Monday, 19 January 2009

The Learning Curve

I did a load of spinning over the weekend. It's still astonishingly fun to do. I'm learning, though, that life would be so much easier if:
  • I had a lapcloth. Black on one side, white on the other, I'd be able to see what I was spinning and not end up with my favourite black trousers covered in white fluff.
  • I had more bobbins. I like the yarn better if I can let the singles rest before plying them, but I want to keep spinning. Trouble is, I only have three bobbins, so I can only spin 2 bobbins of singles and have one free to ply onto.
  • I knew how to Navajo Ply. I found a video on YouTube that looks like it would be good to learn from. If I could ply that way, it wouldn't matter that I can't split my yarn evenly thanks to my not-great scales.
  • I had some other flyers for Roy. A jumbo flyer would allow me to ply bigger skeins of yarn, and a high-speed flyer would let me spin finer yarn.
  • I had a tensioned Lazy Kate. Plying would be so much easier.
  • I had a couple of really good reference books. Not ones with knitting projects in, but ones that showed different ways of spinning (longdraw versus worsted? huh?), different ways of plying, ways to adjust one's wheel...
  • I had more time to practice. I have no desire to abandon my knitting, but I'd love to spend more time spinning.
  • I could see a proper spinner doing it. I have a feeling that spinning is going to be like knitting for me. I learned the basics of loop yarn this way for a knit stitch, this way for a purl, but figured out everything else on my own. Which was fine, but it took years. And I can't show anyone how to knit, because what my hands do doesn't look like anything anyone else does. Crochet, on the other hand, was taught to me by my lovely grandmother. That felt comfortable from day one, even though I'm now a much better knitter than crocheter.
  • I could get a big lump of fiber to spin until I really got used to it. 100g of fiber x isn't really enough to get a feel on.
There are lots of other things to learn, of course, but this would be a start! I want to be a proper spinner so that someday I can spin enough fiber well enough to make garments.


Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Its always good to have realistic goals! Good post with a fairly universal spinner's wish list.

Qutecowgirl said...

a spinners wish list for sure. I use an apron made from a light weight canvas, So much nicer (especially I usually wear leggings or sweats when I spin and that is just asking to be covered)

If you have a lazy kate you might be able to try this. find a big enough rubberband that fits around the bobbins but not too tightly. I had to do this cause well I didn't realize how much I needed one (can we say tangles!)

I found Navajo plying looked harder then it was. You can practice with left over singles, Plus since you do crochet think of it as making giant crochet chains with your hands. I read that somewhere and got the aha moment. It helped me greatly.

Had to stop by from Ravelry. Love the sampler. I am now getting back to embroidery. I used to do cross stitch and such when I was little and it is nice to come back around. More the better