Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Other than getting it out of my way to reach something else, and considering if I should get rid of it at the stash sale, I hadn't touched my spinning wheel for perhaps a decade. And even when I spun, I did it enough to learn how. I find spinning to be a really therapeutic activity, but I didn't like the dust and flying fiber, and didn't know how to get rid of the yarn afterwards.

Yesterday and today I was hoping to do some design stuff for Ali, but I just can't get into design-thinking mode, and have dithered a lot. Today I put on "Spinning Wool - Basics & Beyond" by Patsy Zawistoski; I borrowed this after being inspired by Deb Menz DVDs. And I got my wheel out.

I'm an impatient spinner and my yarns are varyingly regressively-tightly spun with blobby slubby bits. But I had a good time. And I even tried mixing the sliver by hand, a little bit.

I know you can't tell the difference, so let me explain that the yarn on the left is my skinny yarn to try as a single-ply weft; too bad you can't see some of the interesting color mixes under the orange bits... The yarn on the right is my fat yarn, which I intend to either knit or crochet single-ply and felt. Consistency in spinning is hard; I didn't imagine thicker yarns would be this difficult. I wanted my fat yarn a thicker than this. Anyway, these are fresh off the wheel.

It seems I'm doing a whole lot of fiber things other than weaving, and the word "sabotage" has entered my mind. I might have to get back to one of Julia Cameron books. And/or I might go hunt for a for a hand carder. Curiouser and curiouser...


  1. Actually, you can see quite a difference in the thickness of the yarn! I am breaking myself in on a new wheel myself and although I don't spin a lot or often as I would like, I love having my wheels available when the mood strikes.
    Your postcard is wonderful and those are some great pics Ben took. Knowing nothing about politics in New Zealand I am surprised, having the impression they were much more committed to greener than certainly the USA ( who has brought the Drill Baby Drill mantra to the world). Keep up the good works on stuff you believe in.

  2. I love the yarn, some look like my art yarns. You can definately knit them up if you want. I love the postcard very interesting use of color and design.

  3. Your yarns are wonderful, Meg. Did I know you were a spinner? I can't remember, but I don't think I did.
    If you're not aware of this, you must wash and relax the twist of single ply yarns you plan to knit or crochet with. If you don't do this, your piece will be highly directional, will have a lot of bias that won't block out. Two ply yarns don't have this problem because the twist of the two plies twisted together counterbalances the bias problem.
    Look forward to seeing what you do with them!

  4. Theresa, thanks. NZ sells the green image well, but we're not, and we have problems, for e.g. with water contamination due to dairy farming, CO2 emission problems due to animals burping, and in general very little public transport, as in almost none.

    Deep End, gee, thank you. I was just playing around. Nothing like your yarns. But I think I ordered nice colors, so it's been great fun.

    Connie, most probably not. I think the last time I spun was in 1997. I was looking at the bobbins and decided to spin a little more on both and then set the twist (or similar - I can't remember what the DVD called it.) Ben ordered a pair of hand carders online last night, so mixing colors should be a little easier. Fun!


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