Something Like Yarn

Learning to do new things is always an adventure. I remember learning how to knit, which for the first six months or so was an exercise in patience… and stubbornness! There were so many things to keep track of, yarn, needles, stitches, brain cells. The first few things I knit were so tight they’re probably bulletproof. Then I over-compensated, and the next thing I knew I was knitting aran-weight yarn on US 4’s.

This is how I learn things… I screw them up until I get it right.

Spinning has been no exception. I was getting quite a bit of back-spin for a while, so I started flicking the spindle really hard… which caused it to wobble and sway back and forth alarmingly. When I got that under control, I immediately had drafting problems. Big wads of undrafted fiber getting through my fingers, combined with the exercise of my vocabulary. (Apparently novice spinners should come equiped with warning signs about strong language!)

But I stuck with it, spinning during lunch breaks, cursing under my breath, dropping the spindle… and finally watching the fiber draft off of my fingers into a coherent single. Oh now, wasn’t that just a lovely moment!

I was waving my spindle under the noses of my unsuspecting (and very indulgent) co-workers. “Look, look! It’s even, it’s the same thickness for six whole inches! Isn’t that cool? Watch, watch, let me show you!”

They agreed that it was lovely, although there was a certain wildness about their eyes, and I wasn’t at all flattered by the way they backed nervously towards the door. Was it that missionary gleam in my eyes, do you think?

Finally, I’d crammed as much spun fiber onto the spindle as I could. My spinning mentors showed me how to make a plying ball, and the next thing I knew I was plying. Wheee, more fun!

Last Wednesday I got the plied yarn off of the spindle, and it looked like this:

First Yarn, Pre-Blocking

A quick soak in some warm water, a couple of thwacks on the counter, and it looked like this:

First Yarn, Post-Blocking

It’s approximately 69 yards of something like yarn. And I made it with my own widdle hands.

Endless thanks to Janis of Dyelots! for the gift of the dyed wool, to my Wednesday girlfriends for all of the tips, and to my co-workers for not calling the nice men to take me away to a padded room.

Now then, where’s that lace-weight spindle?

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9 Responses to Something Like Yarn

  1. donna lee says:

    Exactly like yarn! There is nothing like knitting with yarn you’ve spun yourself. Slubs and all.

  2. Karen says:

    Beautiful! I taught my sister to spin a few weeks ago, and it’s so much fun re-living my own first baby steps…keep at it, and within weeks you’ll be spinning like a pro, guaranteed!

  3. KT says:

    Love that green. You should bring it tonight to show it off.

  4. TheBon says:

    Huzzah for this first something like yarn!

  5. drkknits says:

    oh i have no patience, or the delicate hand, for spinning, but im glad others do persist because this looks just lovely! well done!

  6. Rose Red says:

    Oh it looks fantastic! Clever you!

  7. keeralynn says:

    That’s great yarn! and a fantastic color!

  8. Chandler says:

    I love it. It’s a beautiful thing, and an act of courage. I’m always completely in awe when I see people spinning, because I just know in my heart that even though they make it look so effortless when all that roving gets drafted down into beautifully even strands…it, well, isn’t.

  9. Sara says:

    Lovley lovely job! Congratulations on stitcking with it!

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