I got me a new romance of my own. Not a cute boy toy, but a new fiber art! You’re way more interested in the fiber art anyway, right?!!
Back story: I’ve been interested in learning how to spindle for a few years now. I thought I would take a class, enjoy myself, then check that off the to-do list. I did that with tatting, weaving, etc. I’ve been looking and looking for a convenient spindling class, and one came up at the end of January at Anacapa Fine Yarn Shop in Ventura, CA. I cajoled my friend Mary to join me, and then we cajoled to teacher to teach us (there were only 3 students, not enough for a class– but I bribed the teacher with promises of chocolate. Worked like a charm! I bought her the good stuff, because if you’re gonna bribe, ya gotta follow through with style.)
We showed up to class with bells on and chocolate in hand. Susie (teacher extraordinaire) gave us hours of instruction, with patience and good humour. She had lots to show us, including all the toys we’d want to start off in this new direction. I left the shop with a bag full of Blue-Faced Leicester roving (actually, combed top), some hand carders (Ashford), and the online address to the spindle maker I really liked (Tracy Eichheim of Wooly Designs)
I have fiber in my studio (you’re not surprised by that, are you? Didn’t think so.) and I grabbed some orange-dyed roving (for you non-spinners, a roving is fiber organized into a long tail for spinning). I had purchased this somewhere years ago, to use for my trapped fiber technique. The roving had originally been dyed a blend-y orange and burgundy (sounds icky, but it was beautiful). I (gasp) cut out the burgundy and purple parts to use for trapped fiber, which left the orange bits. It was cut (gasp) into odd staple lengths (staple refers to the length of the actual fiber– like how long your hair is, in individual strands).
I wanted to spindle some artsy stuff, so I loaded my carders (I love the technical terms for spinning– loading a carder is also called “charging the carder” ; loading a comb is called “lashing”. Isn’t it romantic?!) This has some orange wool– might be merino, some hot pink dyed merino, some tangled sari waste silk, and some angelina fibers:
Here’s what it looked like on my carders:
I carded it lightly and rolled it into rolags; once you brush the fibers to align them, you roll them off into a cylinder of fibery goodness in order to spin them. The cylinder of fiber is called a rolag.
Then I grabbed my new spindle from Tracy (he’s a he, by the way), and spun my first yarn:
I know that this is chunky bumpy lumpy, and I love every odd bit of it. I have plans to use it in a weaving project (on my longarm, of course!), so I’ll keep you posted with that project!