WIP Wednesday: Spinning!

Turkish Spindle

Rengas Tiger & Bloodwood 1.4oz Turkish spindle

My spindle arrived last Tuesday!

Yes, I have been mad enough to add onto my ever growing hobby and interest list after reading, movies, photography, cooking, baking, running a blog, and travel.

I’ve been curious about spinning for awhile. Most knitters and fibre crafters are to some degree because it is one step before the process of knitting, crocheting or weaving.

At the beginning of this year, I suddenly felt it was time to take it on. I was immediately drawn to the turkish spindle because it would help with making the yarn into a ball.

I looked into getting the Knitpicks one (which is more expensive for me since I am in Canada), the Ashford one (could have ordered this at my LYS), but I finally decided on buying a handcrafted spindle from Threads Thru Time.

I found out about this Etsy shop from the Ravelry group. Everyone is very nice there and Barbara, who runs the shop, has some of the best customer service. She welcomed me into the group, asked me what I was interested in (medium for a beginner), and put me on her special order list. She even gave me a choice between the three woods before they were put up. The spindles that Barbara’s husband Dale makes are beautiful. They are not cheap of course, but if you want a lovely spindle that is in an heirloom of itself, please check her shop and the group out.

In anticipation of learning to spin (even before buying the spindle), I have been accumulating a spinning stash.

Fibre Stash


Two balls Icelandic wool, random white wool from a wool fest, and random green wool from a wool fest.

I won’t be spinning them yet. TTT provided some wool to start off with and I have some leftover fibre from thrums I have done:

Bits and bobs fibre

Bits and bobs of fibre: some orange alpaca/correidale, pure white alpaca, single ply yarn leftovers

I included leftover single ply yarn from sweaters. This includes the Estelle Ultra Alpaca, a lovely yarn that is discontinued. One woman told me that she was going to spin it finer which is a brilliant idea. This is a good way of using leftover yarn for spinning practise and future projects.

I do knit with single plys quite a bit and haven’t had much trouble with them when making sweaters, scarves or shawls. But for socks, I will need to 3ply. One of my main goals for spinning is to dye, spin, ply and knit a complete pair of socks for myself. At this rate, it’ll be a long time before that happens.

First attempt at spinning

Sad first attempt

Sad first try at spinning

All the videos make it seem much easier than it is! I also realize that a top whorl may have been better for beginner like me, but I tend to go bit farther in the pool. Still, I was really frustrated when I first started spinning this weekend. Learning to knit was never this frustrating. I think part of the reason is that I have these goals for spinning and know what I want and can do with it. When I started knitting, I wasn’t really sure what was going on so everything was new.

My problems were that I had a lot of severe kinkiness which I was afraid of over spinning, but having done more research, I think it is ok. I broke the leader twice before I finally got it. I found it very difficult to draft. I’m not sure what is going on with my draft zone; I don’t think I am doing that right.

First attempt continued

Second attempt

This is an ongoing project, but it will open my crafty doors since I will learn to spin, learn to ply, and learn to dye. Hey, that rhymed.

It is proving more difficult than I thought, but I will persevere.

Does anyone else spin? Any tips and tricks for a neophyte like me? What do you like to spin?

For more WIP Wednesdays, go to Tami’s Amis.

4 comments

  1. Wool Diaries says:

    I am definitely not brave enough or ready to attempt spinning. I take my hat off to you for attempting it and I am sure soon you will post a skein of your own spun fibre

  2. Word Lily says:

    I love spinning! When I was learning how to spin, I really benefited from in-person help. Does your LYS have a class you can take? You will get the hang of it, though, and once it clicks, it’s not that hard, I promise! 🙂

    • athena says:

      Hi Word Lily! In theory, they do, but not anytime soon. I learned to knit by myself so I was hoping I could learn by myself too. :-/ I hope it clicks soon. Thanks for the comment!

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