Thursday, 14 July 2011

All the gear and no idea!

So I have the wheels,  the fibres, the books.........and I'm rubbish!
My first proper attempt at spinning yarn:

Plying on the wheel is ok but I am struggling with drafting so I thought I would have a go with the drop spindle instead just to get some practise. 

Actually I know what most of the problem is - patience.......or lack of! I start off with all good intentions and then try a little too quickly, get frustrated and then end up with lumps and bumps everywhere. When I force myself to slow down it goes much better, but then I get carried away again.
Oh well, it can definitely only get better!

And at last, a change from the bag posts ;-)


Inthesky said...

That looks like a beautiful arty yarn. Keep trying :) I honestly found whiskey helped, I was less attached to the end product and relaxed, I also watched tv. I knitted 'Bullet Proof' socks with my first handspun. They honestly gave me blisters to knit! You will get there. Have you come across Lexi Boeger? (Google her - she has a fantastic book 'Intertwined' )- she is like a spinning Guru to me. She would be proud of ya!

Mad Madame Mel said...

I think for a first attempt it looks great, especially if youare teaching yourself.
Try sitting at your wheel and treddle without actually spinning anything, I did this for around half an hour at my first class and found it a big help.
Also when mum had a practice on my wheel she was drafting the same way I do as we were taught by the same lady, but she was really struggling, I suggested perhaps she swapped her hands over, and low and behold she found it much easier, we are both right handed but for some reason we found drafting easier oposite ways.
hope that helps :) and it just takes practice :)

Anonymous said...

To be honest, for a first attempt that looks great...and I have spent hard earned cash buying yarn that looks like that!

Dawn said...

Bless you Becks, it is not awful. Many people have trouble at first with the drafting - it is an art in itself!
What wool are you spinning with? (can see it's not the Jacobs so just wondered). If it's roving then break off a chunk and tease it apart into smaller airier (sp?) bits so the fibres pull away from the chunk easier. Also the biggest ever tip I got and give is to make absolute sure that the spin doesn't go past your pinchy fingers into the drafting zone as this makes it very hard to draft as it is basically putting spin in it.Pinch at the end of the spun yarn and draft behind this slowly and carefully until you get the feel for it. It's also good to know the length of the staple for the wool so the pinchy hand and the drafting hand are never any further than that length apart (when doing short draw - easiest to start with). If you are finding it difficult spinning from the roving - break bits off and card it and roll into rolags - there is more air in them and the fibres flow out easier.

Patience is key, it takes practice, a little and often and you'll get the rhythm. Will you have the opportunity to pop to the spinning group at your LYS? They will be more than welcoming and so helpful to get you started.

The suggestion above about changing hands is one worth considering - people do have different drafting hands (not necessarily your dominant hand either!).

Your doing fine, keep practicing, treadle as slow as you can consistently, make sure the scotch tension isn't too tight and pulling it out of your hands before you're ready. Most peoples first handspun is arty yarn and one day you'll look back and wonder why you can't do it anymore - it's harder to learn arty yarn later when your hands are so used to drafting consistently.

Think that's a bit long for a comment - oops, sorry.

Keep going xxx
Dawn x

Colourful Girl said...

I love irregular yarn like that!

Seriously though, I have no patience, and whenever I pick up a new craft I get really disheartened when my first attempt doesn't work out. I end up giving up on most things because I don't feel I'll improve, yet with the things I do stick at I do improve.

Claire said...

I made a coaster with my first arty yarn. Felted it, and you can't tell how irregular it all was!!

It does get better, and I just know when it is going right, you can feel the fibres slipping through your fingers. Keep going, it will suddenly click. I'd love to meet up and show you how far I've got (not much further down the line than you really ;) )

Have you got a guild nearby, it is such a wonderful source of wisdom and talent.

lazykate said...

Hi Becks. I think your yarn looks fine and very typical of a first skein. And you've done this yourself. Very impressed. We're having an evening spinning club at Knit-Wise on a Tuesday night 7-9 if thats any better for you. But you're doing fine!

Laura said...

I love it, and I agree with the other comments - practice, practice, practice! Experiment with your speed, your ratio, and your tension. The first year I started spinning I attached a label to every hank of yarn I spun with the fiber content and the date listed on it. It's fun now to pull them out and see my progression as I learned more and felt more comfortable with my wheel!