Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spinning

Sometimes Tuesdays are for spinning at my house.  This is what I use for spinning... that's Muffball trying to help.  Actually, this was her first introduction to the wheel and I tried to get a picture of her climbing up on top, but the moment passed too quickly and she never tried again.  The wheel is an Ashford Traveller double drive and I've had it for... let's see, eight years.  My youngest was a baby and slept in her carseat while I had my first spinning lesson.  It was the final blow of the pregnancy hormones -- the same ones that suggested I take up knitting.  Eight years later, I'm still waiting to get it out of my system.

Ashford wheels are from New Zealand and you assemble them yourself.  I'm better at mechanical things than I was before putting this wheel together, but I'm still not going to win any prizes for technical achievement in spinning.  The basic principle is that you make the wheel go clockwise while spinning (to create a "Z" twist yarn) and then when you have two or more bobbins full, you make the wheel go counter-clockwise while plying (to create an "S" twist finished yarn).  You can experiment with this on someone who has long hair and wants twisty ponytails; it's the same basic idea.

This is what I've been spinning: light gray Shetland wool, 1 1/2 pounds, hopefully enough for a sweater.  I'm doing a 3 ply, more-or-less worsted weight yarn.  I've had good success with this type of handspun yarn for sweaters in the past.  Spinning is a good activity to calm you down when you're watching "V" episodes with your teenage sons.  It takes your mind right off that evil alien queen and her nefarious plans for humanity when you're concentrating on getting an even amount of twist into the yarn as it passes through your fingers.  One hour-long episode equals about half a bobbin of spinning.  I need to fill another 3/4 of a bobbin before I can ply again.

1 comment:

7292d932-44f0-11e0-bf4f-000f20980440 said...

So I know nothing about spinning. But I enjoy the end product. Great picture of muffball!