obsessed: spinning

365.347 – Ladybug!, originally uploaded by earthchick.

So yeah. Apparently I like things that go around in circles. Last month, I blogged about my new obsessions with hooping. And I mentioned I had another new obsession as well.

I got a spinning wheel for my birthday! I can’t tell you how excited I am about it. I started out by renting it and taking lessons at The Spinning Loft in Howell, Michigan. (How lucky am I that there is a spinning store a mere 30 minutes from me?). I took four weeks of lessons with Beth, the owner, and at the last lesson, I purchased the wheel I’d been renting – a Schacht Ladybug. I love it SO much.

I originally thought I was going to get a Kromski Minstrel. Both wheels were pretty much the only ones in my price range, and I had read good things about both. I thought I liked the more traditional look of the Kromski. But once I treadled both, I fell in deep love with the Schacht. And I decided I liked the more modern look better after all. I mean, how cute and sassy is that bright red wheel? Very.

I finished my first yarn during the third lesson – 312 yards of black BFL plied with light grey Polwarth.
365.361 - I made yarn!

I am not planning on knitting with it, I just want to keep it, so that I can always compare my later yarns to my first. The first few days after I finished it, I kept petting it and thinking, “This is yarn. THAT I MADE.” Even now, after I’ve been spinning for few weeks, I kind of can’t believe I can make yarn. It’s something I’ve been wanting to be able to do ever since I bought my first bulky student spindle a year-and-a-half ago.

I still have a lot to learn. But in the meantime, I am having So! Much! Fun! I have already made my first handspun handknit (I’ll talk about that in a separate blog entry). And I am finally feeling confident enough to spin the hand-dyed fiber I’ve been accumulating over the last several months.
YIP.6.12 - Scutterbotch
“Scutterbotch.” 182 yds, 14 WPI, 3 7/8 oz., merino, tencel, and sparkles, a sort of gold with soft pink, from Funky Carolina. (Spun from a batt, which I loved).

YIP.6.14 - Five Plum Pie
“Five Plum Pie.” 4 oz. Falkland, 152 yds. 10 wpi, 2-ply. This is the May fiber from the Hello Yarn fiber club.

There are not words for how much I love this. This is the fourth completed yarn I have spun, and my first Hello Yarn. The colors of the fiber included brown, blue, purples, and a sort of lime green. The overall effect is a kind of soft brownish purple. I am in deep, deep love with it.

Currently, I am able to spin about 4 ounces over the course of two nights and then ply on the third night, making this a much quicker hobby than knitting! But I need to slow down a bit so that I can actually get some knitting done. (I am very, very behind in my planned knits. ) But I am pretty gung-ho when I am first learning new things, so it is hard to rein myself in!

8 thoughts on “obsessed: spinning

  1. yay! i hear you. this wheel thing is fantastic. (i bought myself a lendrum last month and have been spinning A LOT.) your yarn looks absolutely lovely. can’t wait to see handpun knits around here!

  2. Can you spin any kind of fiber? Our pet rabbits produce what seems like their own weight in fur each year, and we’ve just been composting it, but I know some rabbits (Angora) are bred specifically for making yarn. It’s super soft and very warm.

  3. How cool is that? I have always liked being able to make things from scratch, but be able to make your own yarn! I find that simply amazing and very self sufficient!

  4. your enthusiasm for all of your new pursuits is practically contagious, Stacey! I love easily you try new things, which is has got to be great for your boys to witness as they grow up.

    I’m also in love with that purple yarn. WoW.

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