Spinning the time away

I didn’t have a lot on my Christmas wish list last year, Mostly because I wanted to make sure I got the thing I really wanted: a spinning wheel.

Ashford spinning wheel
No idea what I’m doing, but it’s fun!

And there is was on Christmas morning, unwrapped and waiting for me to get my hands on it. Adam/Santa gave me a previously enjoyed single treadle Ashford spinning wheel.

I confess I knew nothing about spinning  fiber into yarn. But I knew I wanted to do it. I had lots of misconceptions, but YouTube set me straight. There was no needle to prick my finger upon and fall into a one-hundred-year sleep (this is still the first thing people comment

Handspun yarn
My first balls of handspun yarn

about when they see the spinning wheel in our living/dining room — Where’s the needle? Don’t prick yourself!) . The yarn also doesn’t go around the big wheel (as I thought for some reason), it goes through a little hole (called an orifice) and winds onto a bobbin after being twisted.

The kids were at their Dad’s for Christmas, so I had time to play. I quickly whipped up a few balls of chunky yarn from my original roving stash (the one that started this whole new obsession). And then I was out! What to do!

Fortunately, Eugene Textile –where the spinning wheel came from in the first place — came to the rescue and I bought myself the first of many hanks of roving.

Sock yarn.

That hand dyed roving became sock yarn with which I eventually knitted a pair of socks for Adam. Nice, warm, woolen socks. I’ll blog about them sometime in a knitting projects roundup post.

And then I was off, moving from one spinning project to another. I like to think I get successfully better with each new fiber I spin, but the jury is still out on that.

Hand dyed top roving (a little more than I intended).

Lately I’ve gotten into dying the fiber, either before or after I spin it.  That’s a learning adventure as well, but it’s fun.

I don’t have as much time to spin while kids are home and the craziness of everyday life is going on, but when I do, I enjoy the meditation of it. It’s a zen-like zone out, even in the midst of family life. The single focus of fiber drafting through my fingers, the quiet monotony of the treadle, the pull of the bobbin twisting and spooling the yarn. And something beautiful emerges — yarn to knit into something new, created with my own two hands.