Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Actual yarn content

I started spinning back about 6 years ago.  I didn't have money to buy a wheel, so it was all spindles. 

I heard more than once something that basically said spindle spinning is inferior.  When was I going to move up to a wheel.  Wheels are better, spindles are just for learning.  Someone told me I wasn't a real spinner because I didn't spin on a wheel. 

Seemed like I was making yarn, I don't know why she thought it wasn't "real". 

One of these that seems like it's still hanging around is that you can't spin long draw on a spindle.  Can't be done. 

Oh Really?

So I guess that's totally NOT what I'm doing here.

In fact I've been spinning in some kind of hybrid/modified long draw for years.  At Stringtopia last month I finally got to take a class from Abby Franquemont on spinning long draw on spindles.

I already had a pretty good base idea but this class really gave me new wings.  I learned some ways to make the whole process faster, and some tricks to getting out slubs by slacking the yarn and then re-tensioning it. 

And I'm learning about myself that I really like doing things I'm not very good at (yet).  I've started swimming which I am TERRIBLE at.  Just really really bad, I've never learned how to freestyle swim at all.  I started out a month ago with this long draw things at a pretty beginner place.  There is so much room to learn new things and the learning curve is so steep at the beginning, there's nowhere to go but up.  And I have no expectations, so I can't beat myself up for not being better yet. 

I bought 4 ounces of the class fiber, some brown carded wool, strictly for the purpose of practicing.  I didn't really care how it came out, I wanted to be able to spin automatically.   I intentionally practiced during tv shows that I wanted to look at, instead of my hands.  I did not micromanage, because I learned from several exercises that the yarn comes out a lot better than I think it is.  I spun for efficiency. 

In no time at all I had 2 full spindles.

And a day later I had plied yarn.

Which washed up into this really squishy 260 yard skein

Which is really pretty amazingly even considering it was a learning skein, and I wasn't really even trying for evenness.  

I really like this long draw spindle thing.


  1. Thanks for this! I'm a spindle spinner so far, or not even that since my spindles have been gathering dust for a few years. I love spindles for their simplicity and portability. Your approach of practicing to gain experience without judging the outcome has worked for me in many areas.

  2. I recently purchased a beginning spindle kit from Paradise Fibers. So far, I've managed to unwrap the spindle, read part of the book and ooh over my two bags of wool.

    Mille grazie for the encouragement!