Posted in Spinning


January 15, 2011 - 1:11 am

I purchased my first wheel second hand about a year ago, and it was an old cantankerous thing that had seen more than its share of abuse. The day it made me cry, not because I wasn’t getting a technique I was practicing, but because the wheel kept binding on the frame and screeching to a halt, I knew I had to either quit spinning or buy a new tool. For the holidays this year, after everyone else’s gifts were settled, I bought myself a Kromski Minstrel, and she has opened up the joy if spinning to me in a way I had only glimpsed before.

I am wandering around lost in a world of strange terminology and unfamiliar concepts, but loving every moment. There is so much knowledge, but so few references that are approachable as a new person. It’s both fascinating and intimidating.

My first goal was to make fine laceweight yarn, and I’ve pretty much mastered that. Since I got the wheel, though, I’ve been branching out. David bought some yak down for me to spin when we got the wheel. He wants a yak scarf. I wanted a fluffy yarn for that, so taught myself long draw, and made it into a fulled single. It’s a delicious, squishy, fluffy skein now, and I’m working on the design for it. I am captivated with the idea of spinning diaphanous woolen yarns.


Last night I tore up 4 oz of roving from DragonFibers, sorting it by color, and then mussing up the fiber, first making pseudo-rolags but then tearing it up and crossing the fibers every which way and spinning the random bits as the presented themselves. I filled two bobbins with what is probably a couple hundred yards of single. My plan is to run it back through the wheel and attenuate the really chunky bits, then ply it with some purple lace weight.


I have an idea of having it start out fine but then get progressively chunkier, and knitting it in pattern that follows the yarn; first a fine pretty lace pattern, expanding into a bigger and bigger pattern as the shawl expands. I want to design the yarn and a pattern for Melissa; a half circle shawlette. I want to evoke dragonflies with the project.

I like this idea of spinning, designing a pattern, and knitting a project inspired by a person. Melissa is first. I think there will be others.

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