Monday, May 31, 2010


Lookie here! It's my very first handspun yarn using a drop spindle!! It's a tiny little skein, I used a Canadian quarter to show just how small my skein is (FYI: a Canadian quarter is the same size as an American quarter, for all my American readers out there!).

In my last post I mentioned how I was ditching Friday's Knit Night in favor of taking a class at Knotty By Nature. One of my 101 goals is to learn how to spin wool using a drop spindle, and shortly after making that goal I discovered that Knotty offers 2 classes dedicated to drop spindling: intro to drop spindling and drop spindling level 2. Since I've never even touched a drop spindle, let along tried to use one,
I signed up for the intro class. I did think about going the self-taught route since there's so much info on the 'net and I'm sure a million videos on youtube, but decided to do a class so that any questions that may arise could get answered.

My instructor, Stephanie, who is also the owner of Knotty, did a fab job of teaching me and 2 other ladies (the class size is a max of 4, which is nice cause you're not vying for the instructor's attention when you need help). She explained the differences in wools, what drafting and carding is, and the different types of spindles. Then she got us to go pick out a roving of corriedale in our choice of color. Of course I picked hot pink! I'm not going to give a minute by minute detail of the class, but let's just say that drop spindling is so relaxing and therapeutic! So much so that if Stephanie hadn't told us what time it was I'm sure I could have spent the entire night sitting there spindling away! Unfortunately I was so wrapped up in trying to get the hang of the spindling that I completely forgot to take any photos. Oh well!

Anyways, I started out pretty awkward and did a rookie move of wrapping the roving around the spindle while spinning the tail end, completely confused as to where the spun wool went. Where was my brain on that one?? Needless to say the first bit of my skein is very loosely spun and is the equivalent of a super bulky weight yarn while the rest is an uneven thick and thin of worsted and fingering weights. Stephanie had showed us a fabulous cheat of how to spin the roving while drafting at the same time. I tried the technique when I got home, but have to admit that the word 'suck' doesn't even come close to how badly I did. I think I need to get the basics down first before I could move onto that technique. I guess I'll be pre-drafting my roving for a while. In the future I would love to take the level 2 class so that I could learn how to ply with the spindle as I'm pretty sure that I'll get sick of singles pretty fast. But I know I'm definitely thinking waaayy too far ahead of myself here, I mean, thinking of plying before I even know how to churn out a somewhat even single?? Yeah, definitely getting ahead of myself!

Before giving drop spindling a try I was thinking about just jumping in head first and getting a wheel and learning to spin that way, but decided against it for fear that I would hate spinning and then be stuck with a pricey wheel. I thought I would start out slow (and small!) by going the drop spindle route. Even though I still would love to get a wheel and learn how to spin "for reals", after some thought I'm now not sure if I should invest in a wheel in the future. I can barely find the time to do my first crafting love - sewing, due to the difficult neighbour downstairs (a thousand curses to that wretched human being!). So what makes me think I can find the time to spin? Me thinks I should get back to my crafting roots and find the time to sew (or invest in a domestic machine so that I can sew at night!) instead of adding another time suck of a hobby to the list. So I think I'll be sticking to the drop spindle for quite a least until I can find a way to add a few hours to the day!

In the meantime, I'm going to keep practicing on my new spindle so that some day I'll get good enough to dig into this:

I bought this roving a few months ago from Sunshine Yarns. It's 4oz. of hand-dyed merino/silk in a colorway called Madhatter - inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I bought it in hopes that it'll inspire me to get off my butt and learn how to spin. The photo doesn't do the colors any justice. From time to time I take it out of my stash and stare at it, sometimes I give it a little pat (don't want to fondle it too much...don't want it to felt now!), contemplate taking it out of its Ziplock bag so that I can hold it tenderly in my hands but remember that greedy little moths could be near by eyeing it. So I leave it in the bag. One day my day...

Hmmm...maybe I should go practice now...


  1. Come out to BB on Tuesday! I'm returning this week! SO EXCITED!!!

  2. Mae!!!

    I've been reading your blog and so I didn't think that you were going to knit night anymore. Especially now that Ryan is so close to leaving. I wish I could come on Tuesdays but Brett works nights that day and so I'm always with the kidlet. *sigh* One day I'll be able to see you in person! ;)


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