Spinning

I haven’t talked about this yet, but I am learning to spin. I took a one day lesson in January, and fell in love. I bought my wheel that day, and immediately started acquiring stash to spin. My wheel is a Kromski Minstrel (isn’t it nice?). Apparently I don’t read instructions very well. When I first started to spin on it, things seemed to be going well. I didn’t spin very well, but I read enough online forums to know that it would come with practice. But eventually, I just couldn’t spin. The wheel was horrible – hard to spin, no take up no matter how much tension I had – very frustrating. What I turned out couldn’t even be called yarn. I stopped – just couldn’t take the frustration. Two months went by; the wheel just sat in my bedroom unused. I finally decided to give it one last chance – either I learned, or I sold it.

I decided that lessons were in order. So I contacted the local guild who put me in touch with Carol from Serenity Alpacas. Last Saturday I put my wheel in the car, threw in some roving that I was trying to spin and set out. Unfortunately, it was a horrible day and sleeting/raining so I didn’t see any Alpacas (very disappointing), but Carol was wonderful. It wasn’t me! She thought it was the wheel – something was off and needed adjusting. She wasn’t sure what, but just knowing that it wasn’t me helped my confidence a great deal. So I used her Louet S75 – and it started coming back to me. I can’t say that what I spun that day was wonderful, but its a start. I tried wool, merino and alpaca. Carol gave me great tips and corrected some things I was doing wrong. She even lent me her wheel to take home and practice. Carol recommended switching the wheel from double drive to scotch tension, and also to look through the instructions and video and see if anything was installed incorrectly. I told Carol ok, but to keep her eye out for someone that was interested in the wheel.

Once I got home, my husband re-read the assembly instructions (the shop had assembled it). He checked the instructions against the wheel; everything looked ok. Then he asked me a question – “when is the last time you oiled this?”. Huh? What? I had actually put a little bit of oil on it, but not for a while, and not too much. I went online to the forums and found out that this wheel is an oil pig. So we put oil everywhere recommended – wow – what a difference. I can’t believe its the same wheel. Its amazing. I’m in love with it again. And I feel really stupid. All those months gone.

So this is what I’ve been doing this week – not the best, but definitely getting better!

Practice wool spun on the Louet (still working on picture quality – sorry!):

Coopsworth spun on the Kromski (going to make my husband an Irish Hiking Scarf out of this for fixing the problem!):

Coopsworth roving – bought this from Copper Moose (along with just a couple of other things!). This picture doesn’t really reflect its true color – its a beautiful shade of brown.

I’m going back this Saturday for another lesson, and I really hope that the alpacas are out – these aren’t Carol’s but aren’t they adorable? I really want a couple now….

In knitting news, I put the Cheesy Puff sweater away for a little bit (just have 3/4 of a sleeve left, but my husband won’t need this until fall!). I started the Knit Picks Sock Memories shawl as a gift for someone, and of course have two pairs of socks on the needles. Pictures next time!

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