Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On spinning a yarn...

While I was in Syracuse with the gathering of creatives that Susan put together, as mentioned in the prior post, I had a chance to see some spinners in action.  I've always been fascinated from a distance with the idea of turning wool into yarn. But I'd been sort of actively resisting investing in a spindle or really any un-spun fiber tools or materials.  On our last day in Syracuse, we sat around in the sunshine outside – a big circle of Adironback chairs full of people making things.

The spinning looked so meditative.  Watching those wheels turn was something akin to watching a fire burn in a fireplace... And the fibers that were being spun were just beautiful.  I must have come home just bubbling over with descriptions of the process.  And the next month on my birthday, my better half surprised me with an Ashford Kiwi.

First attempt
I was equal parts excited and terrified.  Having never even used a drop spindle, I had the feeling that I was diving head first into the deep end.  But it turned out not to terribly difficult to grasp.  With the help of the local yarn shop owner, who also spins and an excellent Craftsy class with spinner Amy King, I was off and running.

Wavy blue thick and thins
First handspun finished object
For my little friend Charlie
My first run through four ounces of Merino was anything but smooth or consistent, but it was fun, and I got a grasp on the process as a whole.  And with each successive attempt, my control is getting better.  I think I'm prone to over spinning in general.  I do love a tightly twisted ply, but even I will admit that some of my output seems to be spun to death.

Take two

So slowly, I'm learning by trial and error. We'll see how things progress and maybe someday if I see another spinner in the flesh who is able to watch what I am actually doing, and I'll learn to improve the process.

In the meantime, three cheers for new found hobbies and husbands who are patient enough to listen to stories about things that are of interest to only their spouses. You never know when the two might intersect.

Two ply

Happy making.


  1. Beautiful! I've enjoyed seeing your spinning posts on IG. I agree - it's very meditative.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Sally. We must plan another maker night in sometime soon. P.S. I'm so grateful that you even still watch this neglected space.

  3. Thank you Gail. It's funny to see how many parallel hobbies that we shared over the years, all the way back to the Glasshopper.