Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spinning Forward

Now that I've been spinning for a little while I'm feeling mentally ready to move forward. My hands and muscles are nowhere near ready for that next step forward. I am very much still working on mastering the physical act of spinning in the one way I know how to spin, but I'm ready to move on in my head to learning some of the reasons behind spinning techniques and learning different methods so that I know what is out there technique-wise so that I can move forward once my hands are ready to branch out.

I've been sort of obsessively reading several spinning boards on Ravelry and trying to pick through the complete newbie threads to get to the ones where new spinners are asking "what next?" and reading the resources recommended to me and others before me.

I would *love* to learn in person with someone else. I teach private music lessons and I understand how important it is to have that immediate feedback as you learn a new physical skill. I have run into several issues on this front, however- mostly related to my schedule and the fact that I'm working during the local-ish guild meetings. I'm hopeful for a new shop that is opening next month about 45 minutes from me that they may offer classes that will help me grow as a spinner.

In the meantime, I thought it might be a good idea to list several resources in one place- after all, if I could use a reference source I'm sure others can as well! I'm imagining a post that will live in perpetual update, adding books, articles, videos and other resources as I find them or as other people send me information. Then it will all be there together, hopefully saving someone else the time it has taken me to hunt down information and good sources of fiber.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yarn Along: Re-do

{Yarning Along with Ginny}

Tour de Fleece finished this past Sunday, so I've reclaimed a little bit of my knitting time. I'm still trying to decide what to make with the yarn I made during the tour. It's about 300 yards of a light fingering weight that is a little uneven. I'm open to suggestions!

I made it the tiniest bit into the beginning of my Doctor Who Kernel the other day while waiting for my boys- all of 5 rows I believe. I'll really be able to get going on it as soon as Ellie's Stripey Cardigan is complete. 

And speaking of the cardigan... I have redone the edge of this cardigan 3 times. I did it without thinking the first time and kept it stockinette. As soon as I bound off I realized what I'd done and how the curling would never go away, so I immediately ripped it back and went with garter stitch. That didn't look quite right either so I went back and did a 1x1 ribbing. It's still not right, but I'm not settled on what to do so I decided to leave it for now and move on to the sleeves while I think on that bottom edge. 

I'm still reading Ready Player One in little bits when I get some time, but most of my attention is going to The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson while I figure out some spinning technique.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tour de Fleece Redux

I apologize for no post yesterday, but after having family in from out of town all weekend and then reporting for jury duty yesterday, a post just didn't happen. Tour de Fleece ended on Sunday though, and I wanted to be sure to share my progress and where I finished up.

I started with the goal to spin for at least 15 minutes every day, but I was making such great progress part way through the challenge that I started pushing myself to finish spinning all of the singles for that particular fiber by the end and even secretly hoped that I might finish all the plying too.

I got pretty darn close to that final goal. Wrapped around my makeshift Niddy-Noddy (also known as the lid to a plastic Rubbermaid tote that happens to measure 37.5 inches around) is the last bit that I plied on Sunday night and I have just one more plying ball wrapped around that blue pencil. I'll end up with approximately 300 yards of a light fingering weight yarn. You can see in the picture that I under-plied some areas- plying is still very new to me and I think I got better at putting more twist in as I went, but I'm still not sure it's enough. I'm working on plying research this week- I know I still have a lot of work to do on this particular skill.

I already started spinning another fiber. Knitting needles are not allowed in the courthouse, but spindles are so I used my great expanse of time waiting around during jury duty to start spinning something new. It's "White Wool Top" that I bought at the shop I took a class at back in February- it's apparently a mix of unspecified breeds that is supposed to be great for beginners to work with and I bought it on that recommendation. I'm not finding it difficult to work with, just a lot different to draft than the fiber I just finished working with.
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