Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spin a Yarn. . .

Here's the story of a gal named Pretty / who was knitting with some very lovely yarns. . .
All of them came from a store or an online shop / and some of them came from a barn!

Here's a story of that same lady / who decided one day she should learn to spin. . .
So she bought herself a spindle and some fiber / and she decided to jump in!

She sat herself down at the dining table / with the spindle and the fiber in her hands. . .
And she made some slubby yarn and some mista-akes / and in the end she wound up 7 yards!

Which doesn't rhyme! It doesn't rhyme!
But in the end, she wound u-up Seven Yards!

There was a time, I am sure, when the farmers and their families raised the sheep, and sheared the sheep, and cleaned and combed the fleece. Then they probably spun the wool into yarn for knitting warm goodness for winter. I wonder who did the spinning. . .and I wonder what stories were told during the spinning. I have been told by the hand-spinners I know that spinning fiber into yarn is a very relaxing, almost yoga-like, experience once you have worked a few times with your spindle or wheel. . .and the phrase "spin a yarn" (meaning tell a tale) must come from somewhere!

Last Thursday, at knitting, I sat next to Stephanie who was using a spindle to make singles of brightly colored fiber. . .it was mesmerizing. I was once again motivated to look for my own simple spindle, the one I bought last summer at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival, and promptly stuffed into a box when I got home, in favor of the yarn I had also purchased.

I signed up for the Ravelympics again this year, and had pretty much ignored the fact that I had done so until yesterday. Yesterday, I actually went into the basement to dig out the spindle and the fiber that came with it. I was determined anew to actually learn how this art works. . .and I did! I am so proud of myself!

Here is what I started with: A ball of coarse fluff, with some tangles and plant material still peppered in. . .I am sure this is not what the big-city spinners use for their handspun, but I am sure it was cost-effective to include in a Learn-to-Spin kit! I know that I am not going to be making yarn-to-die-for. . .my whole goal is to become familiar with the process:
The spindle came with a yarn leader already tied on. I thought that was good, until I started trying to spin the raw fiber onto the yarn leader. After picking up the spindle several times from the floor, I slipped off the yarn, and twisted some of the fiber in my fingers to make my own leader from the fiber. This worked much better, and so I kept going. . .

Eventually, I produced some single-ply "yarn," and wound It around the spindle:
I made a total of about 15 yards of "singles". . .slubby, dirty, coarse, uneven in weight, and pretty unattractive singles. . .but I made yarn!
Later, I wound the singles into two balls, and I plied them together, spinning the spindle in the opposite direction, like the videos and Stephanie had instructed. . . On the other side, I had about 7 yards of uneven, slubby, dirty, coarse yarn! Not pretty but then, pretty was NOT my goal!
I can't wait to get my medal from Bob! Congratulations to all my fellow Ravthletes, thank you to my husband and family for supporting me in my goal to make it into the 2010 Revelympics, and to my mom and dad for, well, you know. . .having me; and to all my fellow Oddballs and TeamCKW friends who cheered me on tirelessly! I could NOT have done it without you!

In Knitting Knews, I have seamed and finished another sweater in the Baby Steps with the knitting machine project. . .here she is:
Once again, still needs buttons, but pretty cute, nonetheless, I say!

There is still a LOT of snow at Pretty Knitty's house, and I will not bore you with more photos of that, but suffice it to say that I am sooooo glad I knit myself mittens after Christmas!
I hope that you have warm mittens, and that you will Knit in Good Health!


  1. Yay spinning..Is that another hobby I hear starting up?!

  2. YAY!!! Congratulations! I'll see you on the podium :-)

  3. Congratulations! Do I see a spinner being born off in the distance?

  4. "A ball of coarse fluff, with some tangles and plant material still peppered in"

    Ah, the raw matrix of yarn. Yarn in the rough. The essence of yarn. You betcha!