Spinning Outside

Fall is in full swing and we have had our first frost. The kids are LOVING the temperatures and have been spending every minute we can outside. So this weekend I lugged my wheel out to the patio and spun while my kids played.

I am still spinning the 4 ounces of merino blend in the purple color from The Shepherd’s Mill. I am still very much learning. I break my singles A LOT and have to rethread. I am also spinning very thick and thin but for the most part I am getting a single spun that holds together. I am about 4 hours in to this spin.

Giving myself permission to go slow, make mistakes and just learn along the way. Haven’t quite got to the “zen” spinning but my fingers get a little less stressed as I go.

Happy Spinning!!

Let’s Spin Some Purple

I couldn’t let my wheel sit with no fiber on it after my spinning lessons now could I? So I grabbed the purple roving I purchased and set off.

This roving is a merino, bamboo and nylon blend. My teacher told me that spinners should never be intimidated by any fiber. Anything can be spun by any spinner, it just may take some extra time and adjustments. So I am going to be fearless (maybe clueless) and take off!

Wish me luck! Happy Spinning!!

Yarn Store Haul

While I was taking spinning lessons I took some stretch breaks to wonder around the yarn store and some goodies might have jumped in my cart 🙂

I snagged three skeins of yarn. From left to right I grabbed two skeins of 3 ply sport in an aqua and light yellow. These are my alma mater colors and I am envisioning some sort of striped or colorwork hat or cowl. And the last skein is a 2 ply DK called “baby blend”. It is superwash merino and faux cashmere. This skein was tooooooo soft to leave in the store. It needs to be a hat for my head!

I also grabbed some fiber to work with given my new spinning skills. The Shepherd’s Mill used to be a spinning mill in addition to a yarn shop so they had a large selection of roving. I grabbed some merino blends in teal, white and purple to play with.

The icing on the cake is that the owner gave me a super cool tote bag from her store as a bonus. It’s going to be the perfect spinning bag to hold my fiber next to my wheel. And it zips closed to keep small fingers out of my stuff!

Happy Spinning!!

In Person Spinning

I have been piddling around for over a year with both drop spindle and spinning wheels. I watched YouTube after YouTube video and nothing clicked. I read all the manuals on my wheel even! So I made some calls and found a yarn shop in Phillipsburg KS that I had been to with my mom and lo and behold they taught spinning!

So I arranged for the grandparents to watch the kiddos and I grabbed a cup of coffee at the crack of dawn and took off for my adventure.

The store was lovely and my spinning lessons went REALLY well. Having someone to correct my hand and feet was just the thing I needed. And she provided some reasons why I needed to do certain things and some super helpful background info. She was also super Zen about things and just made me feel so relaxed.

I managed to almost fill an entire bobbin and learn to correct some of the mistakes/hurdles I had been experiencing. Safe to say I’m hooked now 🙂

Happy Spinning!!

Spinning Tequila Sunrise

As predicted I couldn’t help myself and my newest fiber jumped right on to my spindle. I mean how could I not? After all, I used an entire child nap time/free time to carefully pre-draft the whole 4 ounces of fiber!

This 100% Corriedale is a new to me fiber. It drafts like a dream and really feels very soft after drafting. But it’s spinning up much thicker than my last merino project. Maybe its the fiber, maybe I’m rusty? Either way I’m letting the fiber tell me what it wants to be and I’m just enjoying the process.

Happy Spinning!

Perfecting Pre-Drafting

The brand new braid of Corriedale was staring at me from my home office desk. And I just couldn’t help myself. During PB’s nap time, I used my mom free time to prep this fiber for spinning. With a podcast playing in my ears, it was a pretty zen way to spend an hour or so.

I split the braid in half lengthwise and then just gently pre-drafted each half. I took a photo after I finished the first half so you can see how much it fluffed up! It really lets the air in and softens how the fibers feel. I’m guessing it won’t be long before this jumps on the spindle! I think my plan will be spin each half as singles and start from the second one from the opposite end of the color progression.

Happy Spinning!

Happy Mail Day

My unabashed self caring buying continues. This week I had a couple of packages show up on the same day from two indie small businesses. It made for a happy mail day indeed! Today is also my 13th wedding anniversary so I’m going to count these as presents from the hubby, hehehehehe.

First up is an adorable bunny stitch marker from Hannah of The Corner of Craft in the UK. I think this will go right on to my Radiate as a progress marker!

Next up is some fiber and yarn from BlueBerry Chick yarn in South Carolina. I got her some Corriedale in her limited edition Tequila Sunrise color. And then I picked up some gradiate sock yarn minis in her Pansy fade.

I’m thinking the fiber is going to skip stash and go right on to my drop spindle. It is soooo summery that I just think it’s destiny.

Happy Knitting!!

More Finished Handpun

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??

Expanding My Library

I’ve thus far been able to play with my wheel long enough to find out that I needed to re-do the break band and oil the treadle connections. And as of last weekend I have accomplished both of those things I am also getting better at consistently treadling in the same direction when I treadle on an empty wheel. (Note: I was gifted a Hitchhiker Wheel by Merlin Tree in case anyone was interested.)

Next up, is actually trying to make some yarn. My day job has been CRAZY stressful lately as I just became a supervisor in January and one of the longest track employees in my department gave her 30 day retirement notice. So I haven’t been making much progress on finding the time to YouTube learning to spin.

My next thought was to go analog and get some books. Thank you used book exchange! I got two used spinning books. The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook is one I have seen on many of a spinning podcast so I know it’s good but maybe past my skill level at this point. But the “How To Spin” was an amazon suggestion I took a risk on. I am trying to reserve my judgement until I start reading.

Happy (Almost) Spinning!!

Hallelujah, I Finally Have A LYS!!!

Hallelujah and Praise the fiber gods!! My happy hamlet of Topeka, KS has officially opened a LYS!

I introduce to you….Yak ‘n Yarn!

They are all about knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, and so much more! I have been following their Facebook page and their Grand Opening at the end of March. They are going to even offer classes and Knit Nights! My inner knitting nerd is doing back flips! They have sort of odd hours right now so I sadly haven’t been able to get in there and explore the store. I am definitely going remedy that soon!

What is your favorite part of having a LYS near you?