Spinning – Moving along


You cannot be in a hurry and be a spinner.  This is not an instant gratification activity.  Hours are spent just teasing the fibers out of the roving to twist into the threads that will one day be a ply in a two or three ply yarn.  On a good day I can spin one bobbin of thread in three hours.  Last night was not a good day.

I am close.  I am just having some breakage issues with the brown roving – which I am starting to suspect is the alpaca part of this blend.  Alpaca, I am learning, does not have the same grip to itself that wool has – it is slipperier (is that a word?), and as a result, I had some problems with breaks where the shetland roving was not spinning with the alpaca.  Slowed me down enough so that in three hours of spinning I did not fill my bobbin.  Sigh.

The good news is that I am getting to the end of this ball of roving.

That’s the last of it.

My new friend Vicki is going to sell me her Bulky Flyer and jumbo bobbins so that I can ply my three bobbins of fiber into one big bobbin of yarn.  I like Vicki.  She reassures me that my spinning is about where it should be as a beginner and not to judge my work against my sister’s – who is a freak of nature when it comes to the wooly arts (in the good way).  So after I get my jumbo bobbins I will hopefully be able to show you a better ball of yarn than my first one.  We will see.  No one has actually SHOWN me how to ply so  . . . . .

As for learning new skills, this weekend I have a class in mohair.  I bought a flick carder for this.

Flick carders – like hand carders – can look a little scary.  Those are some sharp little metal teeth there.

Kinda hard to imagine that those teeth would not damage the fiber in combing, but it seems to work out alright.

My understanding is that with flick carders you comb out a lock at a time.  I am curious as to whether there is a reason that you would choose to flick card over hand card – but I guess I will know if there is on Saturday.

With Christmas present production demanding more of my time, I think that getting any spinning done at all is an accomplishment, so I accomplished this week but did not complete.  Tomorrow I have something to show you that goes to our next warmer weather project.  See you then.

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About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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5 Responses to Spinning – Moving along

  1. danielle says:

    Haha! You and Vicki are funny. You’ll have to come visit me one weekend and go to knit night with me. I actually took their picture this past Sunday so I could post about them on my blog. Such fun ladies. I think your spinning looks great to me! I can’t wait to see how pretty that is plied (plyed?) I finished plying half of my purple/grey BFL last night and I still love it. I will take a picture of it soon to show you (and the rest of the world.) You think spinning on a wheel is slow, try and see how fast you go on a drop spindle. Not very fast, I can assure you. 😉

    • Shelly R. says:

      Yeah, but how do I fit Linda Lou in Starbucks? Of course you love your purple/grey BFL – your spinning is AMAZING – it is going to turn out beautiful!!
      And I agree – I would never have the patience to do a drop spindle. It makes my spinning wheel feel like a Ferrari.
      Wait till you see what came in the mail today . . . . . .

  2. pentalia says:

    Well, I think your yarn is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Shelly R. says:

      I wish I could take credit for it but it came pre-dyed – which I think is what makes it beautiful. But it is dyed using natural dyes. The brown is dyed using Madder and must have been dyed in a hot water process as a cold water process with Madder will give you red (see – I’m learning :)) The Blue is Indigo. I also think that I should have unwound the roving and soaked it then let it dry some before spinning it. It is pretty dry which I think is contributing to the breakage when spinning. I can’t wait to learn the dying end of this. Oh shoot – I forgot to take a picture of the new roving. Next week. It’s just white but it looks cool. Do you spin? I should have looked. You do everything else 🙂

      • pentalia says:

        Aw, that’s very sweet of you to say! But no, I don’t spin. I tried spinning cotton from the bolls (life in Texas means cotton is good), using a drop spindle. The owner of the closest LYS (Yarnorama) very nicely taught me, and I worked on it a bit. I think it’s actually possible to do it, but I’d rather spend my time knitting and making up patterns. However, I am learning the fine art of appreciating lovely hand-spun, hand-dyed yarns!

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