Saturday, May 27, 2006

My First Foray into Handspinning

My first foray into handspinning produced about 3-4 yards of slubby, thick and thin singles. Many say it will never happen again, so I better label and date my "First Yarn". For the records, I'm using an Ashford Turkish Spindle. I attempted to practice the Inchworm method and had a hard time learning to draft. The fiber is constantly breaking on me. This occurs when there's too little fiber in a spot to hold the yarn. To fix a break, we need to feather the end of the yarn and the end of your fiber and make a new join. The merino top is quite slippery and the fiber doesn't hold together easily again after breaking. I think I have about 4-5 joins, and was literally struggling my way through this little skein... thinking if I'm overly crazy to be spinning instead of knitting.

I tried again in the afternoon with a top-whorl spindle, and am encouraged by the better results. This time, I used the "Park and Draft" method, and instead of Inchworm, I pre-drafted the fibers with my hands about 6-8 inches apart tugging them lightly, and then spinning about half a yard at a time. I ended up with about 10 yards, of almost the same slubby singles but with only one break. I could have continued spinning on for more yardage but then I was uncertain about my twist. The thinner spots seem to be a lot more twisted than the fatter slubs. Hmmm, must read up some more.... before I wash them to set the twist.

5 comments:

Suegene said...

That looks so much better than my first handspun (I didn't even bother to keep mine), but regardless, congratulations! I sent off the book on Friday, you should hopefully get it in a little more than a week!

Siow Chin said...

All the spinning terminology is making my head spin! But your first handspun looks very promising. From my vantage point, it looks a bit like manos :).

joy said...

I'm impressed! You'll have to show up how to do that sometime. :)

Mimi said...

Handspinning sounds and looks so complicated. I am sure it must be so gratifying to make your first handspun yarn. Good job!

erin said...

Your first attempt and it looks so good!