Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiber Friday

I started spinning in earnest this past January. I'd gotten a learn-to-spin kit off of Ebay three or four years ago, but the fiber they sent with it wasn't very good, the spindle was off balance, and I never quite got the hang of it.

Last Thanksgiving we went to the in-laws for the holidays, and I discovered something fantastic. My mother-in-law and her partner live in a tiny town in Vermont. Within easy driving distance is 1) Grafton Fibers (oh boy!) and 2) Tom Golding's studio (swoon). We visited both, as well as the semi-local alpaca farm. I managed not to buy anything, but come Christmas time, under the tree was a wee package for me from Golding Fiber Tools.

Golding drop spindle

So come January, I decided to get some nice fiber and start spinning. I started off with some Blue Face Leicester from Woodland Woolworks, and went off. Immediate frustration ensued, but I battled through and finally realized that if I just relaxed my hands, that whole drafting thing went much more smoothly! My first two skeins of junk, I mean yarn, were inconsistent to say the least, but by the end of the second I was having moments where everything was moving along smoothly. And it was completely mesmerizing. I'd start spinning after Devil went to bed (this was pre-Boo) and suddenly realize it was 10:30. Which is only late if you have a child who insists on getting up at O-dark thirty every day. I felt like I was finally starting to get it!

Handspun BFL

Skein 1: a wormy mess

Handspun BFL

Skein 2: a slightly less wormy mess

Then came Boo, bringing spinning, knitting and everything else that wasn't lactation to a crashing halt. Eventually she and I came to an agreement: she could nurse as much as she wanted as long as I could knit while she was doing it. Spinning took a little longer to get back in the mix, but eventually I started on the 8 oz of Corriedale (also from Woodland Woolworks), and this time it was a joy. Easy, flowing, semi-even (unfocused) singles.

Handspun Corriedale

And now I'm hooked. The only thing holding me back from running out a buying a wheel immediately is 1) well, I'm from New England and that would be frivolous (although semi-justifiable since I would be making something, but only if I make enough yarn to cloth my entire extended family in sweaters, hats, socks, mittens etc), 2) where would I put it? (this is a minor issue really) and 3) do I really need more justification to build up another type of stash?

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