It’s been on the back of my mind for several months now that it would be interesting to learn how to spin. I know spinning is one of those things that you either find meditative and soothing or else pretty dull. I was hoping that I’d belong to the first category, as recently I’ve started thinking that I really would like to be able to design and make my own yarn.
While knitting my Noro jumper, I spent a long time admiring the different colours in the yarn and how one colour gradually changes into another. I realised that I prefer yarns that have been dyed before spinning – you just get more subtle colour interactions that way. I also wished there was a Noro-like yarn that did not end up being so stripy. It did not take me long to conclude that I need to learn to spin and dye so that I can get exactly the kind of yarn I want.
Another source of spinning inspiration have been two great blogs that I read regularly – Crochet with Raymond and MiA. The colourful yarns these ladies spin are just gorgeous – I was getting serious yarn envy! They made me wish I could create something similar.
So finally I decided it’s time to do something about this, and I dug out a spindle that someone gave me a long time ago. YouTube turned out to be a fantastic learning resource of helpful videos, covering everything from pre-drafting your fibre and carding to spinning and plying. I did a search on “spinning on a drop spindle”, and found videos by afranquemont and theartofmegan that were very useful.
My first yarn ended up being like thick rope, but the second attempt (in the picture above) was much better. I also learned to use my grandmother’s carders, and played with mixing some different coloured wools, just to see what happens. I particularly liked that process – I suppose I always love anything that lets you play with colours.
So, which category do I belong to? Well, so far I’ve really enjoyed the process and do find spinning very hypnotic and addictive, so I am definitely going to be doing more of it. Next step, learning to spin on a wheel!