Friday, September 15, 2006

Headed back to ABQ and spinning stuff

OK, I think I am officially addicted to spinning wool...

I was hanging out back at the hotel yesterday, feeling like I had been hit by a huge Mack Truck. So, I laid on the couch most of the day, sleeping on and off, and hearing my wheel calling me. Yes, my spinning wheel wanted me to spin some wool...

Now, I have some really cool roving, but I am not advanced enough to be playing with it yet (Merino wool roving and beginner spinner, not the best combination on the planet). Now, I don't want to spin my class wool yet (all carded and rolled and ready to go for next Tuesday) because I know I will probably blow through it within 20 to 30 minutes. So, I went to LYS a few days ago and got some Border Leicester fleece. I washed about half of it and carded that wool yesterday. I am excited to start spinning some of it to see how soft it is and how it turns out. I know I have been bitten by the spinning bug when I order a large amount of sheep fur. I have some raw Rambouillet fiber coming sometime in the next week to wash and card (by some sheep fur I am talking about 11.5 pounds of raw sheep fur...). I am hoping that it will spin up nicely but I am thinking about getting some nylon to card with it so I can spin it up, dye it and try making a pair of socks from it. I think I will need nylon with this kind of wool since it is supposed to be soft, which I would take to mean that it would wear out pretty quickly in socks if not reinforced with something durable like nylon. Maybe some of you spinning goddesses out there can give me some pointers on that. Now, I need to figure out what kind of dye to use on the nylon fibers (since acid dye won't cut it). After I get back from ABQ I will be going to spinning class again. I am hoping we start getting into plying the wool.

What have I learned from taking this spinning class? Here is a list of stuff:
1. Carding sheep fur is comforting also
2. Mesh laundry bags make washing raw sheep fur a lot easier
3. Greasy sheep fur sticks more than washed sheep fur
4. The difference between too much twist, just enough twist and not enough twist
5. It takes a lot more coordination to operate a drop spindle than a spinning wheel
6. Dawn dishwashing liquid is great for cleaning sheep fur.
7. I was reversing my hands when I was spinning and this was probably the cause of 70% of my early spinning problems
8. Getting consistant thread widths is easy once you know what you are doing
9. Keep practicing spinning "tufts" once you can get a consistant thread width so you can make fun yarns.
10. Spinning wool adds a whole new dimension to my knitting.
11. Taking this spinning class is one of the best things I have ever done!

Another thing I need to find out is how to card the wool so it comes out into the roving form that I see all of the time. I think it would be easier to dye the roving than to dye the raw wool before carding or easier to dye than the finished wool. Who Knows? That is half of the fun of all of the experimentation! Someday, the object is to make raw fleece into sock yarn that is usable, durable, soft and has some fun colors that you don't find out in the normal world. Someday, I will be able to do all of that... Time to JFGI!

Now, fun ways to freak people out at the airport: Drop spindle spinning. I was at the Phoenix airport waiting for my hubby to come in last weekend. I had my drop spindle with me along with some roving so I decided to practice on the drop spindle. Man, I got some really weird looks from people. One guy just sat there staring at what I was doing for a good 5 minutes. Since I am flying out to ABQ tonight, I will bring the spindle with me to the airport tonightto freak out some more people.

It's lunchtime now. I plan to leave early to pack, get some dinner, head to the airport and fly home! I hear the weather back in Albuquerque is really nice right now. I also hope to stop by Village Wools while I am there and see if anyone is around and see what kind of fleece they have available!