Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ladybug, Ladybug... away home.

And she did! To my home, that is. My Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel that was my Christmas present arrived near the end of January -- some delay at the factory -- and now we are at the dawning of a new fiber obsession.

She came via Woodland Woolworks, which also sent a kit with oil, orifice hook (there must be a better name -- sounds like a medieval torture device), and a pound of fiber, labeled Falkland Top from Argentina. I also ordered a tensioned Lazy Kate that integrates into the frame -- and talk about terrific customer service, I had that Lazy Kate within a week of ordering.

So here's what I started with: a pound of undyed wool top, ready for spinning:

A friend in the local spinning guild invited me to an open spin-in and got me started, whereupon I worked up a couple of bobbins full of somewhat wobbly singles:

Once I had two full bobbins, I took the third and started plying, figuring that out from pictures in books and on the web:

And once the first bobbin of plied yarn was full, I stopped at the yarn shop on the way home from work and said, "I need a niddy-noddy, which is not easy to say at the end of a long day!" (Need a niddy noddy.... nod a needy-niddy... nid a noddy-needy...)

After I had the first yarn skeined, I washed it in Soak, squeezed out the water, whacked it a few times to fluff it up, and hung it up to dry:

And voila! Yarn!

Okay, so I have some tension issues and plying issues to work out. But you have to start somewhere. After all, no one sits down to the piano for the first time and plays Chopin perfectly -- and no one sits down at the piano thinking they're going to butcher Chopin on purpose, either. Practice, practice, practice, that's how you get to Carnegie Hall as the old joke goes. And that's how the yarn gets better and better.

That's the first 8 ounces of the pound of fiber. Now on to the second half, where I can see my singles are already starting to get a little more even.


Lizzie said...

Brilliant, congratulations... I always wanted to do it but never got round to it.

Katie said...

Practice makes Pervert! :)

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! Can't wait to see your second batch spun up. :)

Anonymous said...

That is an amazingly beautiful first skein!! The best thing my friend that taught me to spin said was to spin just a little every day- 10 or 15 minutes- then before you know it, it will begin to feel natural.

That is an awesome skein.

Iron Needles said...

Welcome to the dark side.

(I was a wee bit late to work today because I was just going to get the rest of that last bobbin plied...)


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