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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Get your spin on

When I first started knitting, way back in 2002, I knew virtually nothing about the whole process of sheep to sweater. My first scarf was an acrylic garter stitch scarf in a teal green I normally wouldn't have chosen (but still love!) I continued on this way, until I discovered yarn stores. Stores full of yarn for knitting, uncomplicated by paint or framing or stickers which usually dominated the stores I'd been buying my yarn in.

I also, at that same time, discovered just how much money one can spend on yarn. And that it's an evil practice to not mark prices anywhere near the yarn.

I was mostly content with this new discovery, trying out new fibers, weights, and stitches. But somewhere along the way I still wanted more. I wanted to learn how to spin. Growing up, my mom had a spinning wheel that I would play on occasionally. As wheels are expensive for something you just want to try out, I got a drop spindle, some fiber, and started.

And was awful. Lumpy, inconsistent, fuzzy edged bulky yarn. Not what I wanted at all. So I put it down and waited. My local LYS started offering spinning classes and I jumped. I'm no expert now, but I have a better understanding of what I can do to change the texture of my yarn.

Which brings me back to spinning on a wheel. I really want to try it - and I'm planning on hitting up the somewhat local spinning store next week to check out wheels. My question for those of you who spin is how does spinning on a wheel differ from using a drop spindle, and what should I look for in a wheel? I see all sorts of drive ratios, treadles, etc, and it's a little overwhelming :)

Still knitting away on the second manly sock. And a few secret projects! Happy Wednesday all!

1 comments:

Katie said...

I'm so glad you have gotten into spinning! I got a wheel about 2 months ago (but haven't had a chance to really use it yet). I find that the wheel and the spindle are not really all that similar. The spindle is much more of a process -- each time I wind onto the cop I can see how the yarn is turning out. The wheel, however, yields so much more, and the fact that I don't have to wind on makes it really meditative in a different way from the spindle.

I got the Lendrum wheel after going to Sticks and Stones with the idea of buying a less expensive used wheel. It's a really wonderful wheel to work with and I had two people recommend it to me before I was even thinking about buying it. (You might also try the Weaver's Studio in Solvang, they may have some wheels too...)

I don't even bother thinking about ratios, etc. yet. I simply wanted a wheel I could grow with.

Have fun trying them out!