Monday, March 14, 2011

A spinning we will go, a spinning we will go, hi-ho, the derry-o, a spinning we will go!

I'm excited to announce that I am taking up a new adventure in my love of yarn.  I now will be trying to spin my own! It's all so fascinating.  I watched a few individuals from my knitting group spinning on their beautiful wheels and I got the notion that this is something I want to do too!  So I went to Weaving Works in Seattle on Friday (March 11) and I tried out a wheel and guess what? I bought it! Yep, right then and there! The spinning bug has bitten and I'm loving it.

My new Lendrum Spinning Wheel
Side View
Front View
As soon as I got my wheel home, I put it together and began spinning. I really like the compact design and the fact that it folds down so I can put it under my bed out of the way. It was really simple to put together, attach the wheel to the base with a screw then you just pop the mother-of-all that had the flyer already attached on to the top of the wheel (depending on how tall you are and the height of your chair, you can adjust the height of the mother of all - how cool is that?), and finally put the drive band and tension band on and it was ready to go!

At first I intended to get a single treadle (one-peddle) design, but after trying out the double-treadle, I knew I had to have it.  Apparently, I'm not that coordinated to pedal with one foot while trying to draft the fiber. At first all I was doing was watching my feet - how funny is that?  And of course by not paying attention to the lead or my drafting, I was pinching and holding the lead to tightly which then caused my yarn to be overspun and it knotted up on the bobbin.

The best part is this wheel spins so smoothly and once I can figure out the right bobbin tension my yarn will come out a little better. Because as you can see my first attempts at spinning are not pretty but I really enjoyed the process of spinning it myself.  I plied one cake of three-ply and a small cake of two-ply:
Two-ply on the left, three-ply on the right
On the left: two-ply, three ply on the right
I was so excited about spinning that I was on my wheel from about four o'clock Friday afternoon until midnight.  I would have kept at it, but I ran out of fiber and had to go out and get more on Saturday.  By Saturday, I was getting better at drafting and not holding the lead too tightly causing the overspinning.

Wheel came with a 3-bobbin Lazy Kate
(Purple-dyed corriedale - 2nd attempt at spinning)
Weaving Works threw in a bottle of spinning wheel oil
free fiber, & a WPI tool with the purchase of my wheel
By late in the evening on Saturday, I had almost two bobbins full with purple dyed corriedale and will probably make a two-ply cake, but I also realized that my thighs were getting quite a workout and decided to give it a rest around ten o'clock that night. Because I hadn't worked those muscles in quite some time, I was pretty sore the next morning!
Second bobbin with spun yarn
So on Sunday, instead of spinning I decided to finish the project that I have been working on for my grandniece who is due in May.  I finished her Garden Trellis Dress, paired it with a pair of  Baby Janes and finished the outfit with a Feather and Fan Bonnet - which coordinated with the dress perfectly (the bottom of the dress has the feather & fan design). I embellished each with the cutest purple crochet butterflies by Crocheted Sass.

To all the spinners out there, got any tips or tricks for a newbie?  I'm looking forward to getting proficient at my new adventure and hearing from all of you expert spinners out there!


  1. love the set and I think the wheel is a great addition to your house hold.

  2. Yeah uh where did you go to get more fiber and why did you go without me?

  3. Sorry...I ran out of the practice stuff, so I had to get more...I spun until 12:00 Friday night!

  4. That is so great! I want to spin so bad, so I'm going to be living vicariously through you for the time being. I hope you get really great at it!

  5. Thank you is a lot of fun! It is very relaxing once you get the hang of it and I'm only spinning for my own usage. I'm hoping it will cut down on my yarn cost!