Friday, June 1, 2012

Making Threads

My new badge!

I've been connected on Facebook with some really cool people for a while ... some own sheep and alpacas and other critters that offer humans the bounty of their winter coats after they are sheared for the summer.  Others take that bounty and clean and card and dye and spin into wonderful yarns.

I have resisted the urge to take up spinning yarn up until now.  I connected with a wonderful gal just up the road from me and I've fallen off the precipice of resistance into a huge vat of soft, gorgeous wool.  (And some really good eggs!)

When I pulled into Jacob's Reward Farm, I was greeted by some lovely sights, one of which is to the right here.  I forgot to ask Cindy for their names! Hopefully I'll get better acquainted when I go for my next yarn spinning lesson.

Inside the "Red Barn" I found wondrous things ... like natural spun yarns you see to the left.

And New Zealand Wool Roving. Sort of looks like cheese, doesn't it?

Four of us were taking our first spinning class that day and each received a package that included one of the balls of roving (above) and our very first "drop spindle" made from recycled CDs complete with instructions and the arrow to remind us which direction to spin!

Here is my very own ball of roving ready to split and "pre-draft" in preparation for the actual spinning.

Pre-drafted roving.

And here is my very first attempt at spinning yarn. You can tell, too, by the chunkiness and the lack of a good twist in some of the portions. Cindy had the four of us raise our right hands and swear an oath that we would allows ourselves to make "ugly yarn" for our fist several attempts. Regardless of ugly, it was definitely FUN!

I must confess, though.  I took this off the spindle when I got home and restarted, using some of this ugly yarn as the "leader" yarn to start a new spin.

I would have loved to take photos of the actual spinning process, but unfortunately that would require at least four arms and a much larger brain! There are some great videos on YouTube, however, that show the entire process.

All in all, I was quite happy to learn this new craft! Using a drop spindle makes the craft portable and I do like portable. I'm not good at being idle so I always have something with me wherever I go to stay occupied when I find myself in a state of waiting. In this day and age, and with a 17-year old daughter, in a state of waiting is something I often find myself.

Of course, I know I shall soon be ready to go beyond a drop spindles made from recycled CDs. This caught my eye when I was surfing the worldwide web after signing up for "spin class." And, of course, one of these is most likely in my future:

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