Monday, 10. November 2008
Since the last time I picked up a spindle kit in May 2008, I must admit, I haven’t attempted spinning since. I can say that I’ve been busy with other knitting projects, but deep down, there is only one reason: the home-made yarn was lumpy, frumpy, and down right ugly.
Fast foward to the Fiber Festival in Torrance last Sunday, and all of a sudden, I was swayed once again. This time around, I picked up a new spindle from the Custom Handweaving booth, and was determined to give spinning another go.
Enter Exhibit A – the bird’s nest.
The darn bird’s nest is so ugly that I don’t even want to show it “big”. Frustrated by the fruits of my labor, I started reading up on every single handspindling post on Ravelry. It seems that the general consensus is to keep at it, until one day, lightning strikes you up side the head and you’ll just “get it”. Really? Well I must be horribly dense because you know what? I’m not getting it.
Fortunately, the advantage of reading Ravelry forums is that people keep posting beautiful pictures of their spindle collections (I’ll explain how this is a fortunate turn of events in the next few sentences). And in particular, the awesomeness of Golding spindles
. So I called my friend Bobby
, who unfortunately has moved away from California to DC, telling him that I would like to collect the winnings of our bet. You see, back in September when we attended the Beck concert at Hollywood Bowl, he and I had a little bet on whether or not Beck would perform “Debra”. He was adamant that he would, and I said no. We agreed that the wager would be around $70 — the price of a new pair of earbuds from Mac. Suffice to say that I won, and I want a new Golding spindle.
Enter Exhibit B – Golding Le Fleur, all 0.75 oz of magic.
Within 30 minutes of its arrival since Friday, I was spinning thin strands of yarn. Hello? Thin, improved-uniformity strands of yarn. Then I realized in that very moment that I, self-proclaimed enemy of spindling, has “gotten it”. 2 days later, my little Golding is full. My friends, it’s all in the spindle. Quality tools make for quality spinning. I believe that firmly, and it is with this belief that I will justify all future purchases of additional Golding spindles. And to prove that I really really got it, I went back to the other spindle and tried it with a different fiber.
Enter Exhibit C – mystery spindle from Custom Handweaving, much much heavier spindle.
By golly, spindling is FUN! Unforunately, I did find that the 2 fibers that I have at home (both corriedale — cheaply bought from etsy) are somewhat felted in various spots, making the drafting and spinning process somewhat less pleasurable than it could be. My ultimate goal is to advance to spinning enough merino for a pair of socks. Of course, this means that I will need to learn how to ply… but we’ll talk about that much later because I haven’t the slightest clue what the difference is between Navajo plying and just normal 2-ply.
And lest you think that I have gone over to the dark side and abandoned knitting, you are sorely mistaken. But we’ll save that for another day, because it’s so very close to being a FO.
Wednesday, 21. May 2008
Usually, the moment I start knitting a garment, I can pretty much plough through it (except for socks – those sit in a different category). However, knitting monogamy goes out the window in the summer time. And I say summer because California has seen some 80 to 90 degree weather recently. Like, WTF? I have the attention span of a 3-year-old and every shiny new pattern or yarn makes me want to drop whatever I’m doing now to start playing. On a fateful ravelry-browsing day, I stumbled into the spindlers’ group, and that was the beginning of the end.
Armed with a new spinning book, a Schacht Hi-Lo 1.1 oz spindle and some BFL, I sat down to learn a new skill. Two days later……
This spinning thing is hard and I don’t know what I’m doing. The spindle doesn’t spin long enough for me, I have a hard time drafting while spinning (even after this supposed pre-drafting thingamajig), and my yarn is fat and lumpy. Apparently, I have no coordination.
I am in WAY over my head, people. Does anyone know where I can take spinning classes in Orange County?