Monday, March 26, 2007


All right, all right. I admit, the sweater knit from cat fur got me all fascinated. NO, I am not pinning my long-haired baby to the floor and shearing him, you can relax.

"Don't you EVEN THINK about it, lady!!!"

But, it put a bug in my brain nonetheless and I started looking up resources about handspinning my own yarn. I started out by looking at The Joy of Handspinning, where you can see mini-videos that demonstrate how to use a drop spindle or spinning wheel, as well as pages upon pages of where you can get fibers, wheels, spindles, and even shop at an online store.

Eventually I stumbled upon a site for a local handspinning supply shop called Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins over in Boulder. I dialed them up - do you have drop spindles? Why yes we do, the nice lady said, and our spinning instructor will be in the next day if you're interested!

I wasn't able to get there in time for the instructor. But, I was still able to talk to a couple of really nice ladies who shop there regularly, one of whom told me more about drop spindles than I could have imagined. She helped me pick out a good one, a gorgeous 3" whorl Schacht Hi-Lo Spindle that she said is fine for beginners.

From there I picked out several ounces of a natural Corridale wool and a few ounces of Corridale in a pretty lighter colonial blue to spin - I'd read wool is the easiest to start with, plus it appears to be some of the least expensive fiber. To be honest the cost of buying your own wool to spin is I think comparable if not even a little less than buying wool yarn.

I started spinning Saturday night (why does that sound like the beginning of a rock and roll song?). While I think I'm still doing it kind of tight and I had a couple of fits and starts, this was my first effort:
This is where I ended yesterday after continuing it: I am learning how to get a feel for the fibers and just what thickness gives me certain widths. Again I'm not sure if I'm doing it too tight, it wants to twist around itself at points and I'm worried that means it is. I sure hope that doesn't mean I'm going to have to undo it and start over.

After watching me quietly the past couple of days, my husband wondered aloud where we might be able to scam a spinning wheel. He knows I plan to use the yarn to make a surprise for him, perhaps he's trying to hurry me up :-)

But I told him that is QUITE the pricey investment - you're looking easily at $400 to start in some cases and it only goes up from there. Maybe if I got my business started again and was whipping out items left and right it might be something that paid for itself, but as it is I don't think I'd ever get there.

For now I'm having fun learning for now with the spindle. Not to mention it's proving a fantastic stress reliever, even when I huff and grunt because parts of the yarn unravel or break and I have to start over.

But my troubles sure do seem to disappear when I sit down with that spindle. Whodathunkit??

No comments: