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!