If you saw my post about the 2013 DFW Fiber Fest you already know that I’ve jumped onto the spindling bandwagon. However, I never wrote about how I got started and that’s what this post will cover today. I picked up the fiber-stashing bug late last year after seeing (and buying) the most gorgeous braid dyed by Two if by Hand. The colorway was called Olivander’s Wand Shop and was so enchanting in person that I actually started buying more fiber even though I didn’t own a spindle or spinning wheel at the time. I’ll have to take a photo of it sometime, oddly enough I don’t have one on record. Anyway, Pigeonroof Studios also sells very gorgeous braids of fiber and so I picked up a few more. Before I knew it I had an actual stash! Thankfully Madtosh had a Spinning 101 class back in March to teach spindling which helped me get on my way to a new hobby.
My first yarns were pretty terrible but taught me some useful lessons like needing to pre-draft and not using already felted wool to spin.
My next spins were a bit better but still not the quality I had envisioned. I also toyed around with plying and learned how to spin on a Turkish spindle.
The set above was all done on the Turkish spindle which I like spinning on due to the fact that you’re able to create a center pull ball as you spin, however, the one I have is a bit sluggish and can make spinning with enough twist a challenge. That’s about the time when I picked up my awesome spindles at the DFW Fiber Fest from Spinatude.
Her spindles are light, fast, and can produce a much finer yarn than the other spindles I bought. Thank goodness I picked up the new ones because my spinning really took off after that.
This yarn was made using a braid of Becoming Art Superwash Merino in “Neverland” and is my first full braid spin. The skeins right to left are oldest to most recently spun (the teeny mini-skein). I loved spinning with the superwash merino. So soft and easy to draft, great for beginners like myself.
Now that I’m more comfortable with the mechanics of spinning on a spindle I’m moving up to the next level. I’m hoping to get a spinning wheel in September and am crossing fingers it’ll go on as planned. I recently acquired this beauty from Pigeonroof Studios that is 40% Merino, 40% Yak, 20% Silk and want to save it for when I’m more advanced.
If you’re looking into spinning I would recommend a few things based on my experience these past 6 months: 1) use a good spindle that can produce a nice level of energy. This varies based on the size/weight of the spindle and what you want your yarn output to look like. 2) Pre-drafting is your friend, particularly at the beginning. My hands were dealing with enough as I learned to use the spindle and drafting as you go may make it a little more difficult (this may also be dependent on what type of fiber you use). 3) Don’t get frustrated if your hand/arm get tired quickly as you begin. It’s totally natural. I could only do about 10 minutes each day until about 3 weeks in and everything clicked. I think it’s because my hand/arm/shoulder got used to the process. Now I can spin for hours if I want to.
If you spin please leave comments to add your thoughts and recommendations. I would love to hear about how you got started in spinning as well!