Monday, October 23, 2006

A day that will live in infamy

Such a momentous day, I'm not even sure where to begin. The setting: A ginormous deck overlooking an amazing view. The players: new friends Andrea, MJ, Kat, Lori, and Francesca, and old (you know what I mean) friends Mary-Heather and our gracious hostess, Julia. (Marnie was missed, but with us in spirit.) The table:

Gluttony at its finest

There was food and drink, knitting, chit-chat, show & tell, more food, more chit-chat, and last but not least, spinning...even by moi!! Yes, this day will go down in history as the day I officially succumbed to the spinning goddesses. How thrilled was I? Very!

I knew going in that I would learn to spin that day, but I had no idea just how much spinning wisdom I would be surrounded by. These ladies were all so generous with their knowledge, help, and encouragement- not to mention their spindles and their roving! I couldn't have been in a more supportive environment. The result:

My first try at spinning, courtesy of MJ's spindle and some heavenly roving donated to the cause by Mary-Heather.

I made yarn!! Hee hee! I'm still giddy, two days later (Hi, Dork)! It may not be much to look at to experienced spinners, but it's my very first wonky bits and I couldn't love it more. Of course, I couldn't have done it without some help. Mary-Heather generously donated some of her gorgeous Spunky Eclectic BFL for me to try. MJ taught me the fine art of pre-drafting and let me learn on her Kundert, as instructed by the ever patient Julia. It was (is) a learning process, to be sure, but I was spinning! And I was told I was doing well for my my first time, so that was very encouraging. It's so much fun! And lookie at what I made! (Insert squealing noise here.)

My first born, wonky handspun. (I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to have curly cues in it, but whatever!)

Spinning will definitely take practice. I can at least comprehend the process in my mind now, and I can even grasp each little part individually, but pulling it all together, getting the coordination down, that will take some time. But, I am optimistic and look forward to improving. I think patience and persistence will be key.

I feel it's worth mentioning that I had been keeping my distance from all things spinning related for a good while now, because I had a sneaking suspicion that I would be instantly hooked, and...wouldn't you know...I was right! When I first learned to knit, I was thrilled that I could take some yarn and a couple of needles and make a garment. And now- being able to take some fiber and make actual yarn? Amazing. And the day I can actually make a garment out of some yarn I've also made? Holy crap! How gratifying must that be? I can't wait! And now I'm on my way. Thanks to a few friends (*cough*enablers*cough*) and...what's this thing here??

My first spindle: Kundert in Cherry, with Walnut accent

As prompted (coerced) by Julia and MJ, I took a slight detour from my weekly Whole Foods trip on Sunday and veered off to A Mano, where I purchased my very first spindle. Since I was grocery shopping solo again this week due to B's current state of health, I justified the extra stop. One must have priorities, after all: food can wait; must buy a spindle!

Another highlight of the day on Saturday was getting to see Andrea's gorgeous Icarus! Seeing a finished one in person has definitely inspired me to keep plugging away at mine!

So, thanks again ladies, for a wonderfully fun afternoon/evening- you will forever be linked to my very first spinning experience. And just so you know, along with this "honor" comes simultaneously felt profuse thanks and affectionate blame for any part you may have taken in my new, impending addiction. ;)

17 comments:

jillian said...

Your *first* handspun!! It's so pretty!

Mouse said...

If you tie it together so that it doesn't come untangled.. and give it a nice bath without agitation in some warm water and a smidge of shampoo or wool wash.. then hang it to dry over the tub with a little weight on the bottom (say some plastic hangers??) it should get straighter. Looks beautiful though! Congratulations on your new spindle and first yarn!

Marnie said...

Wow, your first handspun is amazing. YOu should be very proud. And since you didn't ply it, the curly-Qs are actually to be expected and not bad at all. I bet if you follow Mouse's instructions above, you'll find you have something very knitable.

Best of luck with it. You are an excellent student indeed.

Julia said...

You could try it as a singles, as per Mouse's instructions, but don't weight it. If you weight the yarn it will apear more balanced than it is, and the first wash that it gets as a garnment will send it curling again. I think this yarn is better off plied, so you can just leave it tied until you are ready to do that. To see if it will work as a singles, give it a gentle bath and see if it still curls a lot. If so, it should be plied, then knit. If it just does a turn, or better yet a half-turn, after washing, it's a fine singles yarn - knit away! But don't exect that - I spun a fair amount of that skein, and the way I spun it would require plying. Plying can be lesson #2! Glad you had fun!

Jennifer said...

Congrats on your handspun and new spindle! I have a Kundert and love it too. Great little spindle.

Miriam said...

Watch out, because established spinners will basically THROW wool at you. I know first hand ;)

Anonymous said...

I have to say that *that* Kundert is beautiful. It was wonderful meeting you--it's always nice to meet local knitters. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your handspun!

- MJ

lori z said...

Your first handspun looks pretty fabulous! I don't think that I ever posted any of my handspun! (i was too shy about it) enjoy the new addiction! i'm still trying to resist! good to meet you on saturday!

Disentangled said...

So pretty! Congrats on making YARN!!! I can't wait to see it and see you spin. I'm sure you will be a pro before you know it!

Lolly said...

You girls sure know hw to have fun! a fiber party! :) Congrats on the lovely handspun too! I love the way it looks!

amanda cathleen said...

your first handspun is lovely!! It looks great! Your spindle, beautiful. Yay! You've been sucked in ; )

Shelley said...

Oh aren't you a clever girl!!! Good for you! I am going to hold off for a while longer. It looks like too much fun.

kat coyle said...

looks like you're on your way to be a spinning knitter. it seems to be catching. maybe i'm next!

Theresa said...

Not you, too? Another one bites the dust . . .

Nasus said...

How fun! Congratulations on your first yarn!

Monica said...

Congrats on learning to spin! I remember the same excitement at being able to make Yarn! Enjoy!

Cara said...

You had some GREAT teachers there! And you always love your first born. Looks terrific - you'll never be able to make it again. ;-)

Have fun!