Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I love spinning!!!

I knew it was a bit of a gamble when I ordered a spinning shell without ever trying it. I also knew it was going to take a lot of practice to get good at spinning. What I didn't know is that I'd fall madly in love with it, and have spinning on the brain!

It all started when my Schacht Ladybug arrived 3 days ago. In no time at all, I had it assembled and ready to go. I had watched the Start Spinning: The Video a couple times, read the companion Start Spinning book by Maggie Casey, and watch dozens of YouTube videos on spinning.

I had bought some beautiful hand dyed fiber on Etsy, but wanting to wait until I got used to spinning I started with a 50/50 wool alpaca blend I bought from a spinning and weaving guild a couple years ago that I had recently dyed with Kool-Aid. It was a fail! The staple length was waaay too short and was a complete pain to draft. So, out of desperation, I grabbed a Loop Bullseye Bump out of the small fiber stash I recently acquired, and started spinning! 

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking! I started spinning my first handspun with Loop! Am I crazy?!?! Maybe, but it drafted like a dream! All of a sudden my confidence shot throughout the roof! I was was spinning! And, having fun while doing it! 

I spun the whole 4 ounces of fiber in one night. I was over the moon with excitement! I couldn't wait to get up the next morning and ply my fiber. I decided to navajo ply it, since I wanted it to be a gradient, little did I know, navajo plying isn't a beginner technique. It took me a little while to get a rhythm going, then it went really well.

I have to admit, my yarn is far from perfect. There's lots of thick and thin, over spun parts, and some parts are just a mess. So imagine my surprise when I pulled my yarn off the niddy noddy, and it was balanced! Holy Cannoli! I then washed it, soaked it in vinegar, then soaked it in some Soak, and thwacked it and hung it outside to dry.

I only got 82 yards out of 4 ounces, but I'm really looking forward to working on getting consistency, and learning many more techniques. As a matter of fact, I have another  4 ounce skein that I spun as a 2 ply drying, and half of another fiber bump on a bobbin. I wish I could spin all of the time! But, I have a lot of deadline knitting, and KALs, and several other things to knit. I do plan to try and set aside 15-30 minimum everyday just to spin. I find spinning unbelievably calming, and just what I need when I need a break from knitting.

My biggest piece of advice to any other beginner spinners is: spin fearlessly! Don't be afraid, listen to yourself and your fiber, and most of all- it's okay if it's not perfect!


  1. You did an amazing job! I love the colors in the loop batt you spun. How did you learn to navajo ply? Did you find an online source or have someone show you? That is my next plying technique I want to try, but there are no spinners or LYS in my area to go to for help.

    1. Thanks! I don't have anyone around to teach me either. I watched this YouTube video over, and over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmlwtojLXI8

  2. Navaho plying on your first try! I'm not even a spinner and I know that's crazy. You are truly fearless, girl. Beautiful yarn. You may be pushing me in the spinning direction if you did all that from videos and books. Great job, Jenna!