Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The Tsock Tsarina's adventures in spinning have been driving me wild with envy lately. WILD. But, my last encounter with a drop spindle didn't really go so well. I stopped by With Yarn in Front on Sunday afternoon to grab some notions, and another lady was getting a demonstration of the Sonata spinning wheel. I shamelessly grafted myself on, because I'd never seen a spinning wheel in use and I was really interested. The lady let me give it a try, too. This has not reduced my envy any. The wheel looked so much easier than the drop spindle (I admit it, my first annoying experience has biased me considerably). I get why people say it takes more coordination because you have to regulate your feet and your hands at the same time (my feet were definitely peddling faster than my hands could draft), but to me, fumbling with the spindle is even more awkward (please note, I am a klutz and your mileage may vary).

When I got home I whined and moped and counted off to myself the things I needed more than a spinning wheel - like the rest of my bedroom furniture, a couple more lenses for the DSLR that my incredible friends got me for Christmas last year, an external flash, a comfortable knitting chair for the upstairs room and a small TV...but at the end I was still whining about wanting one. I knitted for a while but I couldn't stop thinking about the spinning, so - I went upstairs and got that accursed drop spindle out again.

By dinner time I was a grouchy, aggravated mess. We went out to dinner wtih the SO's parents, and we came back, and I gave it a try again. It went better. I worked on it some last night, and it went better. I stopped and wound off what was on the spindle because I couldn't keep it spinning any more. That gave me a little hope since I could see a big difference from what I started with. I got out my copy of Start Spinning, put a leader on the spindle, took a deep breath, and went at it again. What I'm getting is definitely novelty yarn, but it does, in fact, at least vaguely resemble yarn. Drafting is still difficult for me but I am STARTING to get the hang of drafting it out without actually breaking it. I can't do it while the spindle is turning, though, I have to predraft quite a bit and park & draft to the extreme. But, I have hope that Baby's Third Handspun will look better than Baby's Second (if you will recall, I accidentally left Baby's First Handspun at the store, and honestly...while the scrapbooker in me weeps - I still have my first swatch of knitting - I'm just as happy not to have to look at it).

I am resolved to keep spinning a little each day before I pick up the knitting; when I get frustrated, I will quit, so as not to give the SO the false impression that spinning should be discouraged at all costs. I still have a lot of fiber left from the stuff that was included in the class I took, and when that's done I have some really beautiful teal wool that I bought in my initial spinning excitement (how sad is it, that even when I can clearly see that I REALLY SUCK at something, I can't resist buying the pretties?), so I have enough material to keep me going for a while.

I do kind of want another spindle, though, a pretty one (preferably one that spins a little longer than the one I have). When I get close to the end of my class wool, I may buy a pretty one to spin the teal stuff with (is that asking for trouble, to get used to one spindle and then get a completely different one? I don't know. Also, do you think I am addicted to parenthetical statements much?).

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