Learning to Spin

01 May

first bobbin ever

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).

spinning 4

bobbin 1 vs bobbin 2

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!

spinning 3



Posted by on May 1, 2016 in My Projects


2 responses to “Learning to Spin

  1. Susan D Crochet Addict UK

    May 2, 2016 at 1:12 am

    You have made great progress!
    Get some oil for your wheel. A wheel needs to be tended with love. You clean off the old oil and oil it again. The squeaking will go and it will spin easier.
    I’m sure you’ll be spinning like a pro soon. Merino is fantastic for spinning especially when you are starting out.

    • Cris

      May 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      I have oil but admittedly, I’m not 100% sure I’m oiling all the right spots! I think the squeak is coming from the treddle where the “hinge” (?) meets the tredle with the leather tie. I also did not know I should wipe the old oil off and add more!


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