Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I cheated.

I snuck my spindle out early. I started playing with her.

Once I started looking at directions and stuff on the 'net, I couldn't help it. So, I got a bit of the roving Deneen shared with me ahwile ago and gave it a go. [Hope you're feeling better, too, Deneen!]

First SpinningI feel like for my first time, I was pretty successful. I mean, what I ended with is definitely yarn. And for being my debut yarn, I'd go so far as to say it's fairly even; it ranges in weight from about a sport to a thicker worsted. Now that I've just tried it out, I feel like it shouldn't be as hard to wait til Christmas and afterwards to really get started.

Natalie's First Homespun!But, this trial run has brought up some questions for me, many dealing with the "twist" of the yarn. On the sites I checked out, they mentioned that a yarn with not enough twist wouldn't ply well and would be weak, which makes sense to me. So, in trying to avoid this, I think I went to the other extreme, and *overspun* my yarn. It was all curled up on itself all over, even when I wrapped it around the spindle shaft. I don't think that that's how I've seen other homespun yarn on still on the spindle look, so I unwrapped it all, then let some of the twist wind out. This is what it looks like now... Are there any spinners out there who could tell me if I'm on the right track??

I'm also wondering how to stop... to get the yarn off the spindle and work with it, and, more importantly right now, be able to set the spindle aside and come back to it later to add more. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself though, since I really am going to try very hard not to fool around any more til the class. I don't want to teach myself the wrong way and then have to break a bad habit, y'know?

Let it snowI've been diligently working on my snowflakes in the meantime. At my last count, I was at 22, although this picture only shows 20 of them. For now, I have given up on 'quality' [not really] and gone with quantity; instead of trying new patterns I've just been making multiples of the small, easy ones so I can get *more* done *quicker.* After the first one, I have the pattern pretty much memorized, which speeds everything along a good deal - even in the evenings when I had been doping myself up with Nyquil I can get one cranked out in 10-15 minutes. I have noticed that as I get more comfortable with the thread and tiny hooks, my tension is getting tighter and tighter. My first flakes were almost exactly the called for size, but the latest have been getting smaller - the last design I did said it would be 2 3/4" and mine came out just under 2"!! I love how the stitches just look so crisp and neat, I can't wait to stiffen them and see 'em finished.

As I suspected I would, I've pretty much let my 'ghan fall to the wayside... I'm right about 50 rows in, and have close to 2' done, but I haven't picked it up in days. I guess cuz it's just for me, and not on a deadline, that I haven't been feeling very pressured to get it done. It's looking great, though... I'm loving the stitch pattern more and more every time I look at it. It's perfect... textured but not too feminine.

And oh yeah! - I ordered another part of my Christmas presents from Amazon the other day. I'm so excited - I got *4* books that I've been waffling over for some time now. It's nice to just have money that I *have* to spend on me, and not worry that it should be paying bills or buying gas or keeping me from being broke for the whole week. I finally got the Harmony guides - both of them. I'm really hoping that at least a fair amount of the content will be new to me, and not what's already in the Bible or the Encyclopedia or various other stitch collections. I also got Hooked on Style, which is a collection of patterns by Paton's. I looked through this book the last time I was at Barnes & Noble, and I really like the majority of the designs in it. Last on my order was The New Crochet, which I haven't yet had a chance to check out but which has a pattern by the awesome Dot Matthews!! I'm hoping that I will be as impressed by this as I was by Cool Crochet, the last pattern book I bought sight unseen.

Update - when I was just at Amazon digging up those links, I checked my order status and the Harmony guides have been delivered! I just snatched them from the sneaky place deliverymen leave our packages [between the front doors that we don't use, LOL!] and am off to devour them before I have to give 'em away to wrapped for XmAs.



Blogger Marvie said...

That's some pretty nice spinning =) I still over twist mine a bit, but I haven't yet worried about plying anything (cuz, umm I can't spin that finely yet!) As for stopping now... what I do is get nearly to the end of the roving I have in hand, leave a couple of inches unspun and do some sort of wrapping round the hook thing. It generally stays put.

Lovin' your snowflakes too! I've only gotten a half dozen made, I really need to get on it this week and get another half dozen done!

I have the Harmony guides, the Kooler Encyclopedia and the Stitch Bible, love 'em all. I've only used a couple of stitches so far, but I love having the references at hand.

2:48 AM  
Blogger DAWN said...

How much caffine have you had? That was a lot to take in so I will comment on the highlights for me. . . your spinning looks great to me for the first time. I will bet that it is only the beginning and by the time the class starts you will be helping to teach it (hehe). Those snowflakes are really adding up! I didn't make any this year, so for next year I will start in the spring. Finally, your crochet library is really looking good. Happy December!

7:37 AM  
Blogger Jessi said...

I don't know what spinning is supposed to look like, but it's lookin good to me ;) Lol. I used the glue and water mix suggested by some blog friends to stiffen my flakes. Turned out pretty good!! Your look great. I'm jealous on all the books you My spindle and roving haven't gotten here yet. Didn't get it with todays mail and since she mailed it Monday it'll probably come tomorrow. Can't wait!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Your spinning looks great! As I told Jessi I am soooo jealous that y'all get to meet and do the spinning class! I need to get my bum back to Michigan!

Love the snowflakes! I'm falling behind on mine, but hopefully I'll have enough to send out with some of my cards!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

i think your spining is looking fabulous! as for your twist issues, you need to keep in mind that you have not 'set' the twist in your yarn yet. so it is going to curl up on itself. you're doing great!!!

2:57 PM  
Blogger ladylinoleum said...

You are inspiring me to bust out my spindle girl!

Oh, the snowflakes look mahvalous!

I have the Harmony guides. Love them!

2:58 PM  

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