Sunday, August 5, 2007

Spinning Out of Control

Thank you all for your compliments on my new wheel. I'm very happy with it. As for Sophie, she is indeed a Newfoundland. They are large working dogs, bred for fishing, water rescue, and as draft animals. They have webbed feet and coats that keep their skin dry even after hours in the water, which keeps them from getting cold while swimming. Females are usually between 100-130 pounds, while males (which look strikingly like black bears) can reach nearly 200 pounds. Sophie is very tall for a female, but lean. Most Newfies are bulkier looking.

But I'll bet you'd like to hear how the spinning is going. Learning to spin is a lot like learning to drive a car. It looks pretty easy to begin with. Lots of people do it. You read the book, you listen to the teacher. Seems straightforward enough. You put the key in the ignition...and suddenly it's like you have twelve hands and feet and they're all doing different things at the same time and you can't possibly keep track of all of them at once. There's a lot of stalling, some backing up, some restarting, and maybe a few moments of panic. And there seem to be a lot of people yelling at you and telling you what to do. At least with spinning, you don't have to worry about killing anyone while you're learning to tell up from down. (Except maybe family members who hang over you, pointing out that your roving is twisting up, your hands are moving too slow, and "that doesn't look much like yarn".)

I did manage to spin two bobbins of lumpy, overtwisted, totally unusable singles, which I then plied into one bobbin of even lumpier, overtwisted, totally unusable super bulky two-ply not-yarn. But I still consider it a success, since there was noticeable improvement over my first attempt.

I hope the learning curve for this activity is steep. I'd hate to spend the next year turning lovely roving into really ugly hamster bedding.

11 comments:

MelissaKnits said...

1.) patience is a virtue.
2.) that is not unusbale super bulky. It is a very cool hat, or a scarf, or a bag or something not yet knitted on size 15 needles. At the least it is something to keep. I regret not keeping my first stuff. I keot my son's first - we call it dreads.

Tammy said...

Ahhhh... but isn't the process part of the joy? Remember that first garter stitch fun fur scarf? I remember mine... blue fun fur... who would've ever thought that I wouldn't love and appreciate it forever?

You'll get there. Practice makes perfect!

Sarah said...

You'll be churning out laceweight singles before you know it!

5elementknitr said...

I love the not-yarn! I think it looks really cool! If you hate it... I'll take it!

I've not seen your husband, but your boy looks JUST like you!

Sharon said...

Your "not-yarn" will soon become nice, thin strands of real yarn. You look like you are having a blast with your wheel! Kind of how I felt squirting dye all over yarn this weekend. For some reason, my handpainting results don't look like the Koigu I was envisioning. But I imagine it's like spinning, or any other new skill--I learned tons from my mistakes.

Mel said...

Personally, I think your "not-yarn" is beautiful in that way that only something really creative and genuine can be. I had no idea it was so easy to get started spinning. Uh. Oh.

Kim said...

You are doing great! And you made 2-ply! Save your first handspun because it's fun to look at once you get really good (I haven't gotten there yet, but an expert spinner friend showed me her first yarn and it was lumpy just like mine) Just keep at it and it gets easier and the yarn more yarn-like. For me, pre-drafting the fiber is the key. I love your dog!

Karen said...

Ah yes, I have some yarn that looks a lot like that from when I started too. The more you practice, the easier it will get. The finish on your wheel came out wonderful!

Lydee said...

That looks like fun! Has anyone else in the family tried yet?

uberstrickenfrau said...

I like the pic of you and son spinning away! Looks so crafty and homey.

Kristin said...

I'd say that your "assistant" is itching to give it a try.