Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fun With Learning

I am still new to spinning. I have improved from when I began, but there is still much to learn. Friday night, I learned a lesson. It is not just about spinning. I learned to be sure that the yarn I use for ties on my skein need to be checked for colorfastness, especially if I am going to give the yarn a simmer bath. FYI, the bits of Magic Garden Cotton Candy DK that I tossed into the scrap drawer after I wove in all the ends from the last Shedir I knit, yeah, they are a poor choice for this process. I had spun and plied some Blue Faced Leicester. It is lovely fiber and a joy to spin. I liked what I had spun and thought that I would spin more just like this and knit a shawl. Well, this mini skein has some stained spots from the ties, and it is all lightly colored. I was disappointed, but it is not a big deal. I may knit a little swatch with my baby skein of lace. I just did a try at checking wpi, and I think it is about 38. It was my first time trying to check wpi, and I did not give it too much effort or attention. I think I have about 70 yards of the stuff. It should make a nice-sized swatch. I need only pick out a lovely, lacy, stitch pattern to try.

My learning experiences did not end with this stained skein. Some of the Skanky Knitters are taking a class to learn to spin on a spinning wheel. They are renting wheels to practice between classes. One ran out of fiber, so I volunteered to bring her some. She let me have a go on the Majacraft. It was my first time with a spinning wheel. I thought that I would fare decently because of my experiences with the drop spindle. I thought wrong. When I began on the drop spindle, there was some emphasis on the word "drop." How I managed to achieve this same effect with a spinning wheel is beyond me. The upside is that we were able to change the bobbin, as she had filled one, and did not know how to switch it out for an empty one. I did not do well with the wheel. Still, it was nice to try it out and it was even nicer to visit my friend. It was my first time to her home and it is lovely. She is doing pretty well with the wheel. Some of the fibers I brought for her to try out worked better for her than others. It was good that she got to sample a few varieties. Still, I wish that I had brought her more of the ones that spun more easily for her. I hope I brought enough to get her through until her next class on Tuesday. I can always bring more to her on Monday night if she needs it. I suppose it is just as well that I struggled with the wheel, because it will take awhile before I can buy one. I believe that I have decided on an Ashford Traveller. Before that happens, I think we may have to buy a new refrigerator, as ours might be dying. We are going to try and see if we can perhaps repair it. We shall see what happens. Being responsible feels boring compared to the fantasy of a spinning wheel. Everything in its time, eh? Until then, there is still much to do and learn. My lovely stash will keep me company and keep me entertained. I do have some projects I would like to begin.

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