10 May 2010

New Spinning Machine


After waiting somewhat patiently (somewhat un-patiently), my new Ladybug finally made its way to my doorstep. Well really to Mr. Peabody's café door. And then to the post office. Then his apartment. And I went to pick it up on the day is snowed slush ALL day. I walked so much in the slush that my sneakers were soaked, hung out while Sylvain closed the café and accompanied him home only to find the wheel NOT THERE! Mr. Peabody phoned me while I was standing in the doorway to ask me about the surprise in my kitchen...he had walked the box over to my apartment for me. Super nice eh? Only he had no idea that I had been emailing Sylvain ALL DAY to arrange to pick it up. Hilarity. This is the stuff of comedy.

So I walked home in even MORE slush to find a ladybug sized box in my kitchen. I (of course) spent the rest of the evening unpacking, assembling and spinning on my BRAND! NEW! SPINNING! MACHINE!!!!

This is my very first crappy slub-fabulous handspun on the wheel. There was lots of swearing for the first hour or so until I finally got the hang of what the hell was going on. In the weeks of waiting for it to arrive, I did study up on YouTube various "learn to spin on a wheel" introductions so I kind of knew what I should be doing. Really it just takes some fibre you don't care too much about, some patience, your sense of humour and maybe some alcohol to get started properly. After spinning singles for a while, I decided to try plying. I'm not sure why exactly I chose to chain-ply, but that was a whole other hilarious-heart-breaking-swearing experience. But I chalk this up to first handspun experience. And there are people that would pay good money for yarn like this (even if I wouldn't).

For my next handspun, I took the rest of the bump of organic wool I had and went for an epic spin. I think the whole bump might be a whole pound (minus what I spun first). I divided it in two. Spun two bobbins worth of singles and plied them together. I think they were pretty evenly unevenly spun. That is to say that when plying them together, there was a small portion left on one of the bobbins which I Andean plied to itself.

Thanks to my years of spinning on a drop-spindle, my learning curve on the wheel was not heartbreaking at all as you can see from the change from skein n°1 to skein n°2. I'm sure a person could start spinning straight on a wheel. But there's A LOT going on in a short period of time. At least with the drop spindle it's possible to make awesome yarns while keeping things real slow — good for the old self-confidence.

I've signed-up to the Spin-Off website, subscribed and have at least 1 sheep's worth of fibre making it's way to my doorstep.

Oh and here's where the ladybug is on my fantastic new spinning machine.

1 comment:

cosymakes said...

yay wheel! and i think the white merino looks scrumptious.