On My Spindle

Remember the soft aquas and blues of the hand-dyed Silky Cashmerino I found in San Antonio?

It spins up very nicely.

Even though I wasn’t nearly done with the batch of blues, I could not resist this when I saw it.

It’s fittingly called “Fire and Ice” and this 4 ounce batt was prepared by my friends over at the Wooden Spinner. It’s made of merino, mohair, Angelina, Firestar and silk. Here’s a closer shot.

And they threw in a little treat – 1 ounce of soft merino naturally hand-dyed to this lemony yellow using Queen Anne’s Lace dye and aluminum mordant.

Can you get a crush on fiber?

Spinning Out of Control

I think I’m hooked. Can you get addicted to spinning?

Evidence of my weakness — always in need of a lint brush, walking in clockwise circles.

I only managed this small ball of yarn from 2 ounces of mohair. I’m still spinning yarn of uneven thickness, but it seems to be getting easier.

Two ounces of Shetland Wool yielded 43 yards of yarn.

My first attempt at plying.

My name is Verónica and I am a spinaholic.

My First Handspun Yarn!

I finally took the plunge. I pulled a lovely white 100% Merino Wool from my fiber stash and started spinning. First, I took the wool and pulled it apart into long thin strips. Then I gently drafted the fibers.

They ended up looking like big cinnamon rolls.

I took out my brand new turkish spindle, attached a leader, and started pulling on the fiber as I turned the spindle clockwise.

My first batch is a bit thick but I’ve read that this is standard for first-time spinners. As I kept spinning, I found I could produce a thinner yarn.

I just have to practice.

This was my first hank! It’s sort of a mini-hank but I am so pleased!

I only had 4 oz. of wool and was able to spin three mini-hanks for a total of 82 yards. I think my yield will be better as my spinning skills improve.

Now I just have to dye it!

My takeaways:

(1) Spinning is way cool.

(2) I must get more fiber.

(3) I need a spinning wheel.

Spinning Doodads

At the Kid’N Ewe Fiber Festival, there were a myriad of tools for spinners and weavers alike. This clever top-whorl spindle was made by BJ Heeke, the instructor for the “So You Wanna Be A Spinner?” class. The instructions on the CD read: “Spin counter-clockwise for an S twist single. Spin clockwise for a Z twist single.” Made from a CD, a 5/16 inch dowel, ligatures (tiny rubber bands used for braces), and a metal hook. Weighs 1.2 oz. You can order your custom-made spindle at Blue Moon Fibers.

My first spun yarn!

Here’s a snapshot of my materials for the beginner spinning class.

My first fiber stash.

This is a high-quality, hand-crafted Turkish spindle by Jeri Brock Woodworks. Jeri showed me how easy it was to use this beautiful tool. The spindle is constructed from padauk wood for the arms carved with a chevron pattern and a cherry wood shaft. See more of Jeri’s Turkish spindles here.

Turkish spindle.

I picked up this handcrafted lucet to create a strong, attractive cord.

Satinwood lucet from Hokett Would Work. Contact would.work@yahoo.com.

I took a picture of these nostependes but had no idea what they were for. I did a quick search on the web and discovered that this tool is used to wind a ball of yarn! It’s origin is apparently Norwegian and can also be written “nostepinne.” I found a great explanation of how to use this tool at the Hatchtown Farm blog. You learn something new every day!

Nostependes & Lucets.

Kid'N Ewe Festival 2011 - LOGO

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