Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And So I Spun...

Last night was my first class in learning how to spin. I am taking a 4-week class, 2 hours every Tuesday evening, on learning to spin my own yarn. Next week, we learn some processing techniques, including carding and flicking, as well as have a try on a wheel. But last night, we learned drop spindle techniques, and importantly, how to draft.

I draft patents for a living, but that's nothing compared to this! Drafting is difficult, and definitely an art. Slowly, so slowly, I learned a little. Happily, I had great fun doing it.

Here is the raw fiber we were given to learn with, and my result. Yes, it took me about an hour to do that little bit of wool. I can hear you snickering from here... I'm just a beginner!

The drop spindle is lovely and works well. I'm so glad I bought it. The other ones in the class were using spindles with a wood rod and a plastic round part, and that just wasn't as nice, if you ask me. I am itching to use my new batts, because I can tell they will be easier to draft than using the fiber we have that hasn't been made into batts, but that will come with time. Of course, I used my super llama bag from Sugar Creek Stuff to carry my supplies!

In the meantime, you super spinners out there can all tell me what I'm doing wrong from looking at my little sample. I do know that I had some overtwisting, but our teacher said that's normal for beginners. Whew! Glad I'm not the only one!

Kelly had to plow out the driveway again this morning. He's such a champion of the tractor!
Stay warm everyone!


Diane L. Dodd said...

that looks like fun! i love the llama bag too!

Nancy K. said...

Wonderful first yarn!! You can make the neatest stuff from the first 'thick and thin' yarn that you spin. Believe it or not ~ it is VERY hard to replicate. Treasure it...

Farm Chick Paula said...

I'm impressed... I think you did great for a first-timer!
I'll bet you all are glad you bought that tractor a few months back aren't you?

Sharrie said...

I laugh at no one! My DH had to turn the wheel for me when I was learning because I couldn't do two things at the same time. (I live where there isn't much traffic.) You did very well. My first yarn is hanging by my bed waiting to be made into something.

We use a Bobcat for the plowing and couldn't live without it.

Spinner said...

Hey, that looks just like mine, I have heard that you can't make it look like that after you spin for awhile.

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

How neat! I really want to learn to do this someday. I have no fiber animals though right now, well I have one very soft Kiko/Boer cross doe that has what looks to me like quite a bit of cashmere in her coat but she is the only one. Guess I need to look into getting a couple sheep or angora goats. How do I break that to my husband, he tends to get that deer in the headlights look whenever I start talking about yet another type of farm animal and all my reasons we need them. LOL

Thanks for following and commenting on my blog, I am really glad you did because I followed your comment back to your blog and I have really enjoyed reading it.

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

I was going to comment on the thick and thin but Nancy beat me to it. I love thick and thin and when I first started spinning that's what I I have to really try and totally concentrate to do the thick and thin.

Congrats and welcome to the fold.

Mom L said...

Now I am totally impressed!

Nancy in Atlanta

Joanna said...

that's looks great Claire, I'll be learning along with ya

blog about pantent drafting sometime

I'm a huge fan of Michelle over at SugarCreekStuff, I'm on my 2nd bag

thecrazysheeplady said...

Your yarn looks wonderful - good job! Remember - anything that doesn't look so called perfect is a "design element" ;-). Also makes really neat gift wrap if you don't want to use it for knitting...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Woot! Woot! Girl, you're spinning wool into yarn! Awesome!
Your little bit actually looks quite good for a beginner.

I tried out a drop spindle during a fiber class last summer and was so verklempt. I just couldn't get it! And look at you!

Yes, the batts do tend to spin up a bit easier, but the rollogs will be just as easy once you get the hang of it, too.
What kind of fiber were you using. It looks like spun cotton candy. Was it Icelandic sheep?

I'm buying my friend's Louet wheel this weekend. I'm so excited. This is the wheel I've been borrowing off and on this past year since my friend taught me how to spin.

Now I'll be able to spin whenever I want to. Yay! I also can't wait to learn how to dye fiber. That's a whole 'nother hobby in itself.

Just look at at you. You're spinning!
I can't wait to see how confidant and experienced you're going to get over the next 4 weeks.
You're going to have so much fun!

Oh and I love your llama bag, almost as much as mine! lol!

I'm the gal that encouraged Michelle to start creating them. I bought her first one. And I just love it. So cute!

Have fun!
~aka Rapunzle

Claire said...

All of you are so nice about my little bit of yarn. I just love that about bloggers - we are all helping each other along!

Nancy - I will treasure it, but at this point it feels like that's as good as it'll ever get!

Paula - YES, we LOVE the tractor!

Shiloh Prairie Farm - break it to him gently, or just show up with them. He can hardly turn them away then...

Joanna - if I blog about patent drafting, I will bore everyone to tears or scare them away.

CrazySheepLady - what a great idea! I never thought of using it for gift wrapping! Super!

Lisa - it was Lincoln I think. It's washed but not smooth and carded like a batt. I am going to be very envious of your Louet wheel! I hope you blog about it. I am hoping to get a Louet drum carder for my birthday in April.

Anonymous said...

Good job!! The more you spin, the easier it gets -- trust me. My first try at spinning was as disaster, but yours is beautiful. Keep going girl!!

Karen said...

Where are you taking your spinning class?

Claire said...

Hi Karen,
It's through the Des Moines Public Schools Community Ed program. You can still sign up I'm sure, even though you missed the first class. Here's the website:

It's under the arts and crafts section (which is alphabetically sorted) under "Spin Your Own Yarn."

Anonymous said...

Nancy K. is very right, your first yarn is very unique! You have a lot of respect from me because I was never able to spin on the drop spindle, I had to go right to a wheel. Now my husband on the otherhand can spin lace weight on a drop spindle, but don't tell him that I told you ;)

Heddy said...

It is wonderful yarn! your first attempts look like mine did ... the drafting and getting the right spin takes time to manage, but it looks like you are off to a good start! I's love to see more pictures of what you've spun since this post ... I saved my first yarn, and even my second yarn showed a great improvement ... I bet you are doing great!

Than ks for the comment on my blog .. it is always great to hear from a fellow Nova Scotian (esp. one who has such wonderful livestock - I greew up on a hobby farm - Dad kept pigs, turkeys, laying hens and meat chickens, so I enjoyed reading about your cruitters (the ducks in the tub are adorable!)

sugarcreekstuff said...

I have been away for a bit and catching up reading some of my fav blogs. Thanks for mentioning my/your bag. Word of mouth is the best advertising. I appreciate that. :-)