I really do fathom myself a fiber artist although I do agree I spend entirely too much time at my day job and then, when not at work, wandering around the house attempting to fake being a good housekeeper. I have nailed “awesome mom” though – no faking it there!
For our anniversary, The Man was sweet enough to get me my first spinning wheel. Keep in mind, I have attempted to drop spindle (which ended rather “eh” if you ask me). While I can do it, I do not do it to textbook (in that I park and draft, park and draft, way too much for the expert drop spindler) nor am I at all quick about it. To get a few yards of single ply yarn, I am pretty sure I saw at least 8 seasons go by.
But now I am equipped with a Kromski unfinished Prelude wheel. And boy can it spin fast (even though it squeaks). Since getting the wheel on Feb 28th, 2016, I have completed a few bobbins worth of yarn, attempted to ply twice (which landed with me purchasing a jumbo bobbin setup a week or so ago), and even knit a pair of fingerless mitts out of my last attempt to ply.
The entire process is pretty exciting. While I am no expert, I definitely see myself getting better. I think the best “spinning 101” lesson I received was from some random YouTube video telling me “expected to not be perfect – expect to waste some fiber.” My friend A-With told me to not get down on myself when it doesn’t just happen for me. And boy – did it definitely not happen for me immediately! She gave me 2 pounds of some random white fiber and with the words of the video-lady echoing in my head, I set out to learn to spin. And I tried. And it would clump. And then it would go backwards, then it wouldn’t pull in. Then I had what appeared to be someone’s white dreadlock hosing up my bobbin. And then it would catch, and then it would break… and then I’d cuss (I actually did that a lot… starting at the very beginning of my learner’s process).
And then my first bobbin was full.
And soon thereafter… my second. And lo and behold – the second bobbin actually looked better than the first!
Could it be…. progress?!??!?!?!
It was a rough beginning but I am doing not too half-bad(ish) now. I did ply the second bobbin together (my first attempt at that) and got a relatively decent looking fiber. 26 whole yards of it!
Ok – 26 yards isn’t crazy impressive, but the fact I was able to do it relatively quickly in comparison to the drop spindle, I am/was pretty impressed with how quickly I seemed to get better. I can definitely draft out and create a more consistent thread. I have not got to a point where after plying I am getting lace weight or sock weight yarn, but I am still learning.
I truly do believe we should continue to push ourselves to learn new things – be it as simple as reading a book or something much more complex than spinning yarn. But no matter where we are in the learning spectrum at any given point in the day, I do think it is healthy for us to always be learning – always be doing something to satisfy a curiosity or improve upon a skill.
Here is bobbin #3. Getting better!