, and they all look way better than mine. Worlds better. Mine is awful. But I love it. It represents a vast and shining room for improvement that I’m just aching to fill.

Okay, apologies aside, here’s my first yarn:

Actually, that was my first yarn of any length. I also tried a couple of times before this, producing a few feet of crazy corkscrewed odds and ends:

The colored stuff was made on a high-whorl spindle, spun with raw locks that were spread out with the fingers (I think that has a name, but I don’t know it). The other two were done on the Ashford Traveler that wasn’t adjusted, so it just kept–oh, what’s it called? adding twist?–spinning and spinning the yarn, but not actually taking it up onto the bobbin. I wouldn’t actually buy the wheel I used, because it’s orifice (hee hee) was too small & so were the bobbins. I generally go in for worsted or thicker yarn. I pretty much filled up the spool making that ugly 2-ply and it was still under 20 yards, so that’s clearly not the wheel for me. Plus it kept getting stuck in the hole. I’m guessing I’ll want a Louet, since I like both the modern lines (flat plywood beats captain’s wheel in my book) and the big spools. But are the less stable than the 3-legged kind?

Some other stuff we did in class:

We carded raw fiber to make a rolag. I put too many locks on my brushy thing and ended up with the thing on top. The little blub on the bottom is my try at roving. That time I didn’t put enough fiber on the carders (that’s the name, right?). But everyone else was twice as fast and I felt pressured to hurry up. As you can see, I’m just as useless at preparing fiber as I am at spinning it! Hurrah! I can’t wait to try again! I need to buy some carders. I need to play with some of that alpaca fiber and see what’s what with it.

I got to take some leftover fiber home with me, some Bonkers roving that I wasn’t confident enough to waste, and a little brown & white wool roving, the same I used in that awkward but happy-making 2-ply.

And then with the very dregs of my remaining Yarn Barn store credit, I bought 2# of roving, a pound each of merino and a somewhat coarser wool. Here are the giant balls of it! They’re basketball-sized!

I want to see if I can make more than a foot at a time on a drop spindle, so I’m going to dig out the spindle kit I bought months ago and never used, and try to spin me up a little yarn tonight, in breaks from the endless crocheting I’m finishing up.

Crocheting a giant wool thing when it’s hot and muggy is sucky. I’m glad it won’t be much longer, and also that crocheting goes so much faster than knitting. If I had to knit the rest of this thing, I’d be horsefucked. And really sad.

I’m off to watch my spinning video. TNNA was really fun, once I got into the swing. Before that it was totally overwhelming and sort of half boring, half intimidating. Plus, there was a ton of stuff that doesn’t interest me, like needlepoint canvas. I love needlepoint, but I’m a custom girl, so the miles of canvas leave me cold. I got to meet all the charming Potter girls, plus lots of designers I really admire.

Getting there sucked it, as we got caught in an impossible storm in Missouri. Truly, I could not see more than a foot past the windshield. The brake lights of the car in front were impossible-to-gauge blurs. Everyone was going 20 along I-70. It was horrible, just wave after wave of sickening we’re-about-to-die adrenaline and nowhere to exit or pull over. More on TNNA later.

 

  • Kelly Sue says:

    Dude, the storm was so bad here on Saturday night that we were without electricity for five hours.

    I can’t wait to see your crocheting!

  • Nadia says:

    I’m a newbie spinner and I’m totally addicted too!

    I love your yarn pictures. They look like my weird yarn. It’s nice to see some yarn on the internet that actually looks like mine; all the expert spinners out there can be so intimidating sometimes.

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