Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Miss Kalendar takes up Spinning

So......I have been wanting a spinning wheel for a long time. I have browsed craig's list for one for months, and have practiced my drop spindling for about 2 years. Drop spindles are great for re-enacting because they are period (for some of what I re-enact) and because they are portable. With a background in knitting and drop spinning, I determined that I should get a wheel if I could find one at a decent price. It would save me money in the long term because I would buy my knitting supplies in roving form, spin to yarn, and then knit. Thus, I would be adding in an extra step of entertainment for my money - and I was sure that the roving would cost less than the completed yarn, giving me a way to effectively 'work-off' the cost of the wheel. And if this went well, I could try getting raw fleeces or non-dyed roving and process or dye it myself. This may sound very silly to the more experienced spinners, who will assume that I don't know what I am getting myself into, but I have spinning friends with whom I have debated the merits and flaws, and I am the sort of person who follows through.

Well, I did find a wheel at a decent price - an Ashford Traditional, already built, stained a lovely warm color, and the proceeds went to a weaving website much like Ravelery. How could I say no? I'd already decided that my first, and maybe only wheel would be an Ashford and had read up on the wheel and spinning on them. I purchased the wheel and brought her home. Then, a friend gave me some roving out of her stash (and some locks, and some cotton, and some linen), and I begun. I will admit, I spun several singles together, working on tension and evenness, and then ruined the whole lot by plying them together backward. I ended up with the dog's breakfast....and only made it worse when I tried to re=ply them the correct way. This is why I began with my lowest quality, oldest roving, from when I was just learning on my drop spindle. I haven't had a chance to finish enough singles to ply again yet, but I'm hoping that I will now that I have finished and submitted my knitting masters level 1.

~ Miss Kalendar

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