Mike and I went to the Salamon Farm Fiber Arts Celebration last Saturday (silly us, not bringing the camera — no pictures, unfortunately), ostensibly to look at stuff, but really to buy Mike a spindle. He’s not at all interested in knitting, no matter how I try to get him interested, but he’s fascinated by spinning. So we bought him a spindle and some roving and got a very rudimentary lesson in using a drop spindle.
When we got it home, the first efforts were kind of, well… crappy. It wasn’t until I took a look at this really useful page that I realized that the twist is just supposed to sit there until you’ve thinned the fiber out enough to make the right size yarn. The concept makes sense now, but the product is still a little iffy.
Here’s the thing: now that I’ve done all the reading and figuring out and everything, I want to spin. We have this pretty fleece that will make nice, warm yarn that I really want to knit with, and it’s going to be forever before it’s spun and plied and set. And because Mike hasn’t done all the reading and figuring out, it’s going to take time — and wool — for him to get to a point where he’s consistent and happy with what he’s spinning. I want to do it.
We’ve both determined that spinning on a wheel has to be easier than with a spindle, since your hands don’t have to do both jobs, drafting and spinning. But wheels are expensive. I mean, I’m sure I have more than a wheel’s worth of yarn in my stash at the moment, and Mike has way more than a wheel’s worth of Magic the Gathering cards, but is it wise for me to start up a new hobby? On the other hand, I could totally solve the “soft, warm, washable sock yarn for Sarah” problem if I were to blend and spin the fiber myself — some superwash, a little alpaca, a touch of nylon and I’m all set.