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October 27, 2007
spinning

So I've been itching to try it for a while and finally have the time -- I've been spinning. I spent a couple of days getting pointers from my friend Dawn and getting to know her Majacraft Little Gem. Soon after I managed to sweet talk Kristine into loaning me her "Sweetie" -- an Ashford Traveler.

I must say that the wheel is much more pleasant and engaging than the spindle. Hypnotic and soothing, as knitting can be, but somehow more subtle and with a smoother rhythm. Perhaps it's my place on the learning curve, but since it involves both hands, both feet, the eyes and the brain, it's quite absorbing. I still haven't decided on what wheel will be the right one for me, though a castle style wheel with double treadle seems, at least physically, the most correct. I welcome any input on wheel likes and dislikes, of course!

I've spun a hand dyed silk cap, so far, a roving I dyed back when with Mary-Kay, and a hat's worth of what I dubbed Andromeda-Plus. Some fleece from Cousin Elizabeth's sheep, which I washed and then combed with dog combs. I left some natural and dyed some pink with Kool-Aid. To that, as I spun, I added in bits and pieces of whatever fleecy fluffy stuff came to hand whenever I got bored to practice joining. So bits of various wools and even some silk. Because I didn't have a lot of patience or the right equipment, the fleece is what we might call "minimally processed". Still lots of weird chunky bits and pieces of vegetable matter, and I really didn't even try to spin consistently. Everyone I've talked to said to enjoy the unevenness and general funkiness of early spinning efforts. So I went for a very organic look. I decided not to ply it as it's whimsy started to get lost. Once done, I instantly cast on and knit this hat, again without a lot of forethought. It's fun and suits the yarn I think, as well as it's intended recipient, Andromeda's owner.

02:07 PM
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