Monday, March 31, 2014

The Other Fiber Arts

I love knitting. I have loved it since that day over 10 years ago that my dear friend Michelle introduced me to the knit stitch.

However, as my knowledge of knitting grew, so did my awareness of the Other Fiber Arts.
Crochet, Spinning, Weaving, Tatting...there are so many things to do with fiber! I have wanted for a long time to explore some of the other fiber arts, but for various reasons, knitting has been my focus.

I've played with crochet a little. My grandma taught me when I was a wiggly 6 year old. I learned all of 2 stitches, and made lots of odd clothing for my little toys. But I don't have the love for crochet I have for knitting. I've learned a little more since then- I can crochet flowers now- but crochet is my accent for knitting, not my art.

I've played with spinning a little. I got my husband to make me some drop spindles, got a little fiber and a book and played with it. But I never learned to love it with the drop spindle. I always wondered what would happen if I got a spinning wheel. It just seemed to me that with a wheel I could do so much more so much faster that it would be more fun. (I'm a product knitter not a process knitter, if you know what I mean, and getting a tiny result with a lot of effort encourages me to find a new way of doing it -or just a new thing to do.)  But a wheel is expensive and not a need, so spinning just sort of died out for me. I got rid of the spindles, fleece, and book during a move, but I always wondered- "what if".

Well, I get to find out!

This lovely little versatile spinning wheel entered my home to stay last Friday night!  Yesterday, I finally had an opportunity to sit down, watch a couple YouTube videos on how to card wool for spinning, and do some actual spinning on a wheel.

I love it.

I don't think spinning will ever replace knitting for me, I love knitting too much- and it is so much more portable (because I'm still on into the drop spindle, sorry.), but I can definitely enjoy this!

This is my second basket full of rolags (wool that has been hand-carded and rolled in preparation for spinning). I was having too much fun learning to remember to take pictures of my first batch. This is sitting next to the rocking chair behind the wheel just waiting for me to have some free time.

This is my first attempt at spinning on a wheel. It's obvious even in the photo that the wool is uneven, too tightly spun, thick and thin, and has a lot of issues- but it's my first attempt....It took me a while to figure out the tension for the bobbin and flyer (the thing the yarn is on, and the part with the hooks that spins the yarn onto the bobbin), and I still don't think it's quite right. I'll get it figured though! And I'll have even more yarn for my knitting!

This gorgeous wheel and a whole bunch of wool and fiber to practice and play with was a gift. I am blessed beyond words. Once again, I have been given the ability to pursue something I very much wanted to do but couldn't afford to start.

Thank you, dearest Lynn. You were right. I am having a blast.