01 October 2008

Over-coiled Knitting Respite

Since my wrist and hand have been bothering me, I've been back at my spinning wheel. Now, to be perfectly honest, I haven't avidly used my spinning wheel since about 2004 or 2005 - before I moved to DC. When I lived in Fredericksburg, I was a member of the Fredericksburg Spinners and Weavers Guild. They met regularly to spin together - and there were often different classes on techniques and dying. It was there that I was first able to really start to hone my skill as a spinner. And then I let my spinning wheel collect dust for 3.5 years.

I'm back at it, and I've been working with the same luscious merino that you can see in this picture. This picture was taken in March, back when I was living at Jiff and Whyvonne's. I didn't touch my spinning wheel again between March and September 29th.

I started spinning again as a way to stay crafty, feel productive and avoid knitting for the time being. I'm on a deadline with one of my knitting projects, but I'm pretty sure that I could use a week or two off from knitting given the level of pain in my hand. (I'm sure it should be longer, but that's just not realistic.) Before I get started back knitting my gifty for my high school friend Julie, I am going to relax with my spinning.

When I first started on Monday night, I was a little perplexed. It had actually been so long since I'd seriously thought about spinning...I wasn't sure where to begin. Yes, there was some already spun wool on the bobbin. Yes, I had lots of fiber to spin. And yes, I had everything I needed to spin. What I was forgetting was to work with the tensions to ensure that I was getting yarn that was textured the way I wanted. It didn't even occur to me.

The yarn I ended up with was so tightly coiled that I was beginning to think I should abandon my wheel permanently. I hadn't had these issues in March...but my wheel had been moved multiple times since then. In addition to being too tightly coiled, the yarn was far too dense to be functional.

After thinking about it, I realized that my wheel is nice enough and smart enough, and gosh darn-it, people really liker her. I know that my issues couldn't be all me and couldn't be all her. Last night, I sat down and fiddled with the settings on the wheel. Low and behold, I was able to fix it so that I've got yarn of the appropriate texture.

To help me stay focused and continue working on my spinning, I have signed up for a spinning class at the Fiber Loft here in Durham. Hopefully, I can only get better...

1 comment:

Nancy said...

i would so have a spinning wheel if i was any good with fiber- i love hearing about and seeing spinning projects. the yarn on your wheel is *such* a gorgeous color! i'm sure some time with the wheel and an inspiring class will have you spinning like a master (mistress?) in no time!