the knitting ref

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Adventures in Spinning

So Thursday when I said I’d fill you in on my adventures in spinning tomorrow, I really meant Saturday.

The adventure began at Village Spinning & Weaving in Solvang. It probably a good thing this store isn’t any closer to my home. Too much good stuff. (It’s bad enough they have an online catalog.) One of the owners (I wish I had gotten her name) greeted us warmly. At the time we were the only customers in the store, and when she found out I was a new spinner, she nicely asked questions about how much I knew and gave some great tips and ideas.

There was a cute moment during our conversation. The conversation turned to wheels, and when I told Owner Lady that I had just purchased a new (to me) wheel, the Hubster, who had been quietly following me around and listening to our conversation, piped up and told her that I had brought the wheel along with us camping. He was thinking (like most non-knitter/spinners) that such information would elicit an “isn’t-that-weird” type response from Owner Lady. Without batting an eye, Owner Lady says, “Oh, I know a lot of spinners who do that.” The look on the Hubster’s face was priceless.
Although some roving had come with the wheel and I had a pound (!) of plain Corridale roving, I could not leave that store empty-handed. The green is “English Wool”, and the other 3 are merino. Too pretty.

As we were driving away on vacation, I had spent exactly 2 ½ hours being taught how to spin on a spinning wheel. And not a minute of it on MY wheel. So it was with more than a bit of trepidation that I pulled the wheel out of the car at our campsite. After all, I was in a rather public forum. We had the premiere site (#4) there at Limekiln. It one of 2 that looks directly out onto the ocean. At some point, just about everybody who visits eventually walks by on the way to the beach.
But the Big Sur mojo was strong. I tied up a leader on the bobbin, and started spinning. I started with the roving that came with the wheel. It was a bit rough, and I was a bit rough, but the rhythm soon came, and before I knew it, I had spun up all of the dark brown. So then I picked up the off-white. It was feeling good. And I was garnering a fair bit of attention from my fellow campers. The kids were really funny, because they were usually the ones to stop and look while the adults were trying to take surreptitious peeks at what I was doing. And the Hubster invited them in (cause he loves to talk--he’s the talker in the family), and I gave several mini-lessons. It helped that I could b.s. my way through most of it cause after all, what did anybody else know? One of the other campers even asked if he could video me.

Before too long, I was ready to try plying in which I had had no instruction whatsoever, so I read what the book I had brought along had to say, and dove it. Success!
Altogether I have almost 300 yards of 2-ply (mostly) crappy yarn. I’m thinking I’ll make a hat or some such out of it.

After I emptied the bobbins, my new purchases were calling me. I decided to try the English Wool. I really like the colors in the roving, and I figured I might be fairly successful with it. Was I ever.
So far I have 2 bobbins of lace weight that I am absolutely in love with, and I‘ve only used half of the package. Now to find the perfect lace pattern. Any suggestions?

On the way home, we made another pit stop in Solvang and made a few more purchases. 2 more English Wools (the Hubster already has dibs on the blue roving), and 1 more Merino.
What with all this, the alpaca my secret pal sent me, and the Corridale, I’ll have plenty to spin for quite a while. Spinning is something I’ve always (I’m talking like since I was a kid) been intrigued by, and I’m so glad I’ve jumped in. While knitting has been, and will continue to be, very therapeutic, spinning is very quickly developing a higher therapeutic zone. I’m finding it very meditative. Not that I necessarily have to put my whole focus into what I’m doing, but the rhythm of it is very, very soothing.


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Debstmomy said...

Wow!!! You are a natural. How about some lace knitting with the fingerling. I like Branching Out on

Hope you are felling stronger each day!

At 4:27 AM, Anonymous Kelly said...

What a beautiful job on the spinning! You've been bit by th bug now and believe my it's a slippery slope lol!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Daisy said...

Thanks for the advice about the squash! It had me totally stumped!
Love your spinning too!


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