Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baby Bird Is The Magic Word

I'm having a fantastic morning. I slept in until nearly nine, then read one of my favorite books from childhood while I had cookies and coffee for breakfast. When Carly got up, she put on a CD of Tchaikovsky and sat next to me and painted while I made....
...drumroll please....


I'm SO so excited. It's the best feeling in the world. The power of controlling the laws of physics is intoxicating, like I just invented fire. I feel like I should try controlling a spoon with my mind or something. It's still not anywhere near perfect, of course, but maybe passable. Like I may be able to actually knit something with it. 

Not that I really have an interest in knitting with my handspun yet. Oh my gosh, I just said my handspun! Eek! I really just like the way it looks all wound up in a pile. Maybe I'll just make a whole collection and display them on the wall or something. OR I was thinking of using a bit in a fiber journal. Do you ever make something, a craft project or whatever, and then years later you can still remember what CD you were listening to or what the day was like when you were making it? I love that. I was thinking my journal could include a tiny little skein of the handspun and then a little knit swatch to match, and in that entry I could record what the fiber was, where it came from, which spindle I used, and any notes to remind myself later of what it was like to work with that kind of fiber, or any tips I learned that I could use again. Also I could include a more literal journal entry, with what I was doing that day or something funny Carly said. Maybe I'll actually get my photos printed for once and stick those in, too.
I'm pretty excited about this idea. I used to keep a real journal years ago, but I tend to get a little carried away with, you know, feelings and awful stuff like that. This could be lighter, just a record of the happenings of life and an inspiration to keep spinning. Whenever Carly does or says something adorable, I always wish I had written it down because I forget so quickly. And I know it's cliche, but she's growing up so fast! It makes me so sad that I won't remember any of these things in a week, let alone years later when she's gone.

Ok wow get a grip lol.
So anyway, this the the first actual real yarn that I've been able to make on a spindle. The first that actually even remotely resembles real yarn, anyway. It was so weird, because I just couldn't get the hang of it, and everyone else made it look so easy. Then Mom taught me how to spin on a spinning wheel, and the whole concept just sort of clicked. I enjoyed using the wheel so much that I thought I'd never even want to make another attempt with a spindle again, but the hundreds of beautiful spindles for sale at Stringtopia last month made me want to give it another whirl. Or whorl. Get it, whorl? Like on a spinning wheel?

So here's my first real yearn from the spinning wheel. This is what it looked like pre-spinning and as a spun single:

And here's what two bobbins plied together looks like:

But it's still pretty scary when you break it down:

I'm pretty sure all those crappy parts can be attributed to the times when I had to start and stop. Like if I get too thin and have a break, or if I have to put it away for awhile or whatever. When I join or start again, it takes a few minutes to get the hang of it, know what I mean? So every so many yards I have a blob of crap. And there's the issue with the consistent thickness. The thing that I had to remember was: Baby bird. I was gripping wads of fiber so tightly that the strands wouldn't come out, so eventually I'd have to feed in a sweaty clump or nothing would happen.
Baby bird. 
Cradle the wool like I'm holding a baby bird. Don't be scared that the whole darn thing will get sucked up into the wheel. Not that it hasn't happened to me a couple times, but I've finally learned to feel the balance. Once I understood that, spinning on a drop spindle finally made sense. *shrug*
Now I'm focusing on getting a consistent thickness. And recognizing how thin I can get with a certain weight of spindle. Using llama has helped immensely. The strands are so short that they just come apart like a wispy cloud. I'm almost worried that I'll never want to use anything but llama again!

This came from a local llama, btw. Check out Martha's shop if you want to try it.
I can't wait to finish this so I can see how it looks plied! Wait I don't even know how to ply from a spindle.

So many things to learn! I'm looking forward to being able to spin so proficiently that I can take my spindle with me everywhere, and turn every spare moment into an opportunity for productivity. I love that. Already I don't want to put it down once I get started!
I'm curious to know how many of my readers are spinners, or if you are a knitter and are interested in trying it, or if you have no idea what I'm talking about but would like to learn more. Let me know!



andrea creates said...

i think it looks great-personally I love the texture the unevenness creates-
have a super sunday~

KraftyKathy said...

Hey Missy, your spindle spinning looks a heck of a lot better than mine.

Amanda (loves Kevin) said...

Woman, you're blowing my mind. I feel like suddenly everyone I follow online has been bitten by the spinning bug! I want to learn tooooo!