Monday, April 24, 2006


I've always been curious about spinning and have been wanting to learn it for a while now. And especially from seeing all the masters do it from time to time. The process of how fibers are spun into yarn has always been a mystery to me. I know it's done using wheels or drop spindles but just never saw it actually happening.

So on Friday, I was just browsing the internet looking at yarns when I realized it's been a while since my last visit to The Yarn Tree, a lovely store in Brooklyn. Knowing that they carry all the materials needed for spinning, I decided to go there that evening. I couldn't even wait until the next day Saturday, I just suddenly had an urge to buy fiber and learn to spin and couldn't bear to wait overnight. Actually, it's funny, that's exactly how I got started with knitting, I just suddenly wanted to.

The owner Linda who's really nice, and very cheerful, helped me pick out what I wanted. I bought some Ashland Bay merino in a maroon color, a drop spindle, and a book to teach me how it's done. I could've just signed up for a spinning class but I wanted to try it out on my own first.

While I was there, I also bought some Tencel yarn in this beautiful rich mauve shade. Interesting stuff, it's made from wood pulp. It has a wonderful luster and is very soft. I want to use it as a laceweight yarn, I think it'll work out nicely, we'll see.

Tencel yarn - 4 oz.

Speaking of laceweight yarn, I placed an order for some JaggerSpun Zephyr in Aegean Blue and Cassis, 4 ounces each, and also some Knit Picks' Alpaca Cloud.

I do have projects in mind for all of them. The Alpaca Cloud will become the "Trellis Scarf" by Evelyn A. Clark in the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. The Aegean Blue Zephyr is for a shawl in the book "Folk Shawls" that's also coming in the mail this week. And I plan to use the Cassis Zephyr for the beautiful "Orenburg Lace Shawl" by Galina Khmeleva in the Summer 2000 issue of Interweave Knits!

This out-of-print back issue of IK is pretty hard to find. I've looked around a few times and no one seemed to have it until somebody finally decided to sell her copy on Ebay. I was so excited when I saw it, I was very lucky to have searched at the right time. I hardly ever buy used items, I turned to Ebay as a last resort. So since it was the one and only copy at the moment (who knows when another one will appear), I watched it constantly for three days and placed a bid three minutes before the auction ended and luckily, I was not outbid in the last few seconds. And the price I paid plus shipping was still under my maximum bid. All of the people who placed bids for it seemed to have wanted it pretty badly too.

Anyway, back to the spinning. So far, here's some slubby thick and thin singles, very sloppy as you can see. I kept letting the twist travel up to the fiber supply. And I need a lot of practice on my drafting.

First handspun


Blogger Felicia from sweetgeorgia said...

Yay!!!! Spindling!!! Congratulations on your start! That looks like a Schacht spindle. How do you like it?!

4/24/2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger iSeL said...

Love the tencel yarn.

Good luck with the spindle!
I got one last year at the MDSW and still have no idea how to make anything decent with it.

4/24/2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger brooklyn tweed said...

the tencel yarn looks awesome (great photo too).

i admire your spontaneous ambition to learn how to spin. i would love to teach myself some day, but at this point, i'm not willing to give up any extra knitting time. i look forward to seeing how it pans out for you though! thanks for sharing.

4/25/2006 9:11 AM  

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