Tuesday night was awesome! We had the best guest speaker, Theresa. Some of you are more familar with her Etsy shop, HooksandEyes. If you want to buy awesome local yarn in the area, check her out. She has a lot of great yarn not listed so contact her directly if you're looking for something. While Theresa spins year round, her shop fills up mostly in the fall when people pick up knitting. She spins fun things like cotton, wool, and bamboo. She also sells at the local arts and crafts market. Honestly, it was one of the most fun talks for me in a while. I've have always secretly wanted to learn how to spin, and getting to make a drop spindle was the absolute best. We all took cut up dowel rods and old CDS to make our own drop spindles.
This set-up takes about 5 mins. The next 2 hrs. were spent trying and happily failing at learning to spin yarn. You can see Theresa's beautiful yarn on right (hint hint any yarn shops in the area that are interested in carrying local yarn give her a call). Mine looked like a lumpy mass of...well, it was supposed to be yarn for a scarf for Nash, but it really looks like rug yarn instead. There's definitely an art to this. So how do you spin?
First you take a fluffy pile of batting and you tear off roughly in a thin 1 ft. section. Next, you draft it by pulling the yarn (this really needs to be seen in person) according to the staple of the thread. You end up with this super fine puffy thread. After drafting, you apply twist. First you roll a section down your pant leg, then once you have a section of twisted yarn roughly 10-14 inches long, you tie it around the bottom of the spindle below the CD. It will look like the photo below if it is resting on your knees. I'm pretty uncoordinated, but Theresa could spin it in the air really fast which was amazing. Me?
Well, I wrapped it around the top of hook and proceeded to keep rolling the spindle away from me on my pant leg picking up twist as I went. Twist is apparently what makes thread in the first place. This is apparently close to a form of spinning that is done by Navaho Indians to make their thread. They have huge spindles they rest on their legs to spin, don't ask me how. When you twist up a section of thread, you unwrap the thread from around the top hook and feed the spindle below to build up the thread. Once you get done, you upwind the thread either onto a special device like the one Theresa is hold at the top which measures the length of the thread or use a partner's hands to wind a skein. I would show you that part, but mine is SUPER ugly. Instead I will show you the pretty one up top. Apparently, you can learn to spin in 3 weeks and I'm told 2nd graders successfully spin after a few hours. Me, I'm glad I know someone who can feed my yarn addiction.
Hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe you can try your hand at spinning too. It's a lot of fun for all my rumblings about being uncoordinated. Have a great day and check in tomorrow.