Summer is heating up here in Kansas and I’m finding myself outside a lot more with the kiddos. We stick pretty close to home these days and are finding new ways to use the spaces and in and around our house.
I got a few moments this past weekend to sip my favorite beer and do some spinning on the back patio. The kids managed to entertained themselves nicely and for long enough I added a decent amount of alpaca spinning project. I’m still practicing my drafting with the park and draft method.
I’m found myself staring at these colors and thinking “these look like a 1970s kitchen”. There is a lot of gold, orange, yellow with tiny amounts of blue and avocado green.The yarn is getting easier to make consistent. Prepping the roving into thin strips really helped me draft in a continuous and even manner.
This represents about half of the 4 ounces of roving that I started with. I think I’ll wind this off onto a spinning wheel bobbin so that I can start spinning the other half. I’m still working up the nerve to take some YouTube lessons on how to ply yarn on a wheel. For now I’m content with just making pretty singles and letting them rest.
I have finished both my skeins of handspun from my spindle experiment! I dare say I might be getting the hang of this to some degree
The first skein I finished was one ounce of an unknown merino. I ended up with a bulky weight single that after washing and whacking was 27 grams and 31 yards of yarn. I definitely have some over and under spun parts but its holding together and not twisting up on itself as badly as my first attempt. For this one I used a smaller and lighter wooden drop spindle.
The second skein I finished was one ounce of an unknown merino batt. Again I ended up with a bulky weight single that after washing and whacking was 28 grams and 34 yards of yarn. Almost exactly the same as the first one. And for this one I used the heavier and larger maple drop spindle.
All in all, I made two successful yarns. Both are not perfect but I learned a lot about my drafting technique/ability and how best to finish my singles. Now…what should I spin next??
I may have a self isolation shopping problem. Or as I prefer to think….I’m supporting small businesses and relieving stress. I was window shopping on Etsy and found a maker out of Oklahoma, MagpieWishes, and spotted some drop spindles bags. And magically two bags fell into my cart.
I picked out two different sheep fabrics with fabric drawstring closures. The bags are padded and well lined. They *should* help me protect my tools from my children….maybe. I’m still a sucker for a good tool and a cute bag. I’ve already put them to good use!
I might need to send Etsy a thank you after this self isolation period. I think I have been coping pretty well with not over eating or being overly sedentary but I have been kind of soothing my fears and anxiety with small business online shopping. I was disappointed about missing Knitting in the Heartland back in April whereI was supposed to take a drop spindle class. So I grabbed life by the bootstraps and ordered a drop spindle I knew nothing about on Etsy. When it got here, I just fired up YouTube and started watching lessons….
I watched about 40 minutes of tutorials and just got myself started. I pulled some mystery wool roving from my inherited spinning stash and go to learning. I am using the “park and draft” method of drop spindling on a top whorl spindle. I have no idea how many ounces my spindle is. It’s nice and heavy and seems to making yarn quite nicely.
Drafting has been a steep learning curve. I am working on a long draw method that focuses on getting a thin line of fiber without breaking it. I am still working on this skill. My wool was in roving form and I’m peeling off strips and spinning from those. The fiber is not the nicest but it’s working fine for this beginner.
My yarn is definitely thick and thin in nature. I’m working on not over twisting and getting consistent drafting. I’m not sure I’m succeeding but I am sure having fun! I have about an ounce of this mystery fiber so it shouldn’t take me that long to spin up. I’m really interested to see what comes our of this? I am definitely spinning a singles yarn as I have zero brain space to ply this small amount of fiber.