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.
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!
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!
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 🙂
Here I am jumping both feet in to my first ever attempt at chain ply. I have my Tequila Sunrise Singles all rested up and in my homemade lazy kate (aka box with knitting needle poked through). And I clearly have no idea what I’m doing…but that is what the internet is for!
I watched roughly 10 videos on chain plying a three ply and just jumped right in. I started with my all yellow singles and moved to the orange/yellow next and finally added the pink. My hands understood the motion pretty well but my feet wanted to add a lot of twist. This may end up being a very ropey yarn. But my brain was happy being challenged with new movements and new skills.
For now, I have the finished yarn resting on a bobbin and when I have the gumption, I will wash and whack it to se what I ended up with.
The spring sunshine and warmer temperatures has brought my family outside more. I have been making myself bring my spindle spinning outside to finish off my Tequila Sunrise Singles.
Turns out when you work on something, it gets done! I have managed to spin up ALL the pink singles. You can tell that this braid of fiber had more pink than yellow or orange. I’m okay with that. I really really want to try and chain ply this yarn. This will truly push my spinning skills. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
This started as 4 ounces of Corriedale roving from BlueBerryChick etsy shop. It was from the Down Cellar Studio’s 2020 Splash Pad Party KAL. Feels good to get this fiber worked up before the next one starts, lol.
My Kiwi 3 has been sitting in my house all ready to go. The hubby even got it all oiled and ready for me to use. I read the source material from Ashford and pulled the prepped fiber from my Hitchhiker wheel and got to spinning.
First blush, this wheel is MUCH easier to control than the hitchhiker. I have managed to spin some very thick but lovely singles on this wheel. I’m still working on my hand control of the fiber but that will come with time. And the wheel is whisper quiet which is a plus for this overstimulated working mother.
My only hurdle now is to get my kids not to touch the peddles when i’m not using it, lol.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! I got the best gift (that I got myself) in the mail today. I have been saving my pennies all winter and then the virtual yarn show I had planned to attend in January got cancelled. Bummer. But I had some funds saved up and I decided to save a little more and splurge on an Ashfor spinning wheel. I ended up choosing Kiwi 3 and I can’t hardly wait!
It came “some assembly required” but the husband told me “challenge accepted” and took it to the work bench in the garage.
I bought the wheel from a local US shop but they were on back order so I got it straight from New Zealand complete with two tiny fluffs of New Zealand wool.
In the end….it’s beautiful and the hubby did a great job. So far I just sit down at night and just treadle making sure to practice going both directions. This is a double treadle wheel and so far MUCH easier to control than the single treadle Hitchhiker wheel my mom got me two christmas’s ago. I think this feels like a much better beginner wheel and when I have better skills I am going to be able to kick but on the Hitchhiker as well.
Now I just need to train PB and Jellybean to NOT TOUCH OR RUN MOMMY’S SPINNING WHEEL. It is a tool and not a toy…
Spring reared her head temporarily and early here in Kansas. So I took advantage and kicked the kids into the back yarn and grabbed my spinning. I have long neglected my Tequila Sunrise Singles on my top whorl drop spindle.
This was a braid of fiber from Blueberry Chick Yarns back from the 2020 Splashpad Party KAL from the Down Cellar Studio podcast. Last year I had spun all the yellows and oranges so only the pink is left. After about an hour of play with the kids I have about half the pinks spun onto my spindle. My work is getting heavy and lopsided so I need to wind off my singles and finish the last half of the pink.
It felt good to pick up a dormant project and make some progress. And I think this will be a really good finished yarn. I want to three ply the yarn to maintain the color progression. But honestly…I have no idea how to three ply and not enough hours in the day right now. It’s audit season and year end close for this accountant. These singles might need to rest for a bit, lol.
The first bobbin on the left is all pure yellow and the bobbin on the right is the where the pink and yellows mixed and it is more orange. I figure I have spun roughly half the braid. A large portion of this braid is all pink.
I think my plan is to spin the pile in the top right first as it is the lighter pink and then spin the ball of darkest pink last. I would hope to teach myself how to andean ply so I can make a gradient of all this yarn. But that might necessitate more brain power and mojo than I can seem to muster right now. Time will tell!