A new, potentially pricey, skill…


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hanging out in Mira Loma, California, with the Angora Rabbit Society and Spinning Guild. I contacted the Guild a few weeks ago to see if they could recommend anyone in the Escondido/San Diego area who might be willing to teach me how to spin. Cathy, who is listed as the point of contact for the group, offered to teach me herself and proceeded to invite me to a potluck gathering which was to be  yesterday.

Almost as soon as I walked in the door, she had me sit on the couch and introduced me to the drop spindle. Man, she made it look SO easy!! She explained it, then handed me a spindle and a bunch of roving (it was Kid Mohair) and had me give it a try.

This is what I ended up with:

That’s about 2 feet (and I’m being generous here) of yarn. Any part of it that appears to be spun correctly wasn’t done by me. This happened to be what Cathy was using to demonstrate. I don’t hold out much hope for ever being able to spin with a drop spindle. My coordination is just not up to the challenge. I may try again someday, but not soon.

Next, she offered to let me try out a wheel. She had a grand collection of Louet S90’s, and I snagged one and settled in for another lesson. My initial attempts were pretty dismal, and after a few tries she determined that the wheel wasn’t working quite right and sent me in to trade my first choice for another. Her sister happened to be in the living room, and whispered to me that the best one was the one in the back. Of course, I moved the other wheels out of the way and took that one!

Although it was tough at first, within an hour or so, I was hooked. In fact, I was so hooked that I never did get up to eat lunch. I didn’t even finish the Diet Coke I’d brought along with me. I sat in that chair for two and a half hours (possibly more), and made real live yarn!  Look!

It’s still really thick and uneven, but I’m so proud of it! I can’t describe how magical it was to watch as the single I spun was plyed, then wound up into a real live hank. Of yarn. Real yarn. That I made.

How cool is that?

Just so you don’t think I’ve been goofing off all week, I did clean my house…oh yeah, and I knit some more on the baby sweater. I actually had to start over, due to two really dumb mistakes. First, when I finished the back, I got all excited and cut the yarn before I read the last part of the directions: “Cast off two stitches at the beginning of the next two rows.” I didn’t have enough yarn to do two more rows, and taking two out and doing the cast off was going to screw up the length of the sweater. So I re-knit it. Second, remember I was showing off the cool cable I did on the left-front of the sweater the other day? Did anyone happen to notice that the cable was on the left side of the front piece? 

Let me give you a moment to think about it, maybe go back and look at the picture.

Yup, the cable is on the wrong side. As executed, the lovely cable would end up under the baby’s arm. Plus, to add insult to injury, the cable wasn’t as visible as I wanted it to be. So I re-knit that part too.

Here is the new left front.

The back is pretty boring, and looks much the same as it did earlier, but with two stitches missing on each end. I’ll leave that to your imagination.

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2 thoughts on “A new, potentially pricey, skill…

  1. Lots of love on your first drop spindle spinning attempt! We can only get better with practice, right? 🙂 Maybe I should try again…

    Lesley / pinktoque (from The Pink Toque Craftblog) & KnittingUnderTheDesk 🙂

    • knittingknewbie says:

      I can only hope to improve, although my wheel should be arriving some time in the next week or so!

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