Down the rabbit hole

 

My friend Karen on the right is showing me how to use an itty bitty drop spindle. I think what I was doing was called drafting.
My friend Karen, on the right, is showing me how to use an itty bitty drop spindle. I think what I was doing was called drafting.

I knew it was only a matter of time. In the last few years I have taken knitting from a casual hobby to a lifestyle choice. I’m fairly certain if you cut into me, I would bleed super wash wool (to keep it from felting as it circulates of course). So when a friend from my weekly knitting group invited me to her monthly spinning circle, I think we both knew it was the beginning of the end of my spinning-free lifestyle. 

Not that I didn’t want to go down this particular rabbit hole. Or at least try it out. I have been mesmerized by the idea of drop spindles since I first spied them in a yarn shop. Spinning wheels are beautiful and hand spun yarn is amazing, but the idea of taking your spinning with you and basically spinning a top as you wander the city? Curiouser and curiourser to me. Plus some of the drop spindles out there are really beautiful. But I knew what would happen if I started spinning and that would not be an inexpensive addition to my hobby. Plus, where am I going to store all the new things that I would have to purchase?

Alas, I finally gave in and tried it today. There I was, happily knitting my overdue Christmas socks when one of the spinners passed around an itty-bitty drop spindle. I’m a sucker for tiny, working versions of real objects. And I really, really tried to just pass it along when it was shared around the circle. “Try it!” the other spinners encouraged. So my friend showed me how it works. and it was magic. And I made yarn.

FirstSpinThread

Look! It’s a tiny little scrap of yarn. I made it and it was fun. Consider that rabbit hole visited. Now, how do I break this to the husband?

Are you a spinner? What tips do you have for someone looking to begin? Let me know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Down the rabbit hole”

    1. Seriously, I knew what I was getting in to but I thought I would last a LITTLE longer. At first I was trying this really grabby wool and it wouldn’t do what it was supposed to so I was ready to move on. Then Karen suggested I try the alpaca she was using and it suddenly worked and made sense and was really fun.

  1. Hooray!!! It IS magic… That’s the thing. How a little bit of twist going into fiber converts it from a lump of fuzz to a workable string. You control the thickness, the amount of twist, and the number of plies. Sometimes you can be in full control. Sometimes you can let the fiber “tell” you what it wants to be. Sometimes there are lumps and bumps and you can be as anal retentive as you like, picking them out or not picking them out. 🙂 Then you can choose just the right pattern for the yarn… Oh, and then there’s color… And additives like sparkle. And you can put beads on your yarn. It all just takes a little time. The fiber is actually quite inexpensive and you don’t really need tools. You know you’ve REALLY fallen down the rabbit hole, however, when you start asking me about dyeing and prepping your own fiber. Nobody told you about the various chambers IN the rabbit hole,,, Just a couple of miles out of the city are the farms where the fiber animals are raised, I have bags of seeds for natural dyeing, and you know where you can get wee baby angora rabbits. Hee hee hee. Ooh, and I bet I know where you can find a wheel!

      1. Oh, you know I’m just having fun with you. No, we don’t ever want you to feel pressured in any way. We’re just having fun watching you have fun. We’re remembering our first foray into fiber. Some of us have been doing it for five months, some for five years, and some for twenty (off and on). It’s a little bit like riding a bike. We know inside that everyone could learn if they took the time and even if you don’t ride a bike for very long or if you go a decade in between rides, you’ll remember what you’re doing the moment you hop on. I sometimes think of the countries where spinning yarn is a vocation. I’m so glad that we have machines that do “that kind” of work so we can spin yarn as a vacation instead.

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